New Apt and Language
I wanted to update you on our apartment situation. We are now walking distance to work for Da (at least until it reaches -20 degrees below) and will now spend much less time commuting for shopping, etc. This apartment is much smaller, but we don’t have many belongings and so we were able to put everything away.
The new apartment is more modern with metal Ikea style cabinets and faux rock tiles on the walls for decorative purposes. We have two porches, one we use for storage and the other we’ll let the littles play on because it if off their bedroom. All four girls are in one room (again) and have a bathroom of their own. The walls are painted gray but there is plenty of lighting and wonderful floor to ceiling windows to let the light in.
The apartment came with internet and cable t.v. The cable channels are an interesting mix of Mongolian, Russian, Korean, Australian (1) and Chinese stations. We are excited about having CCTV for the kids, now if we can just figure out when the children’s programing is! We also have BBC and HBO programming in English.
We will be very happy and comfortable here!
So, for those of you who participated in my contest a few weeks ago, I wanted to fill you in on sea-buckthorn.
We knew you were all curious and so we thought we’d buy some juice and give it a try. Before drinking it we did some research and discovered that it has 15x the vitamin C as orange juice and many other things that are good for you, like flavonoids! The smell is an acidic, almost a vinegary. The taste is very much like a peach/pear concentrate diluted with vinegar. Yeah, it’s not going to be a favorite!
I have a hard time hearing the correct pronunciation when someone is trying to teach me how to say something in Mongolian. Not only are the sounds different, there are velar/uvular fricative lateral sounds (credit goes to Da for learning that in his linguistics class at BYU) that make it even harder to hear the vowel sounds. So far I can say “hello” (literally translated “how are you”) and “thank you.” It took me days to learn how to say “thank you” because of the slur (velar/uvular frica…whatever) sound…
This video made me laugh out loud, but it is SO TRUE!
Here are some real greetings:
And here is a news clip so that you can hear what I hear every day. Listen for several sentences because she “slurs” more after the 1st sentence. (The writing on the screen is Korean because this is a news broadcast from Korea. They use Cyrillic here in Mongolia, even though they have their own writing system. )
Here are a few photos that I took from the van yesterday as we were moving into town.
This is a truck coming straight at us. Note the condition of the road. Pot holes, torn up sections of road and open man holes are common.
This is the international school near our old apartment. Many expats choose to live out in this area, even though it is further away from town so that their kids can get home from school in a decent amount of time. We don’t have that issue and so would rather live close to work. Also note the gers. There are many gers in this area of town and up on the hill. Most have fences around them to keep their animals in. But, there are gers everywhere, even in the middle of the city!
This is a sign on the side of the road in Cyrillic.
No explanation needed, and this is what it is like all the time!
This street is home sweet home.
P.S. Tuition to that international school is $27,000 USD per year!