Published: November 14th 2011September 11th 2011
Felt like a pile of decaying crap today as we traversed some 290km over bumpy arse terrain toward the town of Arvaikheer for our first shower in 5 days. Couldn't wait for Jean Luca to have his shower, not in a gay way but just so he could purify himself of the stench that he was exposing everyone to in the minivan. He smelled like a bag of forgotten game keepers catch. With his stench and my unruly hangover it was a stern task trying not to throw up over the Italian pair sitting opposite me.
We arrived at the rather outlandish town at what appeared to be a factory, thick black smoke chugging heavily out of some vents high above the building. When we stopped Jackie said 'Shower'. Looking around at most of my travel companions facial expressions it was safe to say that we were all thinking the same thing. 'What the fuck?'
Entering the factory we would join a snake like queue, a queue to shower.Turns out that this was the only place in town to get a hot coal fuelled shower, turns out it was the weekend and it also turns out that there were
a lot of dirty Mongolians in town needing to wash their dirty bits.
In the waiting room was a television, womens Judo was on, a rather fierce looking Mongolian woman was tearing apart a dainty fillipino. The majority in the room quite enthralled. The remainder intent at staring at the 7 stinky whiteys that had just walked in.
I queued for a fair 40 minutes accompanied by a mild level of dread as to what exactly lay beyond the doors that everyone was queuing up for. The in and out rate was considerably random. I guess my biggest fear was that it would be a sausage party like in Japan and all the Asians stand around taking it in turns to look at my white man meat, this was an uncomfortable feeling, completely not my bag. I also wondered if it was mixed and feared getting jerked off against my will by some hefty Mongolian womens Judo champion. There were however a few token kids present within the vicinity which should in theory neutralize any pre-shower theories of dread running through my fragile mind. They wouldn't possibly mix fully grown nude adults in with fully un-grown nude adults
And the answer to that is 'No'. Sorry Gary. One gets ones own private cubicle in which to shower. No weird shit, just the way it should be. Mongolia doing its best to leave all the weird shit to neighboring China. The hot water a shear blessing, whoever thought of the idea of making cold water....hot, can definately be my friend.
Free from the grime of the Gobi the rest of the day was pretty uneventful. We checked into a shower-less hotel, the Canadians suggested we go and look for a bar, the thought of this made my liver tremble and my spleen shit its pants. Bill Oddly enough we happened upon a German themed bar, as empty as the hills. The bar maid was pleased to see us though with all her stinking alcohol. I ordered a local brew and surprisingly enough fighting fire with fire really does work. I found my shakey stomach settling and my liver slowly piecing itself back together again. The beer of course just acting as a source of morphine to hide the true internal damage but I for one certainly felt a lot better for it.
we went back to the hotel for what I could only describe as holocaust soup, it certainly wasn't the most productive of meals that I had come across on my travels. Essentially just some hot water, rice and a few herbs, I felt like a POW for the night.