Camped in a valley of rolling green hills that look manicured like a golf course, patched with pine forest. The only sounds are the wind as it sighs through the trees, the grunt of grazing horses, and the baa-ing of a flock of sheep. The slow scratch of my pen on paper drowns them all out.
The white gers of herdsmen dot the hillside across the valley. Next to one, a pale blue Russian truck sits rusting beneath a coating of dust. The dirt tracks that serve as Mongolian roads raise broad clouds that coat everything. To inhale it is to breathe in the country itself. Mongolia experienced olfactorally is a deep breath of mutton and road dust. The Mongolian Dust Cough is the national affliction.
Sheep’s legs trail quadrilateral shadows that lengthen with every passing phrase.
The sun is setting now, and I’m no longer in your world.
The thud of hooves on the rolling green hills, and the dustcloud made by a single rider…