Trip Start Jun 12, 2010
27Trip End Ongoing
We headed out today just to do a bit of sight-seeing but it wasn't long before I needed to cool off so I begged this gardner for a quick shower. I knew the water would be wet, but I didn't expect it to be quite so cold and so sudden... aaargh!
Yes, another statue. Probably because we don't have many of them in Hobart, they always impress me.
The Children's Palace... very Soviet. Not just the building but the concept. I still find it strange that the Mongolians seem to have been just as much under Soviet influence as eastern Europe for so many years yet they were just about never mentioned. It's not as if they're a small country.
It turns out they had their share of repression as well. We found these skulls in a museum set up by the daughter of one of the early Mongolians leaders who was killed, apparently on orders from Moscow. I suspect the museum doesn't get many visitors. It's a big thing for those that lost family members but for everyone else, they're probably happy to forget the past.
Here they are in front of the concert hall. I think they'd rather be sitting down... behind a couple of beers.
True to the Russian influence, you can get a game of chess near Sukhbaatar Square. We played for 5,000 - Tugrik... about $5. I don't think the bloke I played was that good but I'm a bit out of practice. Plus I was expecting to get thrashed... as I was once in a park in Russia. I suppose you just need to not make any blunders and stick to basics and you can beat most average players.
To the victor go the spoils...
I suppose if I'd won he would have accused me of being a Russian or something...
Yet another yurt... this one was a souvenir shop so a bit corny... I can't believe I bothered taking a photo of it...
Once they spot a beer tent, they normally hone on it pretty quickly.
The major event planned for the day was a visit to a concert of Mongolian music. I wasn't really all that keen on going but Nora had read up on it and was all for it.
We met up with Odko who was, as you can see, appropriately dressed for the coldest capital city in the world... here she demonstrates the alternate hand position when you've been barred from doing the v for victory signal.
On to the concert... which was absolutely superb! I was expecting more of a folk music gig but these musicians turned out to be real virtuosi. Mesmerising.
It's really remarkable that these musicians are so good yet they've chosen an instrument that hardly anyone, anywhere has heard of.
It certainly deserves to be better known. Another example of western bias. They mix cellos in their morin khor music but when was the last time the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra had a guest morin khor player...?
We finished up at some fancy Mongolian restaurant. The decor was great and they also had a pretty impressive museum type display. You can also tell that the restaurant is pretty fancy by the impractical seating... or was the table just very low...