AFC Flag Expedition, 2009

How To Run a Hotel, Cont. – And I’m in Ulaanbaatar

I came downstairs to check out after the previous post. I walk up to the counter. The nice woman says that she is to call the manager, who wishes to speak with me. In the meantime, I finish settling my bill. He comes out and asks if breakfast was ok. I say fine and then tell him that everyone makes mistakes, but it’s how they respond that counts and that he and the hotel had out-done themselves and I was very pleased. He smiled and made a little bow. I then asked where to go to wait for the shuttle bus. And he says……we have a special shuttle for you, a car. And darned if there wasn’t a spiffy black sedan waiting at the curb for me. Can you believe that?

I walk out to the car and get in while they load my luggage. Just before we pull away, I look to my right and there is the manager and one other man, in attendance is the only way to put it. I smiled and waved and they smiled and bowed. And then the fairy princess was wisked away to her MIAT flight to Ulaanbaatar, where she is now ensconced in a tenth floor room with a view of Peace Ave. at the Narantuul Hotel and happily connected to the internet, a great relief.

——-

On the way in from the airport, besides the gers and gas stations, buildings and billboards, there were sheep. And goats. And cattle. Lots of them. And Mongol guys riding around on horseback. I must have seen 20 small to largish herds of animals. Their owners were hanging out in whatever shade they could find. The billboards seemed particularly handy. One family group had set up a low table with a white cloth on it and appeared to be about to have tea.

I’ve never seen this between the airport and town before, but then I realized – Nadaam. The herders have come in from all over and they can’t leave their animals, so everybody is here. I also think I saw some townspeople “shopping” for that perfect main course for their holiday dinner. On the hoof at the moment.

I had no idea and the cameras were buried in the suitcase, so no photos at the moment. But it was a great sight. And is exactly the kind of thing I love about Mongolia.

———

If Chinggis Khan had had a car it probably would have been a huge black Hummer trimmed out in lots of chrome, like the one I saw coming into town. Over here those stupid things almost make sense.

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