Posted by: soupysays | July 22, 2006

more UB and english teaching

I did not give UB a just description. Here’s another attempt:

UB feels like a big city. Horrific traffic jams. You must look both ways and hold your breath as you cross the street. For the first time since I’ve been in Mongolia, I realized I could get lost.

Men with blond streaks in their hair.

Non-PCV white people. Lots of them. It’s high-tourist season.

I bought a banana on the street. A fat, delicious banana. It cost almost 500T. A fat, delicious, expensive banana.

I bought the banana right after I purchased popcorn. From a movie theater. I didn’t see a movie. I split the 2,000T bag along three others. The theater had neonish lights inside and tiny flat screen TVs showing previews. A saw a few flat screen TVs throughout my stay.

The US Embassy had air conditioning. I reacted quite strongly to the woman in the standard blue suit government garb. I looked at the embassy staff, and then looked at the Peace Corps staff and volunteers are felt glad to be where I was.

We stayed at the International Dorms of an university. We heard stories of people climbing the balconies in order to swipe tourists’ belongings. My suite mates had a TV in their room. I spent part of my stay watching BBC News and Bridget Jones’s Diary in English. (The shit is once again hitting the fan in the Middle East, huh?) The outlets in the dorms fried my new flat iron my mother sent me and my roomie’s Ipod charger.

I spent 1,8000T on a DVD bootleg of Office Space.

I went to Gandaa, a monestary that has some buildings that weren’t destroyed by the Russians. I saw giant Buddha. Someone tried to swipe my wallet from my messenger bag.

I saw “You don’t kill people. You must kill Chinese” spray painted on a building.

The most amazing bathroom, ever: sit-down toilet with running water, soap, hand-dryer and lotion. Needless to say, this restaurant was posh. I did not eat there, but I had friends drop large amounts cash there.

Oh, yeah, restaurants and stores that took credit cards! Say what?

I shocked the woman taking my train ticket to get on the train because I said, “Za.” “Za” is the equivalent to “ok.”

You better believe I sang karaoke.

I heard information with the health group from the Ministry of Health, the WHO, the UNFPA, and a traditional medicine doctor.

PCVs showed us where to spend 1,500 on a vegetarian meal.

Paul, the Medical Officer, showed us his expensive garden. I have never seen Bock Choy that large.

Really, where do those random stores get Costco and Sam’s Club items?

I’m back at site now and doing great…I have less than a month of training…what? 

Since most health volunteers teach some english at site, we each have to teach a lesson at the aimag hospital for practice. I had two rows of a total 24 nurses stare at me while I tried to teach them the words “hospital,” “doctor,” “nurse,” “dentist,” “medicine,” “patient,” and “ambulance.”  The white paper caps did not make the scene less intimdating. I had never taught English before. I had never really taught anything before. Giving powerpoint presenations does not equal standing in front of a group of Mongolians and trying to figure if they actual comprehend what you are saying instead of just parroting the words I said. It was hard to not use the little Mongolian I know.

I started the fire for dinner two nights this week. It gives me hope that I won’t freeze to death if I end up in an apartment. My dad also completed a shower house. A big vat of water sits on top and is heated by the sun. Basically, it is a solar shower. I have yet to use it, but I am excited to leave bucket baths behind.

Oh man, I’m going to have dreams about that banana for quite some time.

oh, I got a few pics up on flickr:


  1. roomie’s ipod charger shouldn’t be fried…the voltage/frequency on those is international. stupid apple.

    aw, english teaching…nope, still don’t miss it ;)

    and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

    can you post an address again so i can mail you stuff?

  2. HEY – I just wanted to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :) :) :) :) I hope it’s a good one, Miss Staceykins!


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