So I'm alone now, no Icelanders or Jamie to entertain myself.
Yesterday I was aiming to watch the Rugby world cup, though whilst trying to find the recommended expat bar Casablanca at Hotel Bayangor in Ulaanbaatar, I was invited to ride on a bus with the Uzbekistan national Judo team to the Judo World Cup. I accepted the offer and it made my day. Took me some time to understand how the points were scored, the most important one is when you manage to fling your opponent on their back.
The opening ceremony was weird at first with a Ghinggis Kahn brigade on horses crapping everywhere. The second phase was a parade of participating countries, however none of the participating countries athletes actually paraded. Only Mongolians holding the flags of the countries, which I thought was a bit odd. The final part of the opening ceremony was the best. It had some Mongolians dancing and I took a video, which I'll share here later TODO.
I left after 3 hours of entertainment to try catch the second half of the England/Argentina rugby game. This was a mistake and I was stuck in traffic for an hour since a vehicle hit a passing train. UB's traffic problems are frankly bonkers, when trains intersect key roads (like the one from the airport), you just have to wonder what idiot came up with this.
I did catch the last minutes of the rugby game to see England scrape through. I then wondered around town like an alien and settled on a huge UB burger for dinner. I then tried to play Counter Strike with the locals but there were frustrating problems with joining the server, so I spend the rest of the evening reading Wikipedia about Mongolian history, dress and combat strategies.
Random thoughts about Mongolia
This probably applies to any country that uses the Cyrillic alphabet, though I find it extremely annoying how the latin / english versions of place names vary in spelling. You might have noticed some inconsistencies in our posts. This makes it really hard to search for things at times. I probably need to read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanization_of_Russian and weep.
Still something like Ulaanba(a)tar or "Ghinggis Kahn" could be consistently spelled could it not? Variations for example could be Genghis Khan, or Khaan. Nightmare!
What's the deal with the random swastika symbols in UB?
Why can't these people negotiate like other Asian countries?
Why have Mongolian people on two occassions just given me money?