This post was edited by chinalionfish at 2014-6-16 10:09|
When we arrived at the west trainstation of Ordos, we took a bus ride to the rendezvous, a small café, where our host families greeted us and picked us up. One of the most striking things I have noticed on our way there was the number of colossal and relatively-new buildings that the city had in conjunction with small population. Ordos looked like a really modern metropolis, just without thebustling activity and waves of humans that one would normally expect fromcities such as Beijing, New York, or Sao Paolo.
[backcolor=rgba(255, 255, 255, 0)]One of the most memorable moments of the trip was when we headed out to some rural part of town located on the grasslands. As we got off the bus, we were welcomed by ethnic Mongolians. Everyone had to toss a stone on some sort of shrine while one of our hosts poured milk tea around the shrine with a ladle. Later that day we headed off to a small residence, where atraditional blue-and-white Mongolian hut was installed in front of the small establishment. I believe the following was one of the best parts of the trips: before going in into the hut and getting the celebration started, we had to do perform a traditional Mongolian ritual that consisted on kneeling on a sheep hide rug, receiving a scarf on the neck, and toasting a cup of liquor. I really felt welcomed and thankful to have the opportunity to experience this aspect of Mongolian tradition, however I'm not quite sure how to explain how I felt at that moment but I feel that the most fitting word would be 'transcendental'. After the ceremony our travel group proceeded to enter the hut, where an exquisite Mongolian banquet awaited us. At this point we were all unaware of what was to come, but the outcome was surprisingly joyous. I ended up drinking25 cups or so of Mongolian liquor that night; can't really remember the exactcount but I do remember that I danced quite a bit to the music that was been played by the Mongolian traditional band. The environment was so merry; people were eating, drinking and dancing to their hearts' content. The hospitality shown by the Mongolian is something that I will never forget, they offered enough lamb meat to feed me for days and the alcohol was free flowing throughout the celebration. In the end, I went back to my hotel room and got into bed with the biggest grin ever.