Sooooo I’ve just finished the Mongol Rally. I think I can say that, as I definitely partook, spending 7 weeks on the road in a laughably inappropriate vehicle (I love you, Prudence le Fuckwitted Citroen! And I kinda miss you!), and as I’m definitely alive, and definitively no longer partaking. Now what exactly I “finished” may remain unknown, and the previous sentence should more likely start, “Sooooo I’ve just finished the ‘Stan Rally”, but whatevs. And it’s actually taken me 4.5 weeks to just get my head wrapped around writing anything down (yeah, yeah, I’m slow as fuck, I’M SORRY ALREADY). To start, I can defo say it was an adventure, I can likely say it was the worst / best / craziest thing I’ve ever done, and I can probs with all likelihood say I’d never do it again… And to finish, following is a random sampling of what I can kinda remember of what just went down.
The short summary: it was fantastic! Totally, so, so, so, fantastic. Amazing. The things! The people! The horse milk tea! Blah blah blah. The truth, though, would be more like:
Every Single Human I Have Spoken to in the Past 4.5 Weeks: “Oh. My. God. HOW WAS YOUR TRIP I’M SO JEALOUS WAS IT AMAAAAAAAAAZING????”
Me: “Actually, it kinda fucking sucked ass.”
ESHIHSP2W: “……..” with alllll the sad faces.*
Me: “Uhh, erm, I mean, it was an adventure! An amazing adventure. Just kinda, you know, a fucking rough one.”
And so, for all a y’all who I’ve recently startled / confuddled / failed to explain myself to in full I herewith present:
Nina’s Omg the Top 10 Things you TOTALLY Must Do on the Mongol Rally to have the BEST TIME EVAAAAAH!
10) DO visit the door to Hell. Ok this one actually isn’t tongue in cheek, you really should, it was like, the most amazing thing I’ve seen in, maybe like ever. Like, pretend you were a Russian oil company, and you accidentally, erm, kinda like, lit a lil’ bitty natural gas fire in one of your wells in our of your subjugated U.S.S.R. possessions, what would you do? Yeah that’s right, you’d ditch the fucker and let it burn for the next FORTY FIVE YEARS. On the plus side, the Turkmen are waaaaaaay too fuckin’ disorganized to ever put it out but also too much so to like, I dunno, put up a bloody fence or whatnot. And it’s pretty goddam amazeballs looking, win for the tourist!
‘Cause Mongol Fucking Rally, Bitches!!
9) DO get hoodwinked into drinking “Tajik coffee” by random nomads.
Normally I’m actually in favor of eating / drinking weird shit with nomads, what with the free tea, the generally interesting company, and the ‘ooo I just got hosted in a random yurt by some randoms’ factor. This one time in Tajikistan though… So Pru had shat herself and died (as that’s what Prus do), somewhere between Khorog and the first pass of the Pamir Mountains (seriously, that’s all the details I had, even at the time). And, as usual, we got out to engage in some blowin’ in the fuel tank, some suckin’ on the fuel pump, and some generalized whingein’ by yours truly. Followed by the appearance of some random little men, ’cause that’s also what generally happens. And then some more suckin’ and blowin’ and bitchin’, and when Pru was half-assed happy again we were invited by random chick 1 and her cousin dude to tea, as he wanted to practice his English and her mum wouldn’t hear of us not being fed. And damn it’s cold on that mountain, so that’s cool, I supposed I could chai.
Blah Blah Blah, chai and babies and bread, and then literally every herder in the room turns to stare at me, and English Practicing Dude goes:
EPD: “Sooooo, you like milk tea?”
Me: “Erm, sure yeah, I like milk tea.”
EPD: “You want milk tea??”
Me: Urgh must get on road, as Pru will undoubtedly shit self and die twelve more times today minimum, “Umm, sure, I’ll have some milk tea.” Stupid fucking inability to say no to fucking herders, as refuse to be fuckwit rude-ass tourist more than utterly necessary…
And they returned with the milk tea, in a cute lil’ bowl, and Grandmama herder goes,
GMH: “Ah yes, this like Tajik coffee!”
Me: “Omfg coffee?? Wooooo!” ‘Cause clearly we crossed the coffee-tea line a week ago and OMFG COFFEE, woooooo!
Oh, and then I drank deep, so deep, of the coffee-milk-tea-herder bowl.
And lo, it was not coffee, but some sort of salty, half-off, half-fermented, warm AF milky substance I was later assured came out of a horse. And ohhhhhh, did the random Tajik herders laugh loud over that one.
‘Cause Mongol Fucking Rally.
