Mongolian is still hard, and I’m a little frustrated by the lack of educational organization. I came from Latin which has been codified for centuries, so I was even annoyed by Russian which has at least been a very significant language recently so has received some linguistic analysis. Mongolian however doesn’t seem to have much organization. The case system if fortunately related to Russian and Latin, but no one has even told us about the systems of conjugation. I miss Latin where you could say, “There are five declensions. Memorize them. Including the i-stems. Then you will be able to decline all the nouns except for the irregulars. Here are the irregulars. Memorize them.” I have no such list, so I don’t even know where or what the information is. I know my teachers don’t want to confuse me, but its very frustrating not knowing the type of information that will be important later, or important linguistic notes. No one has pointed out that the letter B can be pronounced v or w and Mongolians make no distinction. At least I think thats the case because I haven’t gotten a clear answer yet.
For reasons I don’t know, the stove in the cabin I was staying at went out in about an hour at any given time. Is that just a function of size? The cabin’s stove (moose mountain) can last most of a night. It’s annoying have the temperature fluctuate so much. Also, they have this cool system of rings on top of the stove where they can take out the middle circle and any of three rings to accomodate four sized round bottomed pots for cooking.
Horses and other animals
I don’t know anything about horses. People just stick me on them and I can sometimes get them to go places. I would like horseback riding instruction, preferably in english. Apparently the relationship with horses is very different in the Mongolian countryside, where most herd animals, including horses are a little wild. They all can graze themselves and barely need humans. The relationship with animals in interesting in all cases. I have seen dog fighting in abandoned yards, guard dogs with their ears and tips clipped, semi-wild herding dogs that are not to be touched (have never been touched and will growl when you try), and cats on leases.