Longing for a Shower in Mongolia...

  Our Shoes Lovingly Hanging to Dry in a Ger After a Day Playing in the Snow with Yaks

Our Shoes Lovingly Hanging to Dry in a Ger After a Day Playing in the Snow with Yaks

I am Longing for a shower in Mongolia...

One of the beautiful things about Mongolia is every living creature's natural way of being in harmony with the earth and its ever changing seasons.

As we move across this landscape, ger camp to ger camp, I recognize how spoiled and pampered I truly am.

Since we are here in the off season, we are using the ger camps which are still open, taking in what they can of the few hardy local tourists who come to these far flung spaces of Mongolia. The season of exploring their country is ending soon. The golden colored landscape is tinged in frost in the mornings. A small edging of ice lines the puddles our trusty SUV dodges around. We are on a true dirt road.

It is day thirteen, and we have not seen a western tourist since we left the Gobi. The weather is turning cooler and our dedication to finding places which are off the regular tourist route drives us forward through spaces where the typical western tourist's itinerary does not take them.

These ger camps are primitive. This means outdoor toilets and no showers. I had gone three days without a shower. Surprisingly this does not bother me as much as I think it might.

Our family hosts who own these ger camps are giving us the best of what they have. They use their precious resources of wood to keep us warm. The wood is not a high quality wood, and it burns quickly. Our host family silently opens our door in the middle of the night and again early in the morning to relight our fire as we sleep.

I am getting excited about our destination, a hot spring bubbling up from the earth. 86 degree Celsius. Malcolm tells me this is a nice and gentle temperature to coddle an egg with. Too hot for skin.

And yet, I dream of a real shower using copious amounts of water, blasting away the oils and dust that have accumulated on my skin. In my imagination, the luxury of hot water and sudsy bubbles stripping away all grime. I easily think to myself, this shower must be magnificent! Hot water is already freely there! They must use it, and it must be unending!

It was not to be. Our ger camp's tepid water runs at a trickle. The beautiful woman who manages the camp is in the background, silently anticipating my needs by turning on the light to the shower for me. Making sure things are clean and organized. A freshly air dried towel is given to me. Packets of shampoo and a bar of soap procured.

And, even as I am gently complaining, my body trembling in the cold drizzle, I am oddly grateful for the water, such a precious resource here in Mongolia. And I am grateful for her attentiveness.

And I wonder at my imagination creating an idea of what might be, making the idea of a hot spring fed shower grander and far greater than it actually was.

And this is what let me down, my expectations of what could have been, and not the shower itself.

I am clean, and this is good.

I freely admit, my spoiled and pampered self is still waiting for that wonderful shower.

And, I would never trade in this amazing experience of being in Mongolia, not for all the hot, luxurious showers in the world. 

Love to you, and may you have a wonderful day filled with  unexpected delight... 

Loretta