Now we start with Asia. Since this blog is taking too much time of my life (especialy becaus i hav to translate it 3 times), i’l reduce the freequency of the postings from twice to once a week. I’l try to post an article evry friday.

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Turkish Airlines is a good areline, and they fly to all continents exept Australia. Only 6 arelines in the world fly to mor cities, only one in Europe – Lufthansa. They eeven hav a direct flite to Sao Paulo. I’d prefer to do this trip by land, but the veesa story took quite a wile and i hav a date in Beijing with a flite to North Korea. So i fly to Istanbul, i hav to wate a few ours. Thare is a smoking room, big as a normal living room, and for maybe 1000 smoking passengers it is not big enuf, so it is extreemly tite and quite stinky eeven for a smoker. I go thru the controles and leev the areport, the few benches at the front ar occupied and i end up under a bridge, ware the passing drivers keep hooting and asking if i need a ride. I told yu, smokers would land under the bridge, and now we hav it. The next flite goes to Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan, and then to Ulaan Baatar. It is a peeceful flite, exept for the turbulences over the Altai, with its pointed mountains, in the dawn they look like the landscape in a fary tale – the home of eevil witches and gosts.

Ulaan Baatar is the direct transcription from mongolian, Ulan Bator the transcription from russian, ware the unstressd O is pronounced A and thare is no diferentiation between short and long vowels. The city has little mor than one million inhabbitants. It is narrow and long, becaus it is surrounded in the north and in the south by hils, or mountains (from wich altitude a hil becomes a mountain?). The name of the mane street in english is Peace Avenue, the transcription from the cirilic version is Pis Avenue, wich is pronounced Piss Avenue, stil yu cant piss on the street thare. Ther city makes offen a sovietic impression, some temples look chinese or eeven mongolian, and the district ware i stay could be something like a scandinavian slum, it that existed, because of the brite red, brite green and brite blu roofs.

The first day is sunny and plesant, the seccond day is rany and cold, the first day gray and cold, after that it is always sunny. Wen it is sunny, the temperature is over 20° C, so it is plesant, but as soon as the sun has gon down, it gets colder, around 10°C. Thats the end of the summer. The guesthouses with heeting wer all full, so i stay at Ganas Guesthouse, ware thare is no heeting – it is rather fresh eeven wen outside is warm. How do they do in the winter, with temperatures around -15°C at daytime and -25°C in the nite? Ulaan Baatar is at the same lattitude as Paris or someware north of Montreal. In the middle of the summer it is quite OK, but altogether it is the coldest cappital of the world, and thats not surprising, being so far from the Gulf Streem, unlike Europe, so neer to Siberia and at 1.300 m of altitude.

The mongolis eet manely lam with noodles, altho in UB yu find restaurants from menny cuntries. Most restaurants ar korian, and thare ar quite a few companies from South Korea around. Just the entrances ar a bit silly: yu see the neon sine of a travel agency, go in and find yourself in a shoe shop, yu see the sine of a restaurant and end up in a sex shop. This is so becaus the entrances to menny shops arnt direct but inside the building, and those entrances ar quite labirintic, like in a mirror cabbinet of an amusement park. Not better at the central station: yu enter the mane building and yu find yourself in a labbirint of wating halls and shops, yu ask around and they say: “Oh, yu want tickets? Then yu hav to leev this building and go to the ajacent building, the smaller one”. Thare they tel yu that yu’r wrong agen, they just sel tickets inside Mongolia. For international tickets i hav to cross the big square, walk 100 meeters, turn rite in a dirt rode, then left and then rite. Of course she didnt say all that, thair english isnt that good, they just point in the direction i hav to go. If an american woman didnt take me thare, i’d be stil looking for it now.

Most tourists come with the Transsibiriano Railway and go on to China. Exept of course wen they ar chinese or japanese – mor or less haf of the tourists come from thees 2 cuntries. I look for a tour that takes me thru the mongolian prarie, but they take too long, unfortunatly i hav a date in Beijing – to take the plane to North Korea.

I make aquaintace with Stefan, an austro, and we decide to rent a car with driver, otherwize we’l never get out of this city. We could hitchhike too, but the trafic outside UB is very sparse, and thare aint hotels, only gers, wich ar the tents ware mongolis liv, wen they liv on the cuntryside. The driver piks us up and we go twards an old ruski van. Stefan makes a joke, “hopefuly it’s not THAT car!”, but it is indeed that car. The driver loves it, becaus it is so robust – thare is no bad rode or mountan that can stop it. We drive twards west, to Kharakhorum, the old cappital of the mongolis, from ware Chingis Khan and later Kublai Khan gouvernd most of the knoen world by that time. It was the largest empire that ever existed, if we just considder continuus land. Most of Asia and Eestern Europe. And it was all conquerd by a folk that had just haf the population of Switzerland. Imagin the swissis conquering Europe and Asia. Wel, wen the Roman Empire started expanding, it wasnt mor than the city of Rome and the naborhoods. By the way, in Turkiye Chingis Khan is a national heero, as wel as Attila. Attila is also a heero in Hungary. But thees difrenses of point of vew exist between the germanic and romanic peeples too: wat the romanic peeples call ‘Invasion of the Barbarians’, germans, englis, scandinavis call ‘Migration of Peeples’.