Sniffles in the Gobi

by Ant Stone on July 15, 2007

in Mongolia

Dime dull d’of dold. Achooooooooo, excuse me. Sniff sniff. In England, there is no such thing as the common cold among the male population, we suffer instead from the affliction of ‘Man Flu’; a much more imposing, prolonged and debilitating scourge that requires a lot of love and attention. Unfortunately for me, my fellow hostelliers don’t seem very forthcoming with hugs, head strokes and generous offerings of tea, so I’m going it alone. Wish me luck, sniff sniff.

You’ll be glad to know I’m not wallowing in self pity, instead I have been quite proactive. I’ve struggled through 30c heat, sold my redundant Beijing train ticket, bought another for the following week and even signed up for a swift 4 day tour taking in the Gobi, a couple of gers (Mongolian fur lined tents) and a bit of horse riding with not one, not two but three of those German bloke things. Sniff sniff. It works out remarkably well, I’d wanted to do this from the moment I arrived but couldn’t rearrange my train ticket so had given up hope. I’m a big believer in fate so I think this is it’s way of telling me “where there’s a will, there’s a way”. Did I tell you I had a cold, maybe that’s fate too? Maybe it will cut my overgrown ‘Jungle of Vices’ back down to normal? Achoooooo. I doubt it somehow.

Even if I haven’t- told you that I have a cold that is- I’m going to dwell on the reasons why I think I have one. You see, roll my life back a few weeks and

I was an ‘8-pieces-of-fruit-or-veg-a-day’ man, who exercised almost daily, didn’t smoke (too often), drank in moderation(ish) and breathed in the fresh country air at every chance.

Now, I’ve pretty much reversed everything, with the exception of drinking. I repent my sins daily with 40 press ups which usually results in me gasping on the hostel floor reaching for support from the hip flask. Sniff sniff.

From this day forth, I vow to monitor my intake of all things alien to my healthy lifestyle of old and disperse the excuse of “I’m on holiday”. Already today, I have crawled along with a bag full of snot and bought dubious looking fruit from a over-dubious looking stall up the street, devouring the juicy goodness within moments. I’m walking at least 10 miles a day soaking up the sights and sounds of my surroundings, which surely compensates for a 5 mile run? My water intake is definitely up, I wander about in the fresh air every day (albeit it combined with smog right now). So I’m not really that bad, am I? I’m going to consider it now, over a beer and maybe, just maybe a smoke. Sniff sniff. I’m on holiday, right? Aaaaachoooooooo!

ps. While I was writing this one of the German things introduced himself, turns out he’s Austrian. Not sure what the difference is, but I’ll do some investigating and let you know.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Stacy July 16, 2007 at 4:43 pm

Well, I’m glad to have found a new travelogue to follow now that Megan’s trip will be wrapping up soon and until I leave for my RTW next April. (Too bad that 5% discount with World Nomads doesn’t apply to North Americans– still cheap nonetheless.)

Great website and writing! I really like the “Rope of Friends” concept and I’m really interested in your rough costs while in SE Asia.

Just thought I’d drop a line…


Doogie July 16, 2007 at 11:45 pm


It is nice to see you are alive and still have at least one of your fingers (or toes) to bash away at a keyboard with.

I am concerned at the picture of your good self you are painting to the rest of humanity. ‘8 pieces of fruit or veg’ does not include the following;

1. Fried Tomatoes/mushrooms and or baked beans.
2. Strawberry flavour milkshake from McDonalds, Burger King, KFC or Megabite.
3. Fruit pies from above stated establishments.
4. Alcoholic beverages produced from apples i.e. Cider.

I would also like to add that ‘exercise’ requires actual exertion of energy, not any activity that results in you being merely out of breath.

I thought I would clear that up.

Missing you perhaps a little, your obviously bored yet genuine friend



Ant July 20, 2007 at 7:27 am

Welcome aboard Stacy, I’m going to look into the exclusion on the World Nomads code for you, and your nation. We can’t have you missing out!

And Doogie, are you saying my daily rations of Fruit Pastilles fail in their fruity ancestral ambition?! And please don’t mention baked beans, I am seriously missing them!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: