Weather in UB

Thursday, May 29, 2008

blocked! access forbidden....

If this is a free, open, and democratic country, why can't I access my blog? I asked myself this question last week, when my ISP blocked blogger. Today they are blocking www.registan.net
If you can access registan.net, it's a great site with all kinds of stuff about Central Asia. Now, what does Mongolia have against registan.net?? Probably nothing. I doubt it's deliberately blocked. My server might run off a Chinese server, and I'm sure the Chinese government has a problem with registan.net. If this is the case, it's unfortunate that I am being subjected to censorship.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A little weather came our way


This morning I woke up to snow. It's not uncommon to see snow in Mongolia in May and often well into June. That doesn't mean that I'm still not surprised when it happens. It's strange to see green trees confused, cold, and covered with snow. Sadly, the snow fall does not stop the construction that now plagues my ears day and night. These are pics from my window.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Contemporary Mongol Jams!

Lots of you said you wanted to hear more Mongol Indie Rock. Here are some Youtube Links to some cool bands. If other Mongols know about other bands, leave a comment.
Pilots
A Sound
Mongol Hip-Hop!
Tatar
Mongol R&B
Bold

Enjoy...that Tatar video is hilarious

Rockin UB

Totally Rocking
Totally sick and still rocking (the face mask isn't a prop. Generally, when people are sick in Asia, they wear a face mask).

Some friends and I were lucky to catch some great Mongolian rock bands the other night at the UB Club. The audience was predominantly Mongolian, the atmosphere was great and the music was really good. Most of the people there were teenagers who were really excited to be seeing cool rock bands playing. These teens have yet to develop hipster indifference when it comes to music. They were jumping around and having a blast...I was too.
video video
Other UB stuff that's going on: It was 85F yesterday and today it turned back to winter with a current temp of 36F at 1:30pm. It's also snowing. Spring in Mongolia is notorious for crazy weather. It's just too bad because it was a really beautiful weekend and it looks like it'll be a blustery week.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Outbreak!

The Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD), or as my Mongol nedz call it "the disease from China" has gotten much worse. They closed all the primary schools and other places that children frequent...like the Tengis Movie Theater. This was particularly upsetting to me because Tengis was supposed to get the new Indiana Jones movie. I really wanna see it. Anyway, I think it's great that the government and Ministry of Health moved quickly to close schools and slow down the spread of the disease. The sad part is, apparently 100 people a day are becoming infected (mostly 2-4 years old). The other crazy thing is the amount of MIS-information going around. People were saying that is was in the food coming from China and others were saying it was in the water. Some people have been keeping their small children indoors for nearly 2 weeks even though the disease is not airborne. It's only transmitted by touch. It's an ugly disease, that's for sure. You get sores on yer tongue, hands and the bottoms of yer feet. The Ub Post covered the outbreak this week.
The other big news around here is the coming election. It's gonna be an interesting election year considering that many Mongolians are dissatisfied with the parliamentarians. Come June it will be election madness with concerts everyday, free stuff being thrown at me, and lots of promises. Just like the USA.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Spring is over

I think there was a week of spring, and suddenly everyone is saying it's summer. Mongolians always say they have 4 seasons here, but I think it's just 2, summer and winter. A week of fall and spring don't count for much in my book. It's 70F here today, but I remember from my days in Choibalsan, the weather here can change back to winter quite quickly. Snow in June is not uncommon.
Here are some pics from a recent Hash House Harriers run/walk
Smoggy UB in the distance
Trees!

The view from the top

Monday, May 12, 2008

Foot and mouth, and me; Stencil graffiti; Random UB

All the people depicted in this stencil have names above or below them. This is the "S United Crew"
This one says "I give you my heart"
The "S United Crew" logo and their depictions again.
A man painting the bottoms of the trees. Apparently it keeps the bugs off...
Another great spare tire cover "To choose sports for fashion or you personality. The basic idea is to enjoy yourself. That is important" Around the edge "It's outdoor sport that has recently started to shine. Outdoor sport is the science to raise spirits" WHAT?? Who writes these? I'll try and get more.
I hadn't realized that the country was in the midst of a foot and mouth scare until I went to the gym today only to find out it is closed until Wednesday because of "health issues". Upon further research I discovered that elementary schools and kindergartens are closed too. Here is a brief article from China View. Apparently this strain of foot and mouth is jumping from animals to humans (yikes!).
I've been walking by the "S United Crew" graffiti outside the National University for a few weeks now and today I brought my camera. These stencils are pretty ornate. Whoever made these obviously put a lot of time and work into them, especially the one that has depictions of all the crew members. Now that spring, excuse me, SUMMER is here, it's easy to take pictures without my hands freezing off. The picture of the man painting the tree trunks is interesting to me. I have no idea what they are painting on there. Nor do I understand how that keeps the bugs off. The other part of tree care taking here is to literally cut the tops off the trees. I heard that this is a Russian method. They say it makes the tree produce more branches and more shade. I have no idea if that is true.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Back in the MGL

I'm back from my short jaunt to the USA. I must say, I really missed Mongolia! It was nice and easy to come back to beautiful weather. It would have been awful to come back to the pollution.
I went to by food today and I was really happy that the Mongolian grown vegetables are back at the market. I was not so happy about the price inflation. 3 weeks ago I bought bread for 850tg and now that same bread is 1000tg! I was shocked. Even though the weather is nice now, I heard there was a blizzard yesterday. You just never know what it's gonna be like here. The dust storms are in full affect. I'm constantly eating bits of Ulaanbataar, or the Gobi or wherever that dust comes from!
I'll get back to picture taking and posting soon.
Cheers!