Beyond Baatar (Part 5): Mutton Mayhem

Roberta decided it was time to leave the ger camp. She didnt say so exactly but something about the way she wouldn’t leave the hard, rickety, double deluxe bed, told me this.

“But it is breakfast!”

A little tear rolled down her cheek at the thought of another Mongolian breakfast. “That is okay. I’m tired of sheep fat and deep fried globs of grease being served by that petulant girl.”

“But the menu changes every day, it says so in the activity book.”

Roberta noted that the menu did change, Monday was mutton pieces, Tuesday was mutton still attached to bone (oddly enough mostly vertebrae), Wednesday was whatever was left scraped from the bones from the night before, and Thursday was mutton bone gristle in soup.

We would never learn what was served on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Instead, I went to breakfast alone and trundled up to the counter.

The sallow faced youth eventually looked up from her and sighed, “What would you like for breakfast?)

“I would like a taxi.” I told her.


“To Ulaanbaatar.”

“Not possible!”

I glared at her until it became possible and she called one of the camp drivers.

I returned to the ger and related To Roberta, still hiding under the brown scratchy blanket, the news.

Before I could move she suddenly was flying through the air, blankets streaming like superwoman’s cape, and latched on to me.

“I love you, I love you, I love you.” She showered me in kisses as if I had bought her a kitten.

She only left to pack her clothes and wait eagerly for the ride to civilization.