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Published: October 7th 2011
It was not going to be easy to bike through Gobi, I decided. There is a way, which is paved a third of the way, and that one did not cut through the central Gobi, where all the sand dunes are found. I was on my way to pick up my bike and get going straight south when I got a message.
"Dear Martin. If you can come to my goodbye party tonight I would be really happy. It will start at 1930 at the Pegasus Studio. Hugs, Elisabeth"
Elisabeth from Denmark is my new good friend, whom I met in UB. We worked together for years in the same Copenhagen neighborhood and have several mutual Facebook friends, but never met each other before. This night Elisabeth was the bringer of a message from Faith.
I accepted doubtlessly the offer to postpone my trip for the following day. I had met Elisabeth only the day before and without any romantic scruffle we hit it off and had straightforward banter like old friends. Only an hour into our newfound friendship I had to depart for a project evaluation and she gave me a familiar Danish hug, the first hug I had recieved since leaving St. Petersburg. So I went to her party to get another.
Throat singing is a traditional Mongolian way of expression. To hear it, to see it, is so out of this world as this trip has brought me, at least when it comes to local culture. The impossible sways of traditional Mongolian dance are also breathtaking. The two-stringed cello-looking instrument which was strewn with horse hair and climpted to get the sweet sounds of the windswept steppes to fill the room occupied by a group of 20 Westerners and a young Mongolian business lion, who studied in Scotland and bought two bottles of Chingis Khan vodka for the crowds.
Half was intruders from the recently finished Mongol Rally and as I explained my oh so extreme plans of biking through the Gobi, someone mentioned, "well you should meet Ed then, he is doing that."
Ed and his friend Guy were biking the 'easy' way through Gobi and Ed, perhaps only for having drunk a few beers and vodka shots, invited me to come. I thought twice about it and then accepted. I really wanted to travel with someone.
The Pegasus Studio eventually closed and as an encore the throat singer and the cellist started fighting with the business lion over the bill or one of the servant girls. After parting the brawlers I went to sleep on the floor in a downtown apartment with Elisabeth. I vaguely remember being awoken by a big hug as she went off to the airport.
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