Suitcase and World: Jargalant.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


e're in Jargalant....located somewhere in Mongolia....basically, another town in the middle of nowhere. We arrived into Jargalant around mid-morning and had a couple hours to kill. First stop was the local grocery store to pick up some munchies. According to Puji, there is a small Lama Buddhist temple and a museum in case any one was need of a culture fix. It was a beautiful day so I just decided to wander about, look at the scenery and do some people watching.

Jargalant is not exacty a booming metropolis so it didn't take me long to cover it on foot.

Luckily, people watching more than made up for the lack of interesting urban sights. First, the man and his horse....a local resident just headed to the grocery store to pick up some supplies. This is how they do it in Mongolia!

Then, the cutest little girl and her mother walked up. I immediately reached into my pack and grabbed one of my packets of pencils, erasers and stickers that I had brought with me specifically to hand out to the children. She shyly took the bag after some encouragement from her mother. With her mother's permission, I snapped these two photos of this absolutely adorable little girl. She wore a very simple necklace of amber beads which I believe is symbolic either for good health or protection....I can't remember which.

By now, my stomach was beginning to growl and as if on cue, Puji met up with a few us and instructed us to head to a nearby carryout type place. As we walked in, there was a small counter. Behind the counter was a woman rolling out pastry and stuffing it with a meat mixture. She was making khuushuur which is the Mongolian version of a meat filled pastry that's deep fried.

After she filled the dough with meat, she deep fried the pastries in an electric fryer. With 16 hungry and greedy adults, we we were devouring the greasy but oh so tasty khuushuur as fast as she could make them! Since this was just a pre-lunch snack, I limited my intake to two khuushuur otherwise I think I could have easily eaten 4 of these delicious pastries.

With our stomachs lightly filled, we thanked the lady behind the counter and made our way back to our awaiting drivers and their SUVs. A quick headcount and we realized that Evan was missing and so we scattered about in search of him. A short while later, he appeared. Whew! With Evan back in the folkd we piled back into the SUVs and hit the road.

Goodbye Jargalant!