‘Hold it's tail,' I yelled as we waded through a steam, getting splashed by the swishing of the ox's tail.
Then as the tail was secured and we made it through the stream, a chorus of what I could only interpret as ‘oh no,' came from behind me as the ox decided to go the powder room, it's tail still swishing. I moved out of the way of any flying debris.
I had arrived at my first home on a eco tour of life as a nomad and was to be travelling from ger to ger (a Mongolian round tent), experiencing the local way of life. I had been greeted with a cup of straight vodka passed to me by my host. He indicated that I should drink it in one go – I indicated that I would fall flat on the floor if I did. He smiled. I smiled and sipped it like a lady.
Then it was off to fetch some water, only the motorbike had broken down so we all hopped on the ox cart and set off, kids in tow with two big canisters to fill.
Then once our work was done, it was back on the ox cart until we hit a rock and the water came free. With the ox not stopping for anyone, I jumped off and secured the canisters (Jack Bauer style), then swung back onto the cart like a pro.
‘You're now a Mongolian woman,' said the eldest girl.
This was a far cry from city life; no worries, no stress, just pure countryside and simple living and oh, plenty of vodka –