This is a P.S. to other other part of the Hovd story. I forgot to mention that in Hovd I met a guy who lives in UB and works for a prominent NGO that happens to have grown up in a neighborhood about 10 minutes from mine in Chicago. It was a strange discovery especially when we realized that we actually know some of the same people. There we were, meeting for the first time in a town of 35,000 people in Western Mongolia. CRAZY!The Hovd Theater
The other strange thing that happened was on the plane back to UB. I was sitting next to Kazakh woman who was with an Iranian bussinessman. We exchanged pleasantries (In several languages), talked about Sharon Stone and Denzel Washington and went our separate ways. Yesterday I was at the "Ikh Delguur", directly translated: BIG Store, but people call it The State Department Store, and I ran into the Iranian guy, and the Kazakh woman. The man walked right up to me and said "You are from America? We are friends." I agreed that we were in fact friends. He continued by saying "the politics are between Bush and Ahmadinejad" I agreed again and wished him well. Upon reflection I guess that really was the elephant in the room. As an American, you never know how yer gonna be received by people aboard, luck for me this guy separated policy and people!
And now, some more pictures of Hovd:
Winter Meat- the people in the distance are slaughtering a cow for winter meat
Cow in the gutter and (upper left corner) "Bakery King" sign based on the Burger King logo
"X-Men" Mini-market and store