I woke at 9.30 local time, normal IST time to the first day in UB. The team was already up, some of them early due the varied time differences. We first met everyone at breakfast– Sim, Flo, Faraz, Mike and Lauren. Andrea and Carrie were already with us on your flight to UB.
After spending some time together we dispersed. Breakfast was next for us. The UB hotel serves typical continental fare, complete with cold milk. Funny how people in countries with hot weather want things hot and those with cold weather want them chilled. I would think it was otherwise.
We all agreed to meet at 2 pm to go to the Enzis office for the tickets. Back to room for a quick bath. We needed some water and some chow for lunch. The hotel changed money for us — 1200 Tugrik per 45 rupees. There is small “super market” about 2 blocks away and we got what we wanted there. Wet wipes, toilet roll, shampoo, water, some yogurt– all costing in thousands. Even common people must be millionaires here, by way of how much they spend on groceries, their salaries have to be in millions. I clocked 23,000 tugriks for all my purchases.
The city itself is also modern by all standards – fancy cars, nicely dressed people, presence of fashion stores (Armani, Hugo Boss, Louis Vuitton), smart girls, wide roads, extensive footpaths, all-glass buildings and ample public spaces. Ripley tried to scare us about the unruly traffic, but we are more than a match since we have good practice from back home. No one is trying to kill you here, they just notice you late.
Back to the hotel and straight down to meet the team. Eznis has a fancy office there and each of us waited for our turn to be issued a ticket. That took some time and then we were out.
The Mongolian parliament building is to the right of the hotel and its huge. There is big square in its front, a wonderful use of public space. They are not big on security of such an important landmark here and in time we plan to go really close up to see the Chinggis Khan statue. By the currency has him all over it, every note. Much like MKG back home.
The team is now going to meet at 7 for an early dinner. I could not stop myself from having some bakarwadi and gul poli. By the way our hotel has an Indian restaurant, named, what else.. Taj Mahal. 🙂 We are gonna raid it when we will be back in July.