1˚C and all’s well in UB

steve and bridget eating dumplings

it snowed!!!

the directors suite

the conference room

the mess hall

Shopping for rental apartments in Mongolia is like nowhere else. After buying the local paper, I got my mate Oyunbileg to go thru the classifieds and check out which ones looked ok. He then called about 15 places and narrowed it down to 2 options – both of which had a good location, reasonable price, the right size and agreed to our measly 2 months worth of lease. As soon as I walked into the first (and cheapest and closest) one the next morning, I straightaway knew it was perfect. Telling the landlord, she handed me the keys and that was it! No references. No forms. No ‘we’ll let you know’. Not even a deposit! Just handed me the keys and asked me to keep it clean and not write on the walls (!?!)

And so we have an apartment! Its bang in the centre of town and huge! I’ve gone for the minimalist look. It seems to be working.

Being back in UB after a year has kept me pretty busy. I’ve caught up with some old mates, met a load of new AYAD and Peace Corp guys, had some camera dramas (now mostly resolved) and even been interviewed for some new mag called City Nights – a monthly about modern Mongolia. I’ve got a bunch of contacts for translators and guides, so will be meeting with them in the coming days.

Steve landed in Beijing a few days before I left and had his first ever dumplings with Bridget and I in a great little restaurant that was hidden behind a wall of scaffolding and renovations. They took off to Xian for a few days, and if all has gone to plan, he’ll be on the train right now en route to UB.

Nacho arrives next week. With budget airlines in Spain, it was cheaper for him to fly to Barcelona for the day to organise his Mongolian visa than it was to get a courier to do it! A true cameraman, he photographed the entire day and made a video of it which if he hasn’t already uploaded to the Facebook account, will do in a day or so.

Will and Luke at Squareweave have been flat out working on the website so hopefully it’ll be up at the start of November so keep an eye out.

Am calling a bunch of the hip hop crew this week and filming will start next week!

This week’s high is 3 and low is -19. Needless to say, I should have brought more clothes!

More real soon – Benj

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