Mongolia

Notes On Being A (Very Temporary) UB Resident

Comfy corner in the living room

Comfy corner in the living room

It’s a blessedly cool morning in UB. Coming from the north coast of California, heat and humidity for days at a time wears me down a bit. Thunderstorms predicted today. Rained yesterday, which settled the worst of the dust. This is a dusty city and I was definitely having a reaction to it. But I know to bring my neti pot to Mongolia and it did the job.

Sunday mornings are very nice here. So quiet. No traffic to speak of until after 11am. Very little construction noise at the moment either. (Oops, 7am and they just started up. The building season is very short here, so it’s a seven days a week until dark necessity). There are buildings going up on the both the east and west sides of my building. The apartment extends the width so there is an enclosed bump out balcony on the east side and a window on the west side. Good for a cross breeze.

The bedroom

The bedroom

For the first time I feel like I’m, in a way, living in UB rather than staying here. I like being in a neighborhood with a little mini-market close by instead of isolated up in a hotel. And I’m close to everything I need to get to. It’s one of the old socialist era buildings, probably built in the 1960s. Thick walls, nine foot ceilings, have to drink bottled water due to old pipes and arsenic/uranium/other minerals in the city water supply. No hot water for the last five days, but I’m managing, just like everyone else has to. The electric tea kettle does the job. It’s in the original core district which is called the 40,000 for the number of housing units and is a desirable place to be.

The kitchen

The kitchen

The apartment has an entry hall, one bedroom, one bath, a small kitchen and a large living room. I was told that one like this sells for $90,000 these days. Probably could have bought it for less than $10,000 in 2005. Not sure who owns the various older apartment buildings, maybe the city, maybe individuals, but one can own the apartments and live in them or rent them out. Some people buy two and knock them together. This one is being rented by the Denver Zoo, which uses it for the scientists working at Ikh Nart. I was given access to it also, which I greatly appreciate!

More coming up soon on my exhibition at the National Museum of Mongolia!

Categories: Mongolia, Mongolia 2013

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