The Squeaky Robot

A Meddling Robot in a Human's World

Posts from the “Mongolia” Category

Now What?

Posted on May 23, 2013


I have a diploma in my possession as well as a world of opportunity, I like to believe.

But now what? You’re done unpacking and you wonder, “now what?” That standing still, tilted head, hands on hips now what. A small moment with big questions and even larger answers.

In the spirit of transparency, I’m not quite sure. But uncertainty is the nature of every worthwhile endeavor. There’s a lot of cover letter writing in my midst, broken up with random Internet searches of opportunities abroad, primarily in Southeast Asia. These activities are supplemented with bucket list projects and hugging my dog. Overall a good situation to be in.

If you’re wondering what ever happened to the truck broken down in the middle of the Gobi Desert, not to worry. Mongolians make things happen.

The Hobby

Posted on June 3, 2012

I don’t know why I take photos. Blake Bergen, photographer, photojournalist, and scattered blogger (he has, like, 8 blogs), declares photography his passion because it “highlights the little details of life that often go unnoticed”. Or something along that line. It’s been a while since we discussed it, walking lackadaisically along some rural Chinese path in Little Likeng. Pretty much everything in that village was photogenic, especially its tiny peculiarities. If they weren’t, Blake found a way to make them so. The kid has an eye. So he’s named a reason behind his passion. It’s a simple one but it’s fair. Simple beauties are overlooked and photography gives anyone a chance to be a true Romantic, a modern William Wordsworth. But replace the quill…

On Travel, Coming Home, & Moving On

Posted on May 7, 2012

Dear Blake & Misha: We returned from our epic summer journey through Russia, Mongolia, China, and Nepal with a pit-stop in South Korea late last August. I can sincerely say it was one of the more memorable experiences of my life – it was life-changing, it was path-altering, it was a three-month show of everything good that the World has to offer. I was so happy all the time, even when things were going to hell. As long as we were okay, I was happy. That’s all it took. But you and I both know words can’t really describe it, the enormity of it all, and God knows we’ve tried. I know it’s shocking, but the trip came to an end. Since August, we’ve…

Playing with Lines

Posted on March 1, 2012

Sometimes I dream about this photo, taken in southern Spain. Sometimes I dream I can dive from the highest antennae platform right into the sapphire water, like no distance separates the two, like it is all one horizon, like the world is really a 2D Mario game circa 1993 and no one is bothered by the hassles of 3-dimensionality. Montevideo, Uruguay. Wintertime. The air is thick with exhaust and parilla fumes. I steer clear of this vendor’s display even though I am interested in purchasing oranges, simply because that is always an interest of mine. But I have a tendency to knock things over, and indeed, this has the potential to be the mother of all fuck-ups. Spetses, Greece. There is some local joke…

The Best Things

Posted on February 24, 2012

I wish I could build a library and call it “The Best of Everything that is Wonderful Home for Books”. I’d fill it with manuscripts, endless collections of thoughts about everything in the world that is the best: garden gnomes, when babies try lemon for the first time, snow forts, blanket forts, paintball forts, forts of any kind, talented street performers, the window seat on aeroplanes, aeroplanes, people who’ve good grammar, pizza with extra cheese and a slightly burnt crust, South African accents, and so, so, so much more. This list can go on forever, and in my mind, it does go on forever. I have many notebooks filled front-to-back with all the wondrous details in life that make living so unbelievably cool. The…

In Response to Nostalgia 3

Posted on January 28, 2012

Some of you have inquired about the story behind this post. This is my best attempt at an explanation behind unexplainable images and occurrences. Related posts can be found here, here, and here. Mongolia is a nation of disorienting distance. Hundreds of kilometers can separate one person from the next. The population density of Omnogovi, a region of the Gobi in southern Mongolia, barely touches just 0.2 people per square kilometer. This is why the term ‘family’ has unique, more profound meaning in the Land of Khan. The average nomadic Mongolian family has four children; a woman who has five or more is referred to as ‘Honored Mother’. The larger the group, the more manpower you have to efficiently herd your livestock and reap…

2011: 12 Lessons in 12 Months

Posted on December 28, 2011

I had little expectations for 2011. I always felt that some of my peers were a little too uptight with everything. Furiously scribbling down resolutions that – let’s be real – won’t get checked off the list, worried about job-hunting, boyfriend/girlfriend-catching, school-excelling, and place-going is a lot of pressure to put on oneself, especially when factors out of their control are involved. So I decided to go with it. That was my goal. To not be completely subject to the moody whims of life, but to accept them with an open mind and the thought that perhaps there is purpose behind the seemingly-random events that we like to label as ‘all of a sudden’. I feel like I did what I needed to do…