Mongolia is both a mysterious place, as well as being the friendliest place. Its people, nomadic from time immemorial recognize the stranger as always welcome. We are all wanderers who seek refuge from the elements, the friendship of community and the sharing that a fire can elicit, along with a welcome brew.
One of the greatest dishonours you can bring upon yourself as a Mongol is to refuse a fellow traveler. Inversely to greet and invite a traveler in is seen as the height of propriety and the most natural thing in the world.
As you cross from the Siberian Altai into the magnificence that are the mountains of Altaian Mongolia then descend to the steppes of the Mongul nation you become aware of how profound the relationship of human and nature is. They are utterly interdependent.
Herds of goats greeting the new day under the eye of the shepherd offer tranquility we in the West seem to lack yet crave. In Mongolia it is free and part of every day life.
As Saint Exubery quotes in his masterpiece 'Le Petit Prince': "It is the breath of the sleeping child that makes the world go round". In Mongolia it is the joy, the instantaneous smile of the child that makes it so!
All nomadic peoples recognise the yurt is their home. As swiftly as they erect it they can as quickly take it down and pack it for journeying. Nothing is permanent yet everything is precious!
Even a studious game of dice at a natural al fresco meeting place, gives time for friendship and sharing.