Weather in UB

Monday, March 10, 2008

You know it's spring when...

Technically, spring has arrived. When Tsaagan Sar ends, this marks the beginning of spring. I must admit, the first hints of spring are around:
I can go outside wearing just a pair of jeans (no long underwear).
I finally retired my fur hat for the season.
I went for a jog OUTSIDE around Sukhbataar Square in the morning (it was still a windy 10F).
All the ice skating rinks in UB are more like icy pools.
I don't smell quite so much like a chimney when I come in from outside.
I can see more than a mile in the morning.
I've been reassured that the ger districts actually DO exist (couldn't see them through the smoke since October).
The smell of urine thawing (especially around building corners) has begun to permeate through the air.
I've seen people riding bicycles.
There is talk of people checking in the hospital to "rest" (common spring practice).
People seem to have forgotten how awful and cold winter is.
I was even able to take a hike with some pals on Saturday just outside UB. The mountains were a little snowy and I was a little breathless, but it was a beautiful day and it reminded me of how pretty this place can be.
The long, ugly UB winter definitely has an effect on the psyche. I might be jinxing myself, but I hope it stays nice, calm, and with highs in the upper 40s, for a few weeks. It will give me strength before the dust storms!


Meg said...


hey! You ran outside?! When I visited, you cautioned me about running outside, saying "someone might tackle you." (what?! I was skeptical, even then.) Anyway, I'm happy you're able to enjoy the outdoors. Andrew and I loved pulling our clothes from our backpacks and revisiting the scent of coal. Um! Love, Meg

Ulaana said...

You'll notice I said "jog" and "around Sukhbataar Square". I literally jogged the perimeter. So "running" and "outside" (If by outside you mean freely) are not at all what I did. I also intentionally dressed like a wrestler and wore a hooded sweatshirt with the hood up, so that no one would bother me.
I've talked with a few runners here who maintain that this place is a big pain to run in for a variety of reasons, the biggest being cars, open manholes, and teenage boys.I'm not making that up! Teenage boys and drunks think it's funny to mess with the weird foreigners!
That coal comment is sick. I bet I'll be sweating coal when I get home.

Natso said...

Oh my God! You have really immersed yourself into our culture! I'm shocked to read such graphic and realistic things, hehe.

Might be interesting for you, I'll tell you the story from the other side:

Back home, in summer, I used to try to have small talk with foreigners (hopefully English speaking)-- to practice my English!

But now I understand why I was rejected, among all those drunks and teenagers who "mess with weird foreigners", it's no wonder I looked like a mugger!

Also, I've heard elders (old people) complaining that we flatter foreigners too much, even though they just come here for profit and leave abruptly after all their hospitality.