We are leaving for Gobi today! I’m so nervous about the vehicles’ ability to complete our journey, given its recent issues. This might be the most nervous I’ve ever been regarding a trip, and I haven’t been sleeping well because of it. I guess it will be ok, because Dasha’s dad has checked his little book with dates a few times.

The small book is the size of a Lonely Planet phrasebook, so fits in the palm of his hand. I gather that this little book helps tell fortunes. He somehow matches our trip information with the dates in the book, and then determines whether it’s a good day for us to begin our desert journey.

I’m glad that I’m not the only person concerned for our safety on this trip.Having family looking out for us makes me happy! I’m still nervous, though.

fortunes & family, map

Dolgormaa’s dad checks his fortune book, and our map is in the foreground.

Our 9 am trip to the market takes place closer to 11 am. Our delay is due to some problem and Dasha spends an hour lecturing his eldest daughter, Binderya, in the kitchen, with his own father occasionally offering input. During the hour, I sat in the living room with Dasha’s younger daughter, and we smiled at each other when Dasha’s volume increased, since there was nothing else for us to do, nor any other way for us to communicate. She doesn’t speak English and I don’t speak Mongolian.

fortunes & family

The kitchen is a cozy place. The food is always delicious here.

When Dasha, his dad, and his daughter eventually emerge from the kitchen, Dasha tells me in English “All families have problems.” I agree wholeheartedly, nodding in agreement. And, if my family ever reads this, I know that they’ll also nod their heads in agreement.

I wanted to say more to Dasha and ensure he understood that I was fine. Maybe something helpful, but family problems can be such a touchy subject, so I didn’t want to delve there in case anything would be lost in translation. I totally understand that parents must take care of their kids, even if it means a long and stern lecture.

What can you do? Kids want to pave their own way, and parents want to keep them safe, so of course there is conflict at some times. But, it does make me glad that I’m not a teenager anymore! Whew! Let’s move on with the trip stuff. I get enough family drama at home!

While putting our shoes on in preparation for leaving the apartment for pre-trip shopping at the food market, Dasha tells me that his elder daughter is going to come on the trip with us. This should be fun! It’s always fun to have 3 people for long car rides. She seems like a sweet teenager, regardless of whatever drama is happening with her family. Wish us luck with our fortune!

Next Chapter: Horse Meat for Gobi Desert – Shopping at the market

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