Wicked Winterfrost

Double Portrait

Posted in Mongolia by talikas on September 12, 2009


Mongolian Bears

Posted in Mongolia by talikas on September 11, 2009



Mowgli & Friends

Posted in Mongolia by talikas on September 6, 2009


child with a wheel

guys on the door

32 Days & 10000 Km Later – Goodbye Asia

Posted in China, Mongolia, Russia, Trans-Siberian by talikas on July 5, 2009


Tallinn (Brussels)-Beijing 2009



Best moment

Seeing the vast Mongolian steppes and taking the first shower in UB after Gobi

A hot shower after Gobi, galloping in the steppes with Mongolian semi-wild horses

Worst moment

Just before my departure in Brussels, when I thought I would miss my plane, and my 52 mosquito bites after Ikh Bogd mountains

The end of the trip and leaving Beijing

Scariest moment

When we thought that ninjas are attacking our tent

Crossing the streets in UB, being afraid of ninjas in the tent

Weirdest moment

The really intensive Chinese massage

The Chinese massage for sure!

Funniest moment

The Artist and his comedy

Too many. Endless joking with Juliette and Tseigi in UAZ , naked Artist, Russian men obsessed with Juliette

Most ridiculous moment

In the Beijing-Berlin plane a little boy asked from Maria if she is travelling with her mother

Washing my own sheets in the tiny toilet of the UB-Beijing train. Honestly, it was just tea!

Best sound

Baby camel crying and our “Huleele” hymn

Strong wind and rain drumming outside the ger

Best food

Anything NOT SPICY (after Beijing)

Fresh fruits in Beijing, hot pot in UB and everything spicy J

Best drink

Hot water in Gobi

Gobi water, salty Mongolian milk tea

First thing to do when back at home

Eat a baguette with really old and stinky camembert

Hugs’n’kissing; try to stop thinking in French

Best night

In the tent during our first great sandstorm in Gobi

The “Lost in Translation” techno party in UB, and eating duck brains with Hannes, Juliette, Thomas

Most aching part of the body

Abdono after our crazy laughing

My knees, and my eyes after the last Gobi sandstorm

Best kiss

A Mongolian feminist girl in the toilets of a UB nightclub


Something you missed the most during your trip

French food, “Dr House”, my Russian tea

My boyfriend and Läike house-chill (feat. DJ Artur&Karl)

Most bizarre tradition

Shaking a person’s hand after accidentally touching his/her foot

Smelling small children’s genitals and doing some weird movements with hands in the air

Sexiest man & woman

“Hannes” for sure, Maria

Huntushe and Juliette

What did you discover about Juliette/Maria

I discovered everything about Maria, and I will miss her a lot. And that she has friends everywhere…

Hehehe, many things, e.g. I found out that Juliette is a true scout and a queen of camping, and that she adores Bordeaux white (not)

What did you discover about yourself?

I can not sleep without Maria anymore besides me

I can stand on my head (thanks, Artist) and I really don’t like people who talk too much

What are you going to change in your life after the trip?

No mutton!

I promise to appreciate vegetables


And finally, greetings to all the people we met during our trip. Starting from the beginning (and sorry for not remembering all the names): Irina, Natasha, weird Israel guy, Anja and her mom, Babushka, Anton and her mom, Paulina, her brother and father, Stjopa, Maksim, Oksana, James, the funny British tourist ladies, Misha, Katja, Ira, Danish vodka family, Aleksei, Sandõk, Tseigi and her mom, Birgit, Roy, Kiwa, Rick, Tseren, numerous very hospitable Mongolian families during our UAZ trip, the cute Mongolian girl on a horse wearing a tennis outfit, all the ninjas, Huntushe (Von Swan), his mom, sister, brother, nephew, Gunbilegt (G aka Deep-Wise), his grandfather, grandmother, and other relatives, Gansukh (Simba), Biggie, the flower-shirt-guy,  the-feminist-in-the-toilet-girl, the oh-damn-my-sandals-guy, the UB Krishna community, Tumro (Ironman) and his family, Beatrice, Malin, Gustav, French mec on the train, Hannes, Sigrid&kids, the merry UB officials, all the provadnitsas, Tomo and his brother, Thomas, the helpful Beijing map guy, Simon. Did I forget someone, Juliette?

Gobi Forever aka Khamariin Khiid Monastery aka I´m Not Such A Fan of Sandstorms Anymore

Posted in Mongolia by talikas on July 1, 2009

huntushe energy

sandstorm in my eyes

Is That Mutton? No, Thanks.

