An exchange I never expected, which has happened twice in the last month:
“Renee, you are very red.”
“Uh, yeah. I was walking outside and I got sunburnt.”
“I turn brown in the summer.”
(sheepish) “Well, yeah, I tan too sometimes. If I use sunscreen.”
PSA: The Mongolian summer sun is very, very bright.
The website is back up! I had some hosting issues; sorry about the downtime. This post dates to June 8th.
My school’s English department had its final meeting at the beginning of May.
“We have finished with the new material and now we are just reviewing,” said my department head, eyeing my schedule as I waved it around for my CPs to fill in. “So if we need help with something we can tell you.”
I was sick with a head cold the next week and didn’t show up to any classes. No one appeared to notice. The week after that, every single one of my classes was canceled. “There is a meeting. “The students have an exam.” “I have to grade exams…”
The upshot is, although school formally finished last Friday, I haven’t had work for most of a month.
We had a really excellent spate of warm, mild weather that lasted about two weeks. There are flowers growing down by the river, and small groves of trees planted on private properties or along the paved road add green to the landscape for the first time since September.
But spring melted quickly into summer. The sun bakes you when the sky is always cloudless and most of the ground bare dirt. It’s cool inside my cement-block apartment, and I’ve taken to staying inside in the afternoons; there isn’t a comfortable, shady spot to lounge in my neighborhood of high-rise apartments and garage storage. When I get bored enough I will probably go on the hunt for some sort of nearby park.
I haven’t got a whole lot of plans for the summer. Some family is coming to visit, and I want to travel to some neighboring aimags. But because Mongolia is hosting the ASEM Summit in July, the capital will shut down for two and a half weeks — no one in, no one out. I’m hoping to visit an aimag-mate during this period or convince one of my CPs to take me to the countryside. Either way, I’ve got at least one quiet stretch ahead.