Friday, July 15, 2016

Dog Days of Naadam and ASEM

Because of the National Independence Holidays and an Asian European conference in Ulanbaatar, the whole country closed down for the whole week.  Stores were still open, but banks and businesses were not.  Everyone is expected to stay home and watch wrestling (bare chested Mongolian guys) and horse racing (child jockeys) on TV.

The time off was enjoyable, but finally a little boring.  It started to feel like a 'stay-cation', which is all the relaxation, without all the rejuvenation of a new place, travel, and activity to keep the mind (and body) engaged.  I just talked to the neighbor guy outside who volunteered that he was getting bored.  Add two more days for Darhan's local Naadam (Olympics) celebration and you get yourself about 10 days off.  You know it's a bit much when Mongolians themselves start to confess their boredom from time off work!

Add to that, when the weather is hot, almost no one goes outside, so there can be a really eerie feeling that everyone's left town.  Finally when things cool off in the evening though, the neighborhood livens up.  Apartment life can be a sedentary one.  But Mongolians famously can't take the heat, so I guess they have their ways of coping.

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