We arrived in Mongolia late at night after another long day of traveling. Besides the fact that it was dark, we were all so tired we didn’t notice too much about Mongolia on our drive from the airport to the hotel. Except we did notice the crazy driving and the bumpy roads.
Our first night here was an experience that will go down in our books as CLASSIC. In an effort to save money we stayed in a cheap motel. And “cheap” doesn’t even begin to describe it! It was:
1. Old, dirty, Cigarette smoke FILLED and infested, No hot water, TINY beds squished into a TINY room.
6. Wet towels. Not just damp, but full on wet! Weird, but it was like they washed them and then stuck them in the room to dry, which they hadn’t.
7. Naked lady paintings on the wall!!
8. No plugs, No heat, and people up and noisy all night long.
And the very best part, we discovered it was… ummmm… “a house of ill repute”! We checked out the next morning and decided sometimes it is worth paying extra for a hotel! Oh boy.
As we drove around Ulaanbaatar the next day to visit the families I was struck by the destitution in this country. It seriously looks like a war torn Afghanistan after the Al Qaida invaded, destroyed and took over! There are thousands of apartment buildings that are old, run down, dirty and look abandoned. They look like they need to be demolished. Then, with a closer look, I noticed laundry hanging on the balcony or dirty, torn curtains hanging in the window. These apartments weren’t abandoned they were lived in! The few paved roads in the city are full of pot holes. There are no curbs, or if there are they are broken and falling apart. There is no greenery or pretty landscape. Garbage is everywhere. It is a sad reminder of what communism does to a country and to a people. Russia controlled and occupied Mongolia up until the early 1990’s. It makes me so thankful for the country I live in. How blessed we are. I don’t think I’ll ever complain about the poorly planned road construction in Mesa again!