Friday, September 14, 2007

8/29 - 8/30 SF to Ulaanbaatar

After a great send off by my SF friends, I started my adventures on 8/29. Factoring in the time difference and travel, I had to dedicate two days to get to Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. The very long journey was only broken up by a layover in Inchon Airport in Seoul where my friend Nancy met me. There was only one hitch. Since I was in the transfer area and couldn't exit the airport, we had to "talk" through a thick slab of glass. It was kind of like getting a visitor in jail except we didn't have the luxury of a telephone. We spent the next hour writing messages to each other. I could see the passersby staring at Nancy and making comments. I was waiting for airport security to descend any minute. Other than that inconvenience, Inchon is a very nice airport. When you're hopping from one country to another, airports become quite important. Little did I know that I would have a few choice words about the Moscow Intl Airport.

Fast forward many hours and I arrived in Ulaanbaatar at 10:30pm on 8/30. There was a bit of confusion at Immigration since the agent couldn't quite make out why I have a face that doesn't match the name. I offered him my California drivers license. He still looked confused but let me through anyway. I was met by Michidmaa, our tour guide and translator, who told me immediately that I look Mongolian. This became a common theme throughout the trip.

Driving into Ulaanbaatar proper, the first thing you notice is that the highway is a narrow two lane path. At least it was paved. Turns out paved roads are far and few between in Mongolia. The most random sight I caught on the drive in was an Esprit store.

1 comment:

Nooner said...

Can't wait to hear more about your travels...Hope you're having a tres pleasant time in Loire Valley! Looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks, without the glass slab!