Weather in UB

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Why I'm called Ulaana

Some people call me Ulaana because of my red hair. Other people call me Ulaana because of my red cheeks!

I took some cold weather pics. After walking home today, I ran inside, grabbed my camera and headed for my balcony. It's a start! I think I'll take the camera outside of my home today! I know I lived here for 2 years before, but I guess I forgot how cold -40F actually is. To be honest, after -10F it all feels the same to me...unless there is wind. The worst thing about living in UB in this weather is the pollution. As you can see in the picture, that haze is pure smoke. The smoke comes from gers, cars, and coal burning power plants. This picture was taken at 11:30 am. Just for reference, in the summer, you can see the mountains in the distance. In the winter, I'm lucky if I can see the building across from mine!
I still love it here for some odd reason. I was at the disco on Saturday night and a Mongolian man turned to me and in English said, "it's Mongolia, you never know what's gonna happen." He said it!


Bob said...

I don't know where I picked up that phrase, but I keep saying the same thing about MGL: "you never know what's going to happen", even less than a week ago. I don't know why it would apply any more to MGL than some place else, but I keep saying it. I also don't understand why I became so interested with a place that reaches near -40. When I moved to Chicago, I thought that was about as cold as I would want to handle, compared to Maryland and New Jersey. I am fully intending on riding my bicycle at -40. If Tony Torti does it in Fairbanks, Alaska for 2 hours at a time in -40 (see ) then it can be done in MGL, and besides everywhere in UB is only a few blocks away. I do it in -10F in Chicago, so what the heck.

So me and another MGL ex-pat are just wondering about VISAs, getting a job, permanent residency. We're used to American free enterprise, so some things on paper seem really restrictive. Are people getting work visas? What are people doing? We wouldn't mind being self-employed in MGL, but do you have to become a permanent resident? How do people get around that? or not? Just thinking out loud. Amazing on that map where everybody is viewing from.

I thought you must be tired from the 3rd or 4th set of 9's why it took you a week to post.

Ulaana said...

It's not the ice or cold you'd have to worry about on yer bike, it's the cars! You've been to UB, right? There are NO TRAFFIC LAWS. You would get hit, within 5 minutes, guaranteed. The ex-pat joke in these parts "what's the most endangered species in Mongolia? The Ulaanbaatar pedestrian!"
About that Visa stuff, you are gonna wanna contact a Mongolian consulate in the US or the US embassy in Mongolia. You definitely need a work Visa if you plan on working, and you can't work on a tourist Visa. Also as a US citizen you will need a Visa if you plan on staying passed 90 days. Don't be surprised if you get different or vague answers to yer questions when you contact the embassy!
"Lethargic" is my middle name these days. I'm still going to the gym, but the urge to hibernate is STRONG!

Bob said...

I have biked in UB, and in the middle of the street in the evening with no reflective material or lights, though very carefully. I commute on Western Av. in Chicago everyday, so I am kind of used to it. Yes, I know somebody who lost their son who was hit by a car. The intersections are weird. Anyway, I was trying to descend down the hills near the Chingis Khaan chalk face on a Mountain Bike. The bridge past the driving range was out, so I gave up for the time being, but have bullet cam video descending out of Chingeltei. That road going out there was no problem. Funny thing was going out around 6:45 AM on a week day. Absolutely nobody was even out during this pre-rush hour time.