Katherine's Trip 2005/06 travel blog

As soon as we arrived at the traditional mongolian family's ger , I knew we were in for a bad one. The reasons for this are threefold.

Firstly, the flies were everywhere. As soon as we got inside the ger, it was a job to speak without swallowing a few. The plates of traditional local delicacies that we were supposed to be trying were nowhere to be seen until mama mongolian waved her cloth in front of the table; at which point the flies ascended from the bowls of food that they had been nibbling on to reveal 3 mystery 'delicacies'

Secondly, it was so contrived that I was immediatley hideously embarrassed, and just couldn't stop cringing. My fellow travellers all developed a sudden case of muteness and I as someone who has always been uncomfortable with silences proceeded to embark upon the most pathetic conversation ever. After asking them how many cows they had (6) I moved onto how many horses they owned (2) and then how many goats they had (none but they could milk their neighbours' ) After that the conversation pretty much dried up so we all sat there for approximately 5 minutes (it might as well have been eternity) not saying anything.

Thirdly, my stomach had been playing up so I decided to tell the guide this in the hope that it would allow me immunity from the delicacy trying. To say my plan backfired would be an understatement... they instead decided to try and 'cure' me... first up was dried bean curd..."very good for the stomach" it tasted like dried up old toe nails and was impossible to swallow whole so I therefore had to give it a good old crunch between the teeth. I managed to hold back the vomit with a swig of water.

Second up was "Sweet pastries and cream" Myself and Geoff tried this one (why can't I just learn to say no ??) The sweet pastry was a crusty old rice cracker of some sort and the cream had listeria written all over it (as well as a few kamikaze flies that had got stuck in it)

And the piece de la resistance ...was the milk vodka, made from , yep you've guessed it, fermented mare's milk. Everyone was supposed to try this one, but as I was poorly I was allowed everyone's quota (joy) I had totally lost the will to live by this point (but still had not found the ability to ay "no") so I swigged it down and within, I would say 30 seconds, I had said goodbye and was happily vomiting outside their ger until I reached the noodles I had had for lunch. Possibly one of the most humiliating experiences of my life... but they were lovely people....

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