After a day that included hundreds of miles through the ever-changing Big Sky landscape, rows of wind turbines standing silent sentry on ridgelines, an escaped black Angus running along outside a fenceline looking desperate to get back in and rejoin his (her?) brethren, a close encounter with a semi, and a side trip to Ingomar, MT, ghost town home of the Jersey Lillie Cafe, an establishment that both my elder companions and I were too afraid to walk into, it seemed like a good idea to learn how to count to ten in Mongolian.
In case you, like me, were thinking that Mongolian must bear a strong resemblance to Mandarin, thereby making it super-easy to learn 1-10 in Mongolian if you already know Mandarin, you would be totally wrong.
Something new that I thought would be a piece of cake took me close to an hour and many reruns of the Youtube video to master.
That doesn’t include writing down an approximation of the Mongolian non-English alphabet words in the tiny little notebook that my friend Julie S. gave me last week and then writing down a pathetic English phonetic equivalent next to each Mongolian word.
The effort has certainly not been in vain, however, because next time I find myself in Ulan Bator, I’ll be able to order up to ten –but no more than ten– Mongolian dumplings.