I set off early, retracing my steps to the ‘black’ market.
I’m likely to be here for a few more weeks at least, so I’d like to blend in a bit more, instead of sticking out like a beached bike bum. My riding shoes aren’t comfortable for walking and my travel pants constantly draw attention, as they swish, swish, swish with their annoyingly synthetic sound.
The inevitable ‘detour’ ensues. Before finding the market, I find a slum, the local Ibiza nightclub and a host of other dodgy establishments with English signage. And then, finally, I find the market.
Having learned my lesson last time, I’ve left my bulky wallet in the hostel locker and tucked an ATM card into my shoe. Two hours later, I still haven’t bought a single thing. I’m just not good with choices!
The local shop keepers aren’t helping either. The first guy is too busy playing cards to help me and the second refuses to retrieve the cool Chinggis Khan t-shirt from its perch, high up on the stall wall. Too small, he claims. Not for foreigners, I suspect.
Jumping into an unmarked cab, I enjoy a surprisingly affordable ride to my Mongolian class, but still arrive too late to salvage my private coaching session.
I’ve always had a problem with keeping to time, so I’ve learned to expect this. But I still feel guilty for wasting my teacher’s time and giving other Kiwis a bad reputation.
After more revitalising vegan refreshments, I pick up the walk where I left off.