More of my photos from Mongolia

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serious culture

it seems that i've arrived in the land of the improbable, and i'm glad to be here.

i arrived in monoglia yesterday afternoon after about 36 hours on the first leg of the Trans-Mongolian train from Beijing to Ulan Bataar. i shared a 4-bed "hard sleeper" compartment with 3 mongolians who were university students studying abroad in china. as i quickly learned was par for mongolians, they were extremely friendly and helped me translate my scribbled notes on my mongolia hostel into a mongolian note for the taxi driver in case i needed to take a taxi from the train station.

my friend martin (coincidentally in mongolia from his usual home in new york) met me upon my arrival at the ulan bataar train station, and after unloading my gear at the hostel that he'd reserved for us a few nights earlier, we headed out to eat "mongolian barbeque" at an american-founded chain restaurant that both had nothing and everything to do with mongolian tourism. packed to the rafters with western package tourists, it was a surreal experience that neither martin nor i had been expecting.

that night i heard tales from people at our guesthouse (located in a communist-era apartment block that evoked memories of similar buildings i've seen in romania and hungary) about fights with aggressive drunk mongolians, an old woman attempting to sell a live baby eagle by the side of a road, sitting reading on top of a traveller's bus trapped in a river, beautiful sheep-fur lined coats purchased from shamans, and other improbable experiences.

we spent the afternoon watching the wrestling matches at the stadium today which are part of the Naadam celebrations (now in their third and final day), trying various pieces of mongolian food, and preparing for our departure on a 8-9 trek through the gobi which we will be departing for tomorrow if all goes as planned.

Comments (7)

hey andy! looks like you are having a great time! jb told me of your wanderings, but i've only made it to the blog now. thanks for sharing your adventures. have a great trip! maybe i will run into you somewhere!!

becky xx


More! More! I need my andy-updates!


Bah! Jason suggested trying to meet up with you in Argentina. but, I'm going back to school in September so I'm confined to the standard Fall-break-Winter-break-spring-break-summer-break schedule-and the only time I can get down there is when you're doing the Inca Trail - which we've already done. Hey, your plans no longer include Beirut, we're assuming? Bah. I guesssss we could meet in Zanzibar (my break starts Dec 10) but...long trip for a short time :)

will mcelroy:

Hi Andy. You are probably in Russia right now. Perfect timing to do it in the summer. I hear it gets really hot in Moscow sometimes. How was Mongolia? Do they have any cheap real estate available? It is very expensive here in LA. I have moved to a new pad in echo park. It is a four bedroom craftsman with big trees. Will Wright also lives there. I am teaching first grade. I get a vacation from Nov. 13 to Jan. 1st. You will probably be in the middle east at that time. Israel and Lebennon are fighting again. Let me know if you discover how to make whirled peas. Bien viaje. - Will


hi everyone! come visit and we will have great success and great adventures.

esther and will, i'll drop you an email to see what we can figure out for good times to visit.

becky, great to hear from you! you're welcome to visit anytime... or you'll probably run into me at some SF dive in 2007. ;)

Christine and Eric:

We just looked at your Mongolia pics, and they are awesome! We were especially amused by the Asiatic Wild Asses Conference.


heya christine and eric!

thanks for the kind words on the photos, it's all a labor of love to put this on the internet. the AWAC conference is serious business, but how could anyone not love a conference with that name?

glad you're enjoying the blog, and i'll do my best to keep it coming.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 13, 2006 5:21 PM.

The previous post in this blog was reroute: from soft sleeper to maglev train.

The next post in this blog is back in the city.

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