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Archive for the ‘getting ready’ Category

Having finished my part of post-moving house clean-up (except for helping G with Goodwill vs garbage piles this weekend), I spent today starting the Big Shop: buying all those things you take because you can’t get them there. I was planning on keeping my # of boxes down, and not even using my full $1200 shipping, but Shaun (a pal who also does the overseas thing) convinced me that was dumb. Not thrilled about carting MORE boxes, but I know I’ll be happy to have the stuff once I’m there.

It’s interesting what suddenly becomes “essential”, once you’re faced with not having access to it anymore. So, $400 later, what do I consider “essential”?
Good bedding (I’m REALLY picky about my bedding!) So, two sets of sheets, two pillows and a comforter.

Good coffee: four pounds’ worth. If you can get it overseas, usually only Folgers, and often only instant. It’s amazing that the rest of the world thinks Sanka is coffee, even in Europe. I thought Europeans were supposed to be so sophisticated???

My All-Clad pots/pans. Taking a big weight hit, there. But worth it. I love cooking with that stuff. Also various kitchen gadgets, like my good knives and garlic press.

My Starbucks’ mugs. As an ex-Seattleite (ish) I started this collection a few years ago: mugs from everywhere I’ve been that has a Starbucks: Lebanon, Qatar, Singapore, Oman, Seattle (of course!), Pittsburgh, Bangkok. Need to add in a few cities (London, Amsterdam, Budapest). Don’t imagine they’l have one in Ulaanbaatar! Maybe Shanghai, though! Anyway, my mentor in UB said to bring good mugs, because the one’s there are horrid. So in they went. I like the feel of a good, hefty coffee mug.

Pecans: It’s almost impossible to get pecans anywhere other than the US–though I supposed they can be had in Europe. Never saw them in the ME, though.

Maple syrup. The real stuff, not Mrs. B’s!

Rooibos tea. I don’t know if I can get it there or not, but I started drinking gallons of the stuff last winter. Absolutely love it, so taking 5 or 6 boxes, just in case! (And thanks to the First Ladies Detective Agency for turning me on to the stuff!)

Also, of course, various and sundry of my carpets/knick-knacks from traveling. I learned in Turkey, when I panicked at the number of boxes and left most of that “homey” stuff back in the US–bother the cost! Take it with you, you’ll need comfort items!

Notice books aren’t on this list. I am taking a box or two of them, of course (not to mention the eBooks on my iPad). But they just go so beyond essentials, they’re not even worth listing. It’s like bringing clothes…just a given!

One thing I DO need to do is go through the box of DVD’s I was taking and start winnowing. WAY too many made the first cut. The perils of being a film buff (and film studies teacher). Though with those long winters pending…..

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I hope the visa woes are now over. And, as usual, turns out the whole problem was my own fault (sort of)!  I finally got hold of the embassy again yesterday, and the receptionist told me I hadn’t sent a return envelope with the passport. Why they couldn’t have told me that when I talked to them 10 days ago, I don’t know. I  did look over the site and visa form again,  and nowhere do they say to include a return envelope.  Still, there you go. I had wondered about it, so should have done that.

So, I sent a two day priority mail envelope by next day air.  With luck, I’ll have it by Wednesday or Thursday.

On another note…have you ever heard of Mongolian Death Worms?  Me neither. Though apparently there was even a made-for-TV movie on the subject in May. How could I have missed that !?!?

Anyway, Wikipedia makes them sound more mythic, like Yetis, which is fine with me!  But I know I’ll be thinking about them when I finally get to the Gobi Desert..and just my luck to be the one that proves, through misfortune, they do actually exist!

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Visa time!

It all came one step closer today…I received my work visa number, so now I have to send my passport and visa application off to the Mongolian embassy in D.C.   That always worries me…I leave in five weeks, so I hope it’s back in time.  They say a week, but government agencies and all that…

My bed room is a pile of piles…winter clothes, fall clothes…a few books.  All the big packing starts when we get back from Maine after next week.

The school is sending me to a conference in Shanghai in September.  That’s one thing I always loved about working internationally; between conferences and vacations, you usually get to see at least a couple of new countries a year.  I’m doing MUN, which means the conference in Beijing, and I hope to add one in KL.  I’m applying to present at a conference in Borneo in spring. Rough life!

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Up and Running…

In more ways than one.  This will be my official “Mongolia” blog.  Instead of all those whiny emails I sent from Turkey, I’ll just post whiny blogs here!  And photos.  And videos. And anything else that comes to mind related to my nomadic adventures.

This will be day two of the sorting out process.  Last week I went through all my clothes and tossed three large garbage bags-full.  I also went through about 4 boxes of books and all my teaching supplies and got rid of those.  That was a bit wrenching…but, really.  If they’ve been in boxes for five years, how badly do I need them? I’ll try to finish that process this weekend, because next weekend the goodwill truck is in the neighborhood.  That will be a good way to get rid of all of it!

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