First let me say that Mongolians are beautiful, inside and out. They are generous, welcoming and readily smile and laugh. Ulaanbataar on the other hand is an ugly, grimy, crazy city. The driving is insane and congested. The craziest thing is that everyone is a taxi- it kind of like hitchhiking but you pay people to give you a ride. One just stands on the side of the street with their arm out and random people will pick you up. I never did this on my own because i don’t speak Mongolian but we did it as groups sometimes. One day 3 of us went to the market, and one artist from Azerbijan who spoke Russian was able to carry on a conversation with our driver. Turns out he studied in Russia and is the band conductor for the national army. There seems to still be a strong link between Russia and Mongolia even though the Russians moved out years ago. I realized that there were strong links between communist and socialist satellite countries. Hence the German/Mongolian link which was established before the Berlin wall came down, when Mongolians often went to Germany to train for jobs.


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