Lonely Planet says that one of the five most commonly used words in the Mongolian language is маргааш–tomorrow. I’m beginning to think they’re right. A few weeks ago, we hired a carpenter to build new cabinets for our kitchen. We had heard that he did good work but that there had been some issues with timeliness. He promised that he could have the cabinets done in 7 days. I raised an eyebrow at that, but paid the deposit and let him get to work. It’s been multiple 7 days since then. Since we need to move in to our new apartment this week, we’ve been leaning on him pretty heavily for the past week or so. At first, we couldn’t even get him to return our phone calls, so I made a trip out to his house. He said they were finished and he would install them–tomorrow. Since then, almost every day, I have heard him say “Margaash.” Finally, one day, we called him and he said he had a small vehicle, so he could bring the cabinets in two loads. I said, “Great! Meet me in 20 minutes.” When I got there, he had half the cabinets. So far, so good! Then he started in to a story about a power outage at his house, which meant that he didn’t actually finish the other cabinets but he would bring them… tomorrow. The next day, I got a text saying that the power was on, but for some reason, he would have to bring them… tomorrow. Today, he called and said he was bringing the rest of the cabinets, and could I please bring another 200,000 tugriks so that he could buy the counter-top which would be installed two days later? I went to the apartment. He had a few more cabinets but not all of them. He would have the other one finished by tonight. I asked if he would install them tonight. He said it would be too noisy, so it would have to wait until, you guessed it, tomorrow. Since he would already be coming tomorrow, he would just wait and bring the other cabinet tomorrow, too. One of my friends said there’s a saying in Mongolian, something like “There are a thousand tomorrows.” I’m starting to feel like I’m about halfway through a round of 1,000.
On the plus side, we checked out the new Kenny Rogers Roasters today. A little pricey, but a nice taste of home… or, at least, of the Philippines.