Some people have asked about more details about the town where we live. Bulgan has a population of 13,000 people, in a province of the same name having perhaps 65,000 people, and a million and a half head of livestock, but who's counting?
Our province is famous in Mongolia for having the best tasting horse milk. Mare's milk is a fermented low alcohol delecacy drank in huge quantities, especially at ceremonies and holidays.
Our town has a hospital, fire, police department, and an old soviet style flour factory which looks like a huge grain elevator. To my knowledge the factory is really not working.
Our town has paved roads layed out like two paralell rectangles I guess. One of the rectangles circumnavigates the town park. Towns that are well layed out are as rare as parks in Mongolia. Trees in parks are also quite rare. We are thrilled to have all three of these. Though the trees are beautiful and green in summer, they are a kind of Tamarac conifer that drops its needles in winter, and are hence known as Black Tree in Mongolian.
We have a small main market, two meat markets, with vegetables for sale all year round, mostly potatoes and the kind that don't spoil quickly. You never see lettuce, but can always find carrots. Most food is cheap here. We buy beef for about 1.25$/pound most times. But it's a little different in that the butcher's main tool is a blood stained ax and chopping block. Big hunks of frozen beef carcas are what you often see for sale in winter. Vegetables are also cheap. I think people shop here like they might have 50 years ago in America, buying a little from this shop, and little from that shop. Our super-market here is a far cry from the ones in America.