It's not all that often that I am totally blown away by anything. But I am ...
As previously written, a couple of days ago here at Fairfield, the local staff member "Mr Fixit", who's name is actually Oojo, did wonders fixing the various little problems with my bike. It was only later that evening that I heard a little more about this amazing man, his life, and his brilliant skills.
Society here in Mongolia is rather strict, and looks down severely on those who have "offended" society. One winter's day some years ago, Oojo was riding his little Chinese 125cc motorcycle, and came upon a drunk Mongolian hitchhiking along a remote road. Doing the right thing for his fellow man, Oojo picked him up and they travelled along, riding up to and over a mountain pass, on the icy road. Unfortunately, the little bike ultimately slipped on the ice, and they came to grief, with the hitchhiker being fatally injured as a result of the crash. Although he was not really at fault, being the rider Oojo had to pay the penalty as society saw fit, and was sentenced to spend three years in jail for "killing" another man, however accidently.
Those who have served time in jail have a particularly difficult time in obtaining even casual employment, let alone full time work, as they are shunned by most employers.
He has been here a while now, at Fairfield. Murray first met him when he needed a casual helper one day, and Oojo was suggested. Murray was so impressed with Oojo's abilities that day that he almost immediately offered him full-time employment here at Fairfield, as the general maintenance and fixit man, a decision never regretted.
In passing, when he saw me admiring some artwork above the stairs, Murray mentioned that Oojo was the artist. I could barely believe it! It was stunning!
I don't usually buy many souvenirs when I travel, however, as space is at a premium on the bike, but this one is definitely coming home to Tasmania - somehow!
~~ CHINGGIS KHAN ~~
Although it is hard to tell from the photos, the artwork is paper cut - from the black paper, laid against a white backing sheet. The attention to intricate detail is mind-bogglingly incredible! Just look at the massed army of horsemen behind the horse's forelegs! Just WOW! The whole thing is STUNNING! Far, far better in real life than represented in this photo. It is fairly big, at about 750 x 900cm or 2'6" x 3ft, at a guess, possibly larger.
Another example of his work, hanging in the stairwell:
Another of Chinggis Khan.
Earlier, before I knew their origin or the artist involved, I had bought a couple of the "hand-made" postcards from reception, purely because I liked them.
I hadn't, at that stage, actually looked at the artwork in the stairwell in any great detail, other than a glance as I was struggling upstairs with my luggage. Little did I realise then that the big Chinggis Khan would be coming home with me.
We are still trying to work out how I can get it home, without damaging the super delicate paper work. Hopefully, Murray will be able to source a mailing tube of the correct size here in Tsetserleg, and we will mail it back to Tasmania, hoping it doesn't get damaged on the way.
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