Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Mongolia | Zaisan Tolgoi | Snowstorm

Just had a gorgeous late Spring snowstorm. Temperatures fell to 28º F last night and it was still only 32º F at 10:00 a.m. After the 90º F-plus temperatures I had just experienced in Turkmenistan this was quite a relief. It was easy to imagine that it was Fall and an ever-invigorating Winter was just about to begin. Of course this was just an illusion. The Solstice is only twenty-four days away and we are faced with the prospect of yet another dreadful Summer. 
View from the window of my hovel in Zaisan Tolgoi (click on photo for enlargement)

30 comments:

  1. Cars? Garages? Man, economy is booming there!!

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  2. Nice neighborhood and view of the mountains, Don! At least you can enjoy a view of some modern homes from your hovel.

    -a mes

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  3. Two-car garages, I might add.

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  4. I bet they have electricity and indoor plumbing, too!

    -a mes

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  5. Double-dog-dare ya to bring home a bucket of KFC and listen to the dogs bark as you walk it back to the hovel!

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  6. I have indoor plumbing but no hot water for the last three weeks. This happens every spring. No one knows why.

    You must have heard about the new KFC outlet in Ulaanbaatar. I heard in the evenings you have to stand in line for an hour to get a table. The Colonel must be smiling.

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  7. Hi Don? Its me Nara, from Nomads Expeditions. I am here in UB. Call me when you will have time. My phone is 99182052, as you can see its my old number :-)

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  8. Sorry to hear about the lack of hot water, Don. The timing, predictability, and mystery of it suggests that it may be part of some ancient Mongolian springtime ritual of which you may not yet be aware.

    @ Anon: In spite of his living in a hovel, I hope that the Don is too civilized for KFC.

    -a mes

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  9. Nara! Long time no see! I do not have a mobile phone. Email me.

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  10. There have been dozens of stories on the internet about the new KFC outlet in Ulaanbaatar, but I have not seen a single story about what I think is even bigger news: there is a new Cinnabuns outlet in Ulaanbaatar. This is earth-shattering news. The outlet is on the sixth floor of the State Department Store. This may become my new hangout when I am downtown. I hope to post a review soon.

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  11. What's this "Cinnabuns store"? Is it some kind of gentlemen's club that also sells Cinnabon cinnamon rolls?

    Come to think of it, "Cinnabuns" would make an awfully good nickname....

    -a mes

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  12. OK,OK, so it is a Cinnabon outlet. It was an honest mistake, not a Freudian Slip or anything like that, although Michael Douglas has been in the news a lot lately. But the outlet is not listed on the Cinnabon website, which make me suspicious. The store may just be a knockoff. I will investigate this further.

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  13. Wow! This potential for a knock-off Cinnabon is fascinating. What if knock-off Cinnabon cinnamon rolls taste better than Cinnabon rolls? What then? Would they be made with knock-off cinnamon, too?

    -a mes

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  14. Hope to get downtown this weekend and investigate this matter further. i may go to the outlet undercover. Imagine is they are actually serving Robusta coffee!

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  15. I thought you didn't like coffee, Don. My, my, my.... Just mention Cinnabon, and you do a 180 on us.... Do you, by any chance, also enjoy shopping at Abercrombie & Fitch as you casually stroll around the mall munching on your Cinnabon roll (NOT that I've ever done so in my dark and shady teenage past)? Are you a mallrat at heart?

    -a mes

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  16. Once in awhile I enjoy slumming among the coffee swillers. But I don’t make a habit of it. And I am not a mall-rat, unless you count the Grand Bazaar as a mall.

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  17. "Mall rat" is a state of mind, Don. It's not about the place - it's about the attitude. Besides, according to Wikipedia, the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is likely the ancestor of the modern American shopping mall.

    -a mes

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  18. Speaking of slumming...last time I picked up refridgerator cinnamon buns in a roll from the grocery store they were not original Pillsbury brand they were a Cinnabon brand and they were awful! In this case the knockoff wasn't worth it!

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  19. P.S. does the state department allow you to park your camel in the parking deck?

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  20. Of course. They will also wash your camel while you shop.

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  21. @ Anonymous: they also let you park your magic carpet in the parking deck, too.

    -a mes

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  22. Actually, flying carpet parking is limited to the area around the Beatles Monument in the park in front of the State Department Store.

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  23. Do camels "blow their coats" in the spring? If so a Deluxe Grooming from the staff at the State department parking lot would be a real bonus whilst shopping.

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  24. I have never heard the term “blow their coats” but, yes, camels do shed their coats during the summer. They are usually not ridden until they grow a new coat and thus the camel lane of Ulaanbaatar streets is pretty quiet right now.

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  25. Is there really a Beatles monument in front of the State department store?

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  26. There is indeed a monument to the Beatles in the strip park in front of the State Department Store. I often see visitors to UB taking photos here. I don’t know what it is about Mongolia and the Beatles. There is One Cafe I like to hang out in, but they drive me crazy by playing the same loop of Beatles tunes day after day, week after week, month after month. I was in high school when the first Beatles tune came out. I did not like them then and I do not like them now. But I keep going back to this place because no one else I know goes there.

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  27. The temp is up to 43 so I can tell Summer has arrived! Was there a Toga Party on top of Zaisan Tolgoi?
    I can see you dancing about in a toga right now, with a cup of tea in your hand and raised in a toast to the gods of the warm winds. Toga, toga, toga!

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  28. It was 37º F this morning and Naadam, which traditionally marks the end of summer, is less than three weeks away. Anyhow, I do not own a toga, although I guess I Could Make One.

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  29. Honestly, that is the shortest excuse for summer in the entire world! If you're going to get a tan you'd better git tough and start sunbathing now even if it is 37 degrees. I haven't even gotten out the "tanning tub" yet! I did join the Y so I can go swimming anytime now. Do you all have a place to swim in UB? Do your neighbors know how to swim?

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  30. Don, I can't believe it's 73 at 8:00 p.m. You and the rest of the Mongolians must be ready to sink into the permafrost by now!! Do the buildings start sinking when it gets this hot? Curious in VA

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