Thursday, August 13, 2015

Assorted Observations, Take 2

It's a cool and rainy day in Ulaanbaatar. Last night I was able to sleep to the sound of rain outside my window, AND able to leave the window open because the park was not populated with people talking and laughing in the wee hours of the morning. 

Because there is no good way to share the diverse observations that hit me at any and all times of the day, I rely on this simple Assorted Observations approach. Here is a bulleted list of more observations, since my initial such post on July 21st:
  • The shells on eggs here are THREE times as strong at those in the U.S. I'm not sure what this means. Perhaps the hard water here provides more calcium and trace minerals to the chickens? I can't explain it....but I LIKE that they are so strong;
  • After being here a month, I opted to purchase us a new bed for this new life together (A higher end bed and mattress was UNDER $500). Bed Sizes are NOT uniform. Depends on your location in the world. Learning to think in centimeters and not inches is a work in progress. (I found the bed and mattress at a place just a couple blocks away and the Mongolian owner speaks VERY good English. The brand of mattresses he sells come from China, but are also a lead brand in America. He explained that they are sold for a MUCH higher price to America because Americans want a "warranty" with their mattresses. People in Mongolia don't. I wonder how many warranties in America are actually worth the cost paid?);
  • The schedule/routine of daily life yet makes me shake my head. The night before last, a Tuesday, there were SMALL children playing in the concrete park behind our apartment building WAY after 11 PM;
  • Men here (from teenagers to the elderly) carry their woman's purse! I've seen them carrying teeny-tiny pink purses (teenagers) and large, chain-handled purses (more middle aged). Honestly, I think it's adorable. According to the AWC, this is a sign of commitment. It makes me think of the old days when boys asked to carry a girl's books to/from school for her.
  • Markets are closed on specific days of the week. Example, yesterday I walked to Saruul to buy ground beef, only to see that the parking lot was empty. I learned today that it wasn't because it was late, it was a Wednesday and that's the day that Saruul (my preferred market so far) is closed.;
  • They like their smiley faces here! I find them all over the place as the following picture illustrates. On manhole covers, toilet seats, even trees.

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