..and in Mongolia its going to be cold and cold
so! i’m here!!!
first up, thanks a million to everyone who rocked on down to the laundry the other night for the fundraiser. we had a hugely sucessful night with something like 130 people coming through the door, a bunch of t-shirts sold, and even ended up making some money!! about $1300. have had great feedback from many who were there and are thinking of putting on a similar event when i return – any thoughts much appreciated. huge thanks to all the acts who performed (paul and paul, jaezed, weston conxion, auracalls, ash santilla, dj manchild and jose aval) and everyone who helped me out on the night (fiona, laura, marita, saatia, marko, meils, jana, megs, anna, will, eva) and over the last few weeks slash months (too many – you know who you are). i wouldn’t be here without you all.
after a manic week of sorting out the final items (second camera and tripod being the big ones) i landed in beijing. those who have been to china and have been questioning beijings ability to host the olympics in 2008 will be please to know that they are still as ill-prepared as ever. roads are busier, bikes are rarey, and the supposed english speakers are still nowhere to be found. i heard that they are going to stop all industry in the city THREE MONTHS prior to the games in an attempt to clear the air! knowing their love of labourers, i can see a million sichuanese with fans clearing the haze. either way, it’ll be a mad city to be in when the champagne pops.
the temperature was hoving around zero for the most part, but there were a few days with killer winds that made me ask myself the same question that all my mates in beijing had been asking me……why the hell was i heading to mongolia in the winter?? it had seemed like a damn fun idea from the warmth of sunny oz, but stepping onto bejings -2 degree tarmac made me think…….what am i getting myself into!?!?
i put it down as acclimatising – this was tropical compared to mongolia. braving the weather, i wandered the city and stocked up on good ol’ fake warm clothes – columbia jacket, merrel shoes, etc, caught up with a few mates, and ate like a king. and, after years of avoiding it, i finally bought the $15 (genuine!!) rolex!! how lucky am i!!
i landed in ulaanbaatar (ub) yesterday. it was a sunny fresh day of about minus 15, although standing in the sun and without a hint of wind it felt warmer than beijing. i got stood up at the airport, then got ripped off by a friendly taxi driver (figure you have to do it at least once) on the way into the polluted capital. i have the use of my “incountry researcher”‘s apartment (jana) as she is eating well in italy, and have met a few other aussies who just invited me for dinner so have to wrap this up!! am sorting out stuff for the doco – started mongolian lessons the smorning and am organising to move in wiht a mongolian family to help my language!!
the city is cold, but the people are warm, and its still a thriving place to be. as i settle down i will start meating people and getting on wiht the doco. already have some great contacts thanks to jana and a few mongolians (ganzo, kusha, tuya) so am excited to get out there!! gotta grab some dinner now from the friendly neighbours and then off to a heavy metal concert!! i love this country! more about it, less about me in the next mail!