8) DO sleep in a cemetery in Germany. In a growing list of things that were Not My Damn Fault, our second night of the rally was a bit long, as we were trying to high-tail it to a fab sounding party in Budapest, and Pru only goes like, 80 km / hr on a damn fine day. As night fell, it occurred to us that Pru also doesn’t actually so much have the head lights, more like small torches poking out her cute lil’ snout, and maybe we REALLY shouldn’t drive a light-less tin can down a major throughway IN GERMANY at night. After discovering that the only hotel within like 100 km was full, we scouted the googlemaps and decided we’d just crash somewhere that looked green. Which, yes, turned out to be a cemetery. Like, fine as far as it goes, I mean at least the neighbors would be quiet, except…. Germany. Germans. Not exactly what we’d call the most rule-bending or kindly-understanding-of-unavoidable-rudeness nation. I mean this is the country where I was once nearly bitch-slapped by a cute 70 year old couple for j-walking. IN GERMAN. So we rolled out our swags and set an alarm, ’cause we reaaaaaaaally figured we should be outta there before the sun came up at 5 motherfucking 30 in the morn. But at least we were better than the drunken rowdy teenagers getting trashed in a car a field over? Right??
5 Motherfucking 30 in the Beauteous Morn: the sun rises. I do not.
5 Motherfucking 45 in the Beauteous Morn: every motherfucking German in that tiny-ass town descends on our cemetery. With dogs. On leashes, duh. And bicycles. And bike shorts. Oh, and ALL the judgement. I mean who does this? Who walks fucking Fido THROUGH A CEMETERY at 5:45 in the goddam morning? Germans, that’s who. So bacially we just threw our shit in Pru and ran, lazer-eyed judgement following all the way.
‘Cause Mongol Fucking Rally.
7) DO learn the charades to tell a man in Cyrillic that “my fuel pump is broken, AGAIN, because Prudence le Citroen is a flaming cunt, and I would like a new one please, and / or for you to fix it by: blowing in the fuel tank, sucking on the fuel line, banging things, cleaning out the pump, or perhaps attempting to push-start her for no clear reason.”
Trust me, this will come in handy. I am now the Master of Charades and could probably hand gesture a blind man on Mars into making me a coffee and gifting me a cleaned out fuel pump. I can also do things such as:
- Cause small urchins to acquire me flat-bed tow trucks (Achievement Level: 3);
- Order prescription drugs, without a prescription, in Russian and Turk-esque languages (Achievement Level: 4);
- Find a swimming pool / hole in remote locations using only hand signs (Achievement Level: 9?);
- Acquire cold beverages in countries that have never actually heard of ice and were never informed that fridges need to be plugged in to function. All such beverages will be beer however, as clearly only beer needs to be cold (Achievement Level: oh who the fuck could count that…).
Ah, what can the Master of Charades not do 🙂 Actually, I’ll tell you what she can’t do. Order fucking water without fucking bubbles. Every mother-cunting country we visited, yes EVERY SINGLE ONE, is obsessed with this bubbly shit, and despite my current near-proficiency with the reading of the Cyrillic, can I make out the words for “carbonated water” to save my life? Even though they literally say “carbonated water” in Cyrillic?? Of course not. I’ve a giant fizzy-water-blind-spot, apparently, and I really really REALLY fucking hate that whoreish fizzy water.
‘Cause Mongol Fucking Rally.
6) Do give up the following: eating, sleeping, bathing, trying to understand anything that happens to you or anything anyone says and, finally, the giving of any fucks. I do realize everyone gave up all their fucks a couple years ago, but every time I think I’ve got none left to give, I give up another. I mean, at this point I no longer even gave a flying shit when I realized I’d just begged an utter stranger, a Tajik border guard (in the Language of Charades, claro), on my knees (yes, actually literally) to open the motherfucking gate into his country or I would literally die, most likely on him (spoiler! He eventually complied).
You know those people you meet traveling, who’ve just clearly been on the road too long, and can no longer be bothered with the niceties of social discourse, the “oh, what’s your name, my name’s blah blah, how’d your day go, nice sir?” and just skip to the “yeah, I need your peanut butter or I may die. Now share, cunt”? Those people? Well the Mongol Rally is the quickest way I’ve ever seen to turn a perfectly lovely Nina-like human into one.
And trust me, I gave up all this, I lived, and so will you. Also you may lose 3 kilos, bonus points!
‘Cause Mongol Fucking Rally.
Aaaaaand, this post is now officially TL:DR, so we’ll just save the most important shit to get into on the Mongol Rally for next time 🙂
*excepting Dude I Work With Who’s Actually Been to Tajikistan. He soooo totally got it.