I got off the Trans-Siberian at 7 am after four nights of irregular sleep. While placing my dusty shoes on the pavement of the Ulaanbataar railway station, I looked around the area. When tired and hungry, you are an easy target for the shadowy existences walking around here. Luckily it is Sunday morning and the locals tend to sleep a lot.
Before I even got off the train I saw someone taking a dump next to the railway track. Welcome to Mongolia.
The traffic is crazy and within ten minutes I saw my first collision. I read that only half of the vehicles in Mongolia are left-handed, even though the traffic drives on the right side. This seems to be linked to a preference for Japanese imports. As you might expect, there is a lot of honking going on here.
The city was originally founded back in 1639, but redesigned by the Soviets in the 1940s and clearly not made for this amount of personal vehicles.
The view from Zaisan hill is impressive, even with all the smoke. With a large coal power plant visible outside the city, the smog is quite heavy and someone told me that during winter the sight range is ten meters! The capital is the second most polluted city in the world (New Delhi wins the first place).
Oh well, time to change my Russian rubles into Mongolian tögrögs and get something to eat.
“Taking a dump”, is that what I think it is? Not sure if that is typical Mongolian.. I even saw that take place in Paris – “the city of love & culture”… :-)
Yeah, it is what you think. Later on I saw that in the street as well.
In Paris? I thought it was doggy litter on the streets. Blimey. The city of love, culture and poo. :)
Haha.. They should use that in their commercials…
Borat was right about the peoples of Central Asian….. but at least they are better that the Middle Earth types.lol.
@Thane: Meeting weird people is often the funniest part of a journey. :)
I know one weird character i met in Thailand… and oupps, I got engaged with him.. lol.
I agree… meeting people his half the excitement about the travelling..
One of my favorite weirdos was the guy in Frankfurt who had a “No fear” cap, and tried to light a cigarette on the tarmac next to people who were filling the tank of an Airbus. :)
Well at least the codger in Frankfurt had the courage to try to live up to the “No Fear” on his cap. The way he was going he wouldn’t have to do it a second time.lol
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