25 September 2009
Mongolia Or Bust. Okay, Bust...Almost
Following four days of almost solely touring, seeing and coordinating my life was in need of a major catch-up that just happened to have to take place the night before our Trans-Mongolian adventure began. Needless to say, a 3am bedtime did no wonders for my 5am wake-up call, though it did add yet one more tier of hilarity to our train station taxi ride.
For whatever reason, Shifu our driver was feeling particularly chatty (and vocal); I can only assume this remarkable interest was fueled by his being on hour 17 of what is surely one of the longest work shifts in history. Should people really be operating motor vehicles for 17 hours at a time? I’d have to go with no.
After offering up this this nugget of information, the driver proceeded to play twenty questions. It went something like this:
Driver: So, where are you going?
Me: Mongolia. Have you been there?
Driver: No. First, I have no money. Second, who wants to go there?
Me: Oh, um, I hear it’s very pretty.
Driver: Yeah, if you like that sort of thing.
Me: Do you...
Driver: I have no money.
Me; Oh, um, okay, well...
Driver: Where are you from?
Me: The United States.
Driver: What is your job?
Me: I was just a student but before that I was an English teacher in Shanghai.
Driver: Oh, Shanghai is crap too. Beijing is the best.
Me: Uh huh, okay. Well...
Driver: Does your friend understand Chinese?
Me: No, he doesn’t.
Driver: [Laughing] Well then, lets talk about him in front of him.
Me: Oh, um, I’d rather not.
Driver: Boring! Do you like karaoke?
Me: Yeah, it’s great fun.
Driver: [Puts fist to mouth and proceeds to sing into it] Shenme shenme shenme shi hao (What what what is good...}
Me: Well done. You’re very talented.
Driver: Thank you. Thank you very much.
We’re now on the train and I’m contemplating what just happened. Either way, it makes for a fantastic story.