The Walk

The closest grocery store to our apartment is about a 10 minute walk. We decided that it would do for the items we needed and so we hiked it instead of getting the car service. I finally remembered my camera for this trip! There is not a lot that I can photograph as in route, as we pass the Turkish Embassy, the residence of the Japanese Ambassador and several other “governmental” offices. There are guards and police everywhere and Da has gotten in trouble before for taking too many photos!

One of the *neutral* places that we pass is the wedding palace. We have learned that the limousine of choice in Mongolia is the hummer. For a wedding you will see hummers with flowers and ribbons on the doors and front grill. This is very similar to the Chinese tradition of decorating cars for weddings.

It is fun to see the modern clothing mixed with the traditional clothing for the wedding. We saw this same thing in Korea. The bride and groom and some of their party (including the older folks in attendance) were wearing traditional clothing, while the younger generation, friends and kids were dressed in nice modern clothing.

I wish I had been able to get closer to this wedding. One of these days I’ll play “wedding crasher” and go take photos when I don’t have the kids with me or am trying to get Da to work on time.

This Ger is on the property of the wedding palace. It has a beautifully carved door and is pretty large. I imagine it is for more traditional celebrations.

This building is about 1/2 way between the grocery store and our house. The cinder block construction makes me nervous. We’ve also seen the concrete type construction we are used to in the U.S. There are two sky scrapers under construction on this short 10 minute walk and another HUGE pit that looks to be preparation for another building.

Meet our intersection. This is the only intersection we have to cross. There is no light and cars are coming from every direction…AND there are open ditches on both sides. Da jumps the ditches, I brave the traffic on the street and walk around. ;o)

This just made me laugh, so I had to take the photo. Poor guy, either his doors don’t work or he is lucky that the trunk doesn’t!

BTW, cars here in Mongolia can have their steering wheel on either side. Cars imported from China have them on the left and cars imported from Japan have them on the right. Cars drive on the right side, just as in the states.

Our sidewalk.

Another example of gers in town. I believe that these are part of the Mongolian language school across from our apt.? Anyway, someone asked if people lived in the gers in town because they couldn’t afford apartments. I do not know the answer to that. Cost? Tradition? I do know that our travel coordinator said that people who have apartments can afford cars to take their children to school and that those in gers can not, so cost is probably a factor.

Today we also solved our Skype problem, so I am available by phone now. It was an amazing maze of mix ups. We first tried to pay with our credit card, but because our charge was coming from Mongolia, it was declined. We then tried to pay via pay pal, but because our charge was coming from Mongolia, Pay pal locked our account. We tried again with the credit card, but then Skype locked our account for two many attempts and the credit card was frozen. Once we’d get one service unlocked, the other would lock up. We finally called Da’s mom in Hawaii and had her try it. It didn’t work the first time, but it did the second time. We just had to have all of the before mentioned accounts unlocked at the same time. What a mess!

We also made our first batch of chocolate chip cookies. I needed something fun for the littles math and the kids also needed something familiar and comforting. So, we measured (t. and tsp. with my hand), estimated (size of cookies), etc. and had a ball. We used a chopped up Dove Dark for the chips and had only Crisco for the butter, but they taste okay and the house smells amazing!

5 Responses

  1. Ginger says:

    Fun post…thanks for the pictures.

  2. Wow, what an experience you are all having!

  3. Charity Williams says:

    Your stories and pictures fascinate me. Be careful….if you keep baking cookies, you might have all the neighbors over. 🙂

  4. Heidi says:

    I love your willingness to improvise in whatever situation you are in.

  5. Liz C says:

    Hooray for measuring by hands! 🙂