"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Mongolia, A Report from the Field: The Backache of Culture Clash


An unidentifiable noise is trying to take me up.  I’m fighting it as hard as I can without waking myself to the point of no return.


I keep my eyes closed.   Scrape…………………   Where am I ?  

 Ah, in a hotel room in Moron, Mongolia.   Good place to start my detecting.   Let’s see.   I remember pulling back a corner of the drapes and opening the window a couple inches to let in some fresh cold air.   Ah, ha!   Big clue: Snow was falling.

So, someone’s plowing the street or parking lot?   


 Irregular intervals.

Okay.  Enough.   I get up and look out the window.

Someone is plowing the parking lot all right.   There is a small mound of snow in the middle of the open area.   Odd way to remove snow, I think.

Then a man comes from a dark corner of the lot and approaches the pile.   I can not believe what I am seeing!

He has a piece of flat plastic measuring about 30” by 30”.   It has no handles so he holds the upper edges and shoves the plastic sheet under the pile of snow.   He scooped up as much snow as he can and walkes to that dark corner where he deposits the snow on a growing mound.

I watch as he works, wondering how I could send him a snow scoop from home, the kind you never have to pick up.   You just push it along until the scoop is full, then move it to where you want to leave the snow.   Gads, even a grain scoop would be better than a flat piece of plastic.

When he finishes, I go back to bed with an empathetic backache and think about how good we have it at home.  It is a humbling moment, brought about by a difference in tools.

Now, it’s the next morning and we’re checking out of the hotel.  A young man carries our bags out to the van.  I turn on my camera, find the right picture, and show it to him along with the appropriate pointing.

Yes, it was this fellow who cleared the lot with a piece of plastic.   He laughs and I squeeze his biceps.    
He laughs harder.

And we’re off, heading to Ulaanbaatar.

The 50/100 Hotel in Moron, Mongoloia:

I've read reviews on Trip Adviser that weren't very complimentary of this hotel.   The reviewers sure didn't stay in my room!    I found it very, very nice and immaculate.

Wall opposite the bed.

Wonderful shower.

Love shower heads like this one.

I had to laugh at this coaster in the room.

My chicken and pasta lunch.  Very good.

A plate of fries served with sweet and sour sauce.   Don't recall who ordered these.

My dinner:  A chicken thigh steak with a sweet and sour sauce, some veggies and a few fries.

Patti's chicken and rice with veggies.

Front entrance of the hotel

In USD, figure half the rate.   So for a king room, it's about $50.

A small shop across from the hotel.   Yes, that's a Khrushchev building behind the shop[.

The local post office:

And, the daily progress of the magnificent bruise.    Three months later, the bruised area still is sensitive.   There's a slowly fading "stain" on the surface over where the hematoma was.   So lucky I didn't break my hip.   The point of impact was right below the ball of the hip.

Where in the world........

The huge map in the lobby of the 50/100 Hotel.  We are a bit below the large lake on the northern border,;left center.

Our day begins as we leave Moron, below Khuvsgul Lake.

Mongolia is the orange country above big yellow China and below pink Russia.


  1. Here we go loop-de-loop again. I just lost a long comment here. Oh sigh.

    It is amazing that three months later you still can bring the passion-of-the-moment to your posts about Mongolia. Wonderful coverage of the snow removal system last November in Moron. I will not go further on this and the name of the city. I tended to think of it as MohHHHron with an emphasis on the HHH .. Not simply Moron.

    And the bruise on your hip. Were we lucky or were we lucky you did NOT break your hip up there! To think that three months later it is still sensitive and not quite 100% fully healed. Could this have to do with our ages. Possibly huh?

    Maybe the hotel did some shaping-up after some reviews by Trip Adviser perhaps.

    Great Post. Where was I when you got those meals. I think I was out shooting photos and opting not to eat. Smiles .. Cap and Patti in Hong Kong and loving it.

  2. AH, but I wrote that you finished our meals. How soon you forget! I found a pronunciation that was "mu-roon." I'll ask Yusef.

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