Biker Birthday - Ricardo Fite Gonzalez 2011
I came off one morning, quite hard. After I came to, I lifted the motorcycle. The chassis was cracked. I thought I was alone but from nowhere appeared a young boy. He pointed towards a ger in the distance. When we got there, two families were waiting.
I’m Spanish, but speak English and some Russian. But the only language here was Mongolian, so communication was somewhat slow and difficult. After a short while an older gentleman produced a Mongolian-to-English phrasebook.
I wanted to tell them that I intended to get to Khovd today to fix my bike. So the first word I looked for was ‘today’. I scanned the pages of the ‘dates and time’ section of the phrasebook and spotted the word ‘today’. As my finger landed on the word I noticed the phrase I’d specified to the Mongolian family looking over my shoulder was ‘it's my birthday today’.
Pats on the back and a rousing chorus of ‘Happy Birthday to you’ in Mongolian ensued. It wasn’t my birthday though! Frantic underlining of the word ‘today’ did not clarify to the Mongolians that all I meant was ‘today’, but cemented the belief to the Mongolians that it was indeed my birthday ‘today’ and I had come off my bike far from home.