Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year


            First let me say Happy New Year to everyone, and sorry that it’s been so long since I’ve updated the blog.  In my defense it was a very busy time of year, I had several units ending at the same time (12- DNA, 9- Electricity, 6- Animals) so lots of tests to write and grading to get done.  The faculty Thanksgiving, and Christmas parties, I’m actually on the social committee.  Not to mention getting sick and prepping for my trip to Thailand.  Don’t worry I will get you caught up to speed on everything, including a wonderful 18 days in Thailand.

            So I will begin in the present with the rather interesting ride I had from the airport to my apartment late in the afternoon.  Now I will say that if I wasn’t so tired, my first flight left Thailand at 11:55 pm the night before, or cold, I only brought warm up pants and a wind breaker to wear over my shorts and a t-shirt, I probably would have realized something was wrong.  As I trudged out of the airport, a guy asks me if I need a taxi, which I do so I play along.  Clue number one was his car was in the regular lot, but I just want to get back to my apartment.  Clue two when I ask the price of the fare, now in Mongolia when talking about a taxi fare it’s assumed that you are talking in thousands of Turgiks.  The quote is 40, when it only took me twenty to get to the airport, he gives me thirty five and we’re off.  Again I rarely take taxis and Chiang Mai was pretty cheap.  Thus upon arrival I hand him 40,000 Turgiks expecting change, only to get rebuffed, he wants forty American, which is 75,000 Turgik’s almost four times what should normally cost.  I told my agitated and supposed taxi driver that it was all I had, took my bag and beat a hasty retreat through the school gate.  Woohoo security guard.

            Despite my long day traveling, I did manage to stay up to welcome in 2015, but I did have some help and no it was not caffeine.  Mongolia like some other Asian countries has a different yearly calendar than the west and as such celebrates a different start to the New Year.  This celebration is called Tsagaan Sar and operates on the Mongol Calendar which is a lunar calendar made by a Buddhist monk (Ishbaljir) in 1747.  Tsagaan Sar takes place in February and I’ll give you the full story then, and yes there is a story with it, or at least I think there is.  The reason I’m mentioning this now, is that despite their own New Year’s celebration the city is going crazy.  Wild Spider Monkeys on Red Bull crazy, tonight with fireworks going off all over the place, some of which are right next door.  I did get a good show for the few minutes I could sit on the freezing cold windowsill, before freezing my but off.  Now I can only think of three reasons for the raucous and rather spirited celebrations taking place across the city tonight.

1- It’s because the Russians banned Tsagaan Sar or imported the New Year’s Celebration
2- It’s another excuse to throw a party
3- All of the above

Well that’s it for the re-launch of Musings on Mongolia, and here are some new years fireworks.

PS- My New Year’s Resolutions in no particular order

1- Continue to travel.  I’m looking at getting to South Korea or Taiwan over Spring Break, China and potentially Taiwan if I don’t do it over Spring Break during the summer, The Mongolian Eagle festival which might be over fall break (It was this year), and either Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, or Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei over winter break.  There might also be a Mongolian trekking tour in there somewhere to.

2- Finish writing Gunslinger Girl World Tour (I'm on chapter 17 of 30) and start the final part of the trilogy

3- Finish watching all of the anime stored on my hard drive (I bet some of you thought I did that already)

4- Keep up with both of my blogs and post about my trips to Thailand and Japan

5- Figure out how to use and implement google classroom

6- Take some Mongolian language lessons

7- Look into getting a Masters in Biology