I woke up at 3:30 am and couldn’t get back to sleep. Last effect of the minimal jet lag, I guess. Had breakfast, packed, surfed internet, iChatted with David. Jan finally called. Driver and guide picked me up around 12:30 and dropped me off at Bishrelt Plaza Hotel, where we stayed last year.
Needed lunch and dining room was closed because they were catering a large wedding. Went out and found an internet cafe with outdoor seating and menu in Mongolian only. I saw one item I recognized for sure, buuz. 300 tugrigs, about 25 cents each. Managed to order two and a beer in Mongolian. Was quite pleased with myself and the waitress got a kick out of it. The buuz and the beer hit the spot. Another place to add to the list. When she brought my check, the waitress, who was not Mongolian, spoke English and did very well. A successful cross-cultural exchange.
Back to room and resting. Hoping to get an internet connection. So close, yet so far. AirPort sees the hotel network, but says I need a password. Time to go to dinner now.
Update: met the rest of the Naadam tour group in the lobby at 6:45. Three Brits, three Swedes and one American besides me. All seem nice. Sat with the Brits at dinner, which was carrot salad, soup and very good mutton. Washed down with Chinggis beer.
Asked desk clerk about internet while getting my room key and Sean, the American says “I believe I can help you with that.” And he did. Told me which of the two networks worked best and, for some reason that I’m sure the universe finds extremely amusing, this time if fired right up, so I’m on until I leave for Gun Galuut on Monday.
Sean also is using Skype on his iPhone, so he doesn’t need a sim card. Went to download it myself, though, and got a AT&T message about how much it will cost per minute for data ($19.97!). Obviously needed to do it before I left home.
So here I am in Mongolia futzing with technology so I can email and blog. It really is a global village.