Posted by: soupysays | July 18, 2006


I am writing this from the Peace Corps office in the capitol of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar (UB). In a few hours the Health and Community Youth Development Trainees will get on the train and arrive back in SB at 4:30 AM.

When I have been asked how I like UB, I usually respond with “interesting” or “different.” UB really is the only truly “urban” place in Mongolia. While here I have eaten real pizza, drank real coffee, and stood in a market and enjoyed the smell of fresh veggies.

Have you ever stood in the grocery store and truly enjoyed the smell of fresh vegetables? You should.

UB is expensive. When you’re here, you want to eat western food because it is the only place in the country where it is not “Mongolized.” Well, I really have no idea what was in the “guacamole,” but it wasn’t avocados. However, these restaurants for ex-pats and tourists. As Peace Corps volunteers, we do not have the money that expats and tourists have. I had a couple 4,000T meals. That’s less than $4, but that is expensive as hell.

UB is more westernized. I don’t think anyone would argue with that. Many people go so far to say that UB isn’t Mongolia. However, with all this cultural shift, there is still a connection to some of the past. I have heard traditional Mongolian songs on the radio and in clothing stores.

I have a month left of training. We have a lot to do in that month: a health project, a community project, teaching english, and language and tech sessions. Time is going to fly.


  1. That reminds me of when I wouod go to Itaewon to eat shepard’s pie. Good times. And expensive, of course. I should hav saved a little more while in Korea–I am so poor now.

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