Saturday, November 7, 2015

Back in Mongolia and back in action

Ok, I’m getting back to a more regular update schedule I swear

            Dang it’s been far too long since I’ve updated the blog.  Well it’s now my second year here in the currently chilly Mongolia.  Yes, it’s already getting cold.  You heard me right and I have broken out the sweatshirts, hat, and gloves.  I even got 2 inches of snow two weeks ago and this was after two rounds of flurries and hail each.

            Not cool you do realize that yesterday I had blue sky warm weather and sandy beaches.  However this is the price I pay for living and working in Mongolia.  At least the food is better here in Mongolia.

            My Jeju Island trip will be another post, so what else has been going on in Mongolia.  Well the year got off to a great start, at least until I got sick.  The flu decided to make its yearly rounds a bit early this year.  The turned out to be the least of my worries, as no sooner than I recover from the flu, do I come down with Chingis Khan’s Revenge.  Yup, I can’t win, now I don’t know if it was the water (there were some problems at the sewage treatment plants over the summer), or the school food (which some of us did get sick on last year).  Either way I ended up in the emergency room due to well, if you haven’t figured it out, the Mongolian version of Montezuma’s revenge.

            Long story short, 3 hours, 2 IV bags, and a physical by a doctor, and I am on my way.  Oh and the cost of all this, a whole 97.47$ American.  Shocking I know, at least to my American readers.  Sadly it didn’t do the trick and I went for antibiotics a week later and man do I love modern medicine.  Oh and the cost for 40 pills, wait for it, a whopping 75 cents.  I was happy to finally be healthy the cost savings were simply a bonus.  At least until I discovered my latest ding dong moment.

            So all the way back in 2011 I signed up for a healthcare discount card that costs 34$ a month.  Now here’s the thing, why would a discount card cost money.  Isn’t the whole point of having a discount card to save money not spend money?  The more important thing is that I never actually remembered signing up for the thing in the first place.  Argh….. You can do the math, but let’s just say it’s more than enough for me to go SCUBA diving in South East Asia for the week.  I’ve managed to discontinue the payments, so now I’m just hoping I’ll be able to get some of it back.

Picture Time

Last year

This year

            Hey what the heck happened to the road it’s….. It’s paved….. And we have sidewalks now….. Holy crap what happened over the summer.  Well the Auto Spa Zaisan should still be here right.

            Or not.  Well I have to say this is an improvement, a little slice of Americana has come to Zaisan.  The Pizza Hut is passable, but I’ve never really been a fan of Pizza Hut.  It also has the same problem as other Mongolian pizza places, they just can’t seem to do a decent peperoni.  I can’t say much about the KFC as it was the first time I’ve ever had it.  Who would have thought that I would have to come all the way to Mongolia to finally have KFC.

            I lost the picture from last year, but I came back to a heck of lot more construction than I expected.  The Mongolians sure build them fast, but the question everyone still has is where is all the money for this coming from.

            Well that’s about it for the basics, with more on the way.  I’ve got repeat excursions to Bodg Khan and Terelj, plus my Jeju Island trip that you can look forward to seeing.  Ah screw it I’ve got one more thing for you guys.

The Changing of the Guard

            No, I’m not talking about the famous changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.  Flying through Seoul is a bit faster than London.  In a generic term the changing of the guards is a ceremony that is performed when the soldiers change between shifts.  The most famous of these being Buckingham Palace.  However, it is performed at other locations around the world, one of which happens to be Mongolian parliament building.

            So why did it take me so long to stumble onto this little gem.  Honestly most of us here at the school have no idea, even the ones that have been here a long time.  Apparently it takes place every Saturday at noon, when the weather is nice.  (FYI- I that means during tourist season)  It might have been years ago, but I still remember the changing at the Guards at Buckingham Palace and the Mongolian one is nothing like it.  One you can get a lot closer to the action, two take pictures with the guards, and three it doesn’t take nearly as long.  A good thing since I was on my way to English club.  The club is simply a gather of Mongolians who meet with westerns to chat and practice their English.