Thursday, December 6, 2012

Meet Bilgee

On a recent, impromptu trip to visit Kharkhorin (Mongolia's ancient capital,) I made me a new friend. The 6 hour bus ride seemed ordinary enough, until everyone settled into the monotony and I became aware of the small, six-year old boy sitting on his mother's lap across the row from me. I could feel him staring at me, so I looked over at him and gave him a sly little wink. His face changed instantly. He was entranced by my slick facial gesture coupled with my alienness. I was then assaulted with his back-to-back attempts to return the wink, which turns out he is only able to do with his right eye; his left eye wink effort is essentially just a violent blink. Kid's are hilarious...

Our relationship then evolved in the same way any good relationship does. We discussed our favorite colors. We practiced our winks. We shared nuts, and candy, and gum. We took pictures. We made silly faces. We traced things into the ice encrusted windows. We listened to music. Kid's are fun...

I often find myself most comfortable initiating conversation with children here. They are still in the zone of being exposed to new things, new ideas, and the intricacies of language and communication. They answer your questions and make an effort to understand you. Kid's are patient... 

After the bus pulled off the road to stop for food, I walked into the guanz (small restaurant) to find my little friend had saved me a seat. We ordered our food and since mine was meatless, it came first. By the time everyone else got their food, I was pretty much done. Bilgee commented on this and told me that I eat fast. After a swift smack and glaring eyes from his mother (who thought this was rude,) he clammed right up. But I told him he was right. I was hungry. I did eat fast. Kid's are honest...

After we ate, I took a quick trip to the outhouse. As I was walking back to the bus, I saw my little friend running after me screaming 'Brittany yawlaa' (we're leaving;) he was afraid the bus would leave and I'd be left behind. Kid's are caring...

As we arrived at our destination and got off the bus, he took me by the hand and dragged me over to meet his father who was awaiting his arrival; clearly proud of the new foreign friend he'd made. We said our goodbyes and went our separate ways, but not before he gave me his last cookie for the walk I had ahead of me. Kid's are kind...

A few days ago, I received a call from Bilgee. He'd stealthily used his mother's cellphone to contact me and hearing his sweet little voice on the other end of the line was enough to make my day. Kid's remember...



Bilgee now appreciates hip-hop

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