Posted in Mongolia by talikas on June 24, 2009


Since our arrival in UB, various things have happened. We have been meeting so many people and their families, alternatively to Mongolian country pop we are now listening to techno-minimal-house (Mari&Juliette are officially in the UB techno gang now, how weird is that), visiting homes and country houses (Mongolian hospitality!), eating too much meat (horse meat, lamb tail, mutton mutton mutton), partying, sightseeing, shopping, cooking Mongolian/French/Estonian, getting to know the Mongolian mentality and way of thinking (“We’ll see…”), chilling, visited the Mongolian Krishna-temple-ger, etc. I even met another (crazy Uhhuuduur) Estonian (!) and had drinks with European Commission officials (sic!). So we’ve been quite busy and finally there’s internet :)

Yesterday we were celebrating St John’s day (Jaanip2ev) with locals. For Mongolians it was weird to go out of the city and make a real fire (not much wood lying around here) and I found it hillarious being suddenly in a huge 4×4 jeep with 4 serious Chingis Khan-looking men, driving around in complete darkness (again with techno music) and trying to find a good spot for our little bonfire. My modest explanations about the shortest night, glowing worms and mysterious flowers were ignored and instead, young Mongolians started to wrestle (kind of their national sport). They did, however, fancy jumping over the fire and were excited about almost burning their clothes…

What’s Your Name? Sorry? What? What?! Jhkghgh what?? – Ok, Call Me John

Posted in Mongolia by talikas on June 24, 2009



And then it happened. Our perfect trip in the middle of nowhere had ended and we suddenly found ourselves back in Ulanbaatar. Our eyes were still used to the emptiness, greenery, mountains, horses… But kaboom! All of a sudden we are surrounded by heavy traffic,  noise, polluted air, buildings (!!!), too many people and too much information. The only familiar thing was the condition of the roads :)

So when Juliette and I met a friend-of-a-friend, a young handsome Mongolian Huntushe (thanks Kaspar!), we were still a bit shocked about the huge contrast between the countryside and the city. Huntushe took our bags and showed us the way to a great apartment in the centre of the city. Already seeing a shower (with hot water!) and a real bed made us jump with joy. But it was difficult to enter this new reality… A moment later we were in a car with young trendy Mongolians, driving around the dark capital, flashing lights around us, and listening to Norwegian techo, and it just felt too absurd. I was happy Juliette was in the same dream as me.

The until 5 AM “Lost in Translation” private techno party in a random hotel bar with super cool and well-dressed Mongolian elite didn’t help (my dirty pants were still smelling like camel sweat)…

This Is How I Will Remember Mongolia

Posted in Mongolia by talikas on June 21, 2009


lapsed_vett toomas

12 Days and 2000 Km and Too Many Cookies Later

Posted in Mongolia by talikas on June 20, 2009


During the last couple of days of our trip, people started revealing their real nature. I guess everyone was tired already and kind of blown away by all of it, so I wasn’t very surprised when the Artist just took off his clothes and showed us all he got (Mongolian sense of privacy?), girls went a bit crazy with the yak yogurt treatment, our driver started a strike to finally get some mutton and the evenings usually ended with painful laughing cramps caused by the comic synergy between the Artist, Juliette and all of us.



Water = Life, Beijing = Gobi

Posted in Mongolia by talikas on June 19, 2009



The population density of Mongolia is the lowest in the whole world: 1.4 people per sq km (try to imagine that for a second!). However, the vast Gobi desert in the south is so poorly inhabited that gives the word “empty” a new meaning. There, if one gets stuck on the road without not enough water or petrol, help is seldom to come, because the void landscape of Gobi is home to merely about 0.2 persons per sq km. Only experienced drivers or locals (and somehow all the goats) know where to find the few streams or springs for fresh water.

In Gobi, there is always wind. Strong and whining, carrying loads of dust and sand in random directions. Sandstorms and sand-tornados are so common and powerful that they can even reach Beijing, which is 150 km away. So in springtime, the residents on Beijing can rush around with plastic bags over their heads, because Gobi winds are blowing the sands towards the capital at a rate of 2 km per year. This a major environmental issue, and China’s government is investing huge sums to create a “Green Wall”, a 5700 km long belt of trees and plants to protect the city from being eventually swallowed up by the Gobi desert.

And so, the highlight of my Gobi trip was not the hundreds of camels (nor the slightly perverse experience of riding them), not hiking along the freezing ice-gorges in Yolyn Am, not climbing the famous dinosaur-fossil-rich Flaming cliffs in Bayanzag (where in 2006 67 dinosaur skeletons were discovered in one week!) and not even rolling down the gorgeous Khongoryn Els sand dunes, but a simple afternoon when we found a small stream close to a even smaller village, and started playing with local children. This all ended in a major water-battle (vees6da) which our team graciously… lost :)


Shower in Gobi: