Cities

Walking into the Night of Ulaanbaatar

It was already late in the evening when we arrived in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia. After several attempts to contact our couchsurfing host with messages and phone calls, we knocked on his door, knowing, that if no one will answer, we will end up having to spend our night in the streets. After some time, standing there on a dark hallway with no response from the apartment, we gave up and went out…

Apparently it was a little Saturday (Wednesday) and the whole city seemed to be in a good heartbeat. Drunk people walking around, couples here and there in the midst of emotional turmoil