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INSIGHTS

TRAVEL LOG MONGOLIA


into the vastness, carelessly dicarded: us. with neither a beginning nor an end. we only are seeing and beholding we elapse into sheer infinity. wordless, motionless, while the steppe drifts by.

rain. we are flying over bumps, dive into potholes. there aren’t any streets, only meandering traces in the grass. then: a roaming river throws itself across our path. our guides throw back stones. deep! thoughfully they take puffs of their parliaments-cigarettes, quietly conferring. all of a sudden we are in the thick of things. the river grabs us, pounding at the windshields and - spits us out again. our driver smiles contentedy. however, the more he smiles the more anxious i get. a wolve with an indefinable furry thing between its teeth watches us from a hilltop.

finally a settlement! we pull to a stop in front of a yurt, tumble wearily out of the car. a small door is opened, gonchigoo steps out of the yurs, bids us welcome to his family. inside it’s warm. a hearth, a little table, at the walls four beds and a ancestral altar. faded photographs of the family. carefully threaded testimonials of a life full of deprivation. a plate with steaming meat appears in front of us. we pass a knife around, cutting fat chunks of meat from the bone. the meat is gristly, barely salted. chewing. my stomach revolts, my soul is laughing. chewing. chewing.

the stars begin to glow. gonchigoo and his family get undressed, crawl into their beds. we, wearing our jeans and shirts, somehow ashamed into our sleeping bags. the light goes out. silence.

that night i cannot sleep. but i rest at the warm bosom of those people.

gonchigoo holds the horse. awkwardly i get onto the wooden saddle. the animal neighs malcontently, prancing nervously, yanking the leash. i cannot ride on horseback, a part of me is still aware of that, while another part of me already tugs hungrily at the reins. i follow gonchigoo into the steppe.

then: the herd! left and right sheep bleat, yeanlings cry like small children, woolly cows snort indignantly. we wield our long ropes in the air, whip the back of the beasts! „chou! chou!“ the herd transforms into one big animal with thousand feet, rolling onwards. i nod to gonchigoo, he nods back with a grin. „chou! chou!“

again at the river: a short hesitation, the all bolt in. the cries of the beasts is now deafening! yeanlings get seized by the flood. chaos! the big animal, it is torn into pieces! i kick my heels into the flanks of my pony, follow the terrified animals and want to cry in horror myself! into the river! just into it and across! it tears and pulls. the water rises up to my knees. i cry out! or do i cheer? then we are on terra firma again.

out of the air our camera drone suddenly comes close, positions itself above my head and then rises to 100 m. the sequence we agreed on! my horse neighs with a start. i yank the reins, kick my heels vigorously into its flanks. without success. the horse hurls itself into the scrub! does it want to get rid of me in the thicket? yes! ich duck down below the whipping branches, take my feet out of the stirrups and jump off in panic! immediately the horse stands still, looks at me guilelessly. i swear! with wounded pride i climb onto the saddly again. and again it bucks and goes its own way! again i jump off! i give up. i am no nomad and i cannot ride on horseback. taking the reins i pull the stubborn animal back to the river. on the other riverside the shepherds still herd the animals into the floods. what seems hours to me were only minutes that have passed. i tether the horse. crying yeanlings drift by me. i pull them out, one after the other. the water is cold, the fur of the animals soothingly warm. how alive they are.

into the vastness, carelessly discarded: me. cheering.

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