The morning after there was only silence and an uncomfortable feeling. The tension in the space was enormous and I fled to the supermarket to take some air.
I sat on a bench not far from the house, enjoying the genius idea of a buggy-slay.
Just when I could reset my mind and relativise the situation, I saw my hosts passing me in a van. Not much later they called me to take a bus and a metro to get to them. I was pretty fed up with this eternal miscommunication problem and questioned my presence.
I actually had no idea what I was doing and was convinced that the farm would not be worth the trouble, so I considered the idea of turning back to Ulan Ude.
The whole bus was staring at me like I was an alien.
It was only when I finally managed to get to the station – of which I will never be able to pronounce the name of - and witnessed a romantic act of a young boy on the metro, that I instantly forgot my little stress. The boy gave a paper to a girl getting off at my stop, I creepily followed her and saw her blushing and smiling secretly. My day was made.
It even got better: my hosts needed to do some stuff in the centre, so they ditched me in a place where three monks were making a Mandala.
It was like a playground of zenness and I was having a blast. I patiently sat down on the carpet and looked at the ritual for hours.
I was starving, and as if the people in the room could smell it, the organizers invited me to join them for lunch behind the scenes. They were eager to tell me everything about Buddhism, and willing to believe I was travelling to follow the path of this religion. In all my silence and selective ignorance I tried to hide the fact that I actually didn’t know a lot about it.
I was just hungry.
After paying a Tibetan doctor so she could tell me things I already knew, it was time to go home.
In the atelier on the ground floor of where I stayed, there was a guy playing the guitar and singing with a soul as if it was his last song. While doing his service in the army, he got sent to Mongolia to build houses for two years. The story goes that all he got with his saving money was the guitar he was playing on right now.
“Do you want to walk bare feet in the snow?” the lady of the house asked me.
“What a magical question.” I thought.
Russians have a whole different culture. The countless times I felt unwelcome, unwanted, disturbing, … were just reflections in my mind.
Russians are like soft-boiled eggs. First you have to break through their shell, you carefully eat away the egg white - by never ever giving up on them - and when you get to the centre, they let themselves flow like you have known each other for years.
The room was filled with passionate people. And my desire to observe was unfolding more than ever.