Mongolia: Things I learned in Fieldwork

Field Notes by Luzbonita on Flickr

— Never write “crazy” in front of anyone’s name in a genealogy. This causes lots of trouble.

— If it smells bad, it might be the rotten meat.

— If someone seems like they have an ulterior motive, they probably do… and they will ask you for something. Multiple times. And you will feel guilty.

— Everybody knows everybody. Don’t piss anybody off.

— Better to ask your advisor for things up-front rather than try to save face.

— Interviews in public are a bad idea – it intimidates people.

— Interviews in private are a bad idea – it intimidates people.

— Interviews in general are a bad idea – it intimidates people.

— But just pulling out a notebook in a random convo also intimidates people!

— Secret spy tools are, unfortunately, against the AAA code of ethics.

— However, availability of Diet Coke and internet are valid reasons for picking a field site.

— If you don’t write field notes right away, you WILL forget whole events. This has happened. This is why I came home with about three stories to tell!

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