Sliding train doors

In the recent ‘I heart my friends‘ post, I posted a photo of me and Richard, some bloke I met on a train.

The story doesn’t end there.

When we were on the train, Richard told me he worked for the same mine that I do (I’m just normally based in the city) on a pretty specific part of the project that some of our friends work on. And that’s how I figured out he would know Craig. When we left the train, I of course told him that if he was ever passing through UB and wanted a drink at the Big Irish, then let me know! But I guess I didn’t think much more of it.

Anyway, two weeks ago I was down on site, and I went over to see Stripey Mike.

Stripey Mike works in the same area as Craig… which means… the same area as Richard! Completely unexpectedly (I didn’t know just how closely they all worked), I ran into Richard. And he greeted me with a huge hug (which sure did confuse the people around us!). Now, he had only met me once, on a train, and he greets me with a hug… I love this guy!

So I was a bit bummed to hear that he is retiring, and he’ll be leaving much sooner, rather than later. I mean good for Richard, but seriously, our friendship has just begun! From what I can gather, there’s a few other people in the Richard Fan Club that are also upset that he’ll be leaving.

As it happens, I was down on site while Richard was having his retirement / birthday party… and I received an invite! (ok, ok, so I found out about it, and I begged to have my name put on the door list. You’d do it too…)

What a guy! All the best Richard, and I hope life makes our paths cross again.

The ‘Richard Story’ is such an obvious ‘Sliding Doors’ moment. Life is pretty cool sometimes.

A horse, of course!

So what do you buy your boss (who is not Mongolian, and has only recently arrived in the country) for his birthday?

A horse, of course!

No really, that’s what we got him.

My colleagues waiting for the boss to come and find his surprise!

Julie Veloo, the lady I want to be when I grow up AND the lady behind organising the horse

Me and Em looking very confused... really, we're buying our boss a horse for his birthday? like a real horse? like one he gets to keep? huh, that's pretty cool!

The horse, and his new owner.

Mongolian Vegemite

One of my very considerate and hospitable work colleagues generously gave this to me on Friday afternoon.

Not sure what it is? See if you can guess.

I was with Jess (aka the newest and arguably biggest Shantasia fan – love your work Jess!).

After some egging on from our Mongolian co-workers, we thought “why the hell not?”, cracked it open and… well… the results were not pretty:

It didn't take us long to figure out this was not going to be a fun experience...

Here goes nothing...

Down the hatch....

Please don't throw up there Jess...

Please don't throw up there Jess... you're right near my laptop... I don't know how I would explain that to IT

And she's off... "to get water"

Meanwhile, while I was wetting my pants with laughter and just to prove that we hadn't been set up by our Mongolian colleagues, I asked Tuul to take a swig. She drank it like a champion... she is clearly CRAZY!

You would think that after Jess’ reaction, that I wouldn’t be stupid enough to drink it. But I’m not the brightest, so I gave it a try. Maybe not my finest look, but it kinda sums it up…

So what was it?

No, it wasn’t Airag (fermented mare’s milk) as I suspect many of you have guessed. I actually am yet to try this local delight (Batbold and Uyanga this is NOT an invitation for you to give me some next time I see you guys!).

It was camel’s milk. And to be fair, it kind of tasted like cow’s milk… that had been in the fridge for about four weeks… and then left in the sun for two days.

When you think about it, it’s kinda like Vegemite… if you don’t grow up with it then you think the locals are nuts for loving it.

Radio star

It’s been a few years since I’ve been in a radio studio… It sure was fun putting on the ‘cans’ again when I did a voice over for a project at work last week. We went to a local UB radio station – apparently a well known one, and quite popular. You can call me the “voice of OT”… a small fee for autograph requests will apply…

Nomadic herders

How often can you say a group of nomadic Mongolian herders who had never been to the city were in your office? Yeah, that’s what I thought…

PS. I tell myself they were smiling on the inside… actually, no, I’m pretty sure they thought me and Emma (the only other non-nomadic herder in the picture) were idiots.

A big occasion

Today something very BIG happened. The Creative Services Director at my new job called me in to tell me that…. drum rolll… MY VERY FIRST MONGOLIAN PRINT JOB HAD BEEN DELIVERED!

Eat your heart out Pizza Hut… Microsoft… Lipton… KY Personal Lubricant (they’re some of the clients I have worked on if you didn’t join the dots already!)