Welcome to Ulaanbator (the spelling changes daily) the city that never sleeps! Monde, Barbara and myself WALKED back from the restaurant, approx. 1km at 11.45 PM without any problems and never feeling unsafe. A good couple of people still in the street, lots of traffic and wet payments with lots of puddles after the afternoons thundershower. That had the streets turned into flash floods!
Earlier the afternoon, Barbara and myself went shopping for underwear and a jean and T-shirt as clean clothing. And a cheap cell phone. Three Mobicom stores, lots of sign language, and lots of walking I had an ancient Samsung and SIM card. The underwear a different story. Seems that no one wears socks in this town. Then large panties (which would be medium in South Africa) is anything but large, as I found out later. Needless to say I have already stuck my finger through the top elastic and now have a “large” and broken panty!! Clothing so hysterical we were in heaps laughing most of the time. And if you found something that might work it was hellish expensive.
But in our wanderings of the streets without sidewalks, lots of holes and manholes, we noticed a few things. The city was clean. The gardens were not kept. The people were friendly and helpful, even if they did not understand a thing you were asking. Barbara wanted to buy a pair of shoes, but adamantly the sales lady was trying to tell her they didn’t have her size, despite the size being right and we just wanted to know how much they cost. And this all in sign language, english and mongolian.
No toddlers, I think we saw two in strollers. A few Poor people sitting around and begging, sidewalk trade, really not much different if any from South Africa. The big difference – the clean city and nobody takes anything from anybody. It may be an old and disorganized city, but not a rat hole by any means!!
The new cell phone switched on and talked to me in Russian (not a turn on this time) and we could not find anybody this night who could read Russian and get the phone on English for me. So I had to fiddle with every option, in Russian until by miracle I recognized the word English. Voila, we were speaking to one another again!
So after an epic walking and try shopping day we were back in our old dirty clothing (we did shower beforehand) to go and take the town on.
Lovely draft beer at one place and then the best Hindu food I have had in my life! We were able to join some of the organizers, medical back up team, endurance guru Maggie, Richard Dunwoody then photographer. Had a super time withnthe crow.

1 thought on “

  1. Gina Boxley

    LOVE READING you blogg and the fun begins……PLEASE GET SOME SLEEP GIRL!!! Glad you have comms and you are sounding relaxed. Love and hugs from Sunny South Africa XXXXXXXXXX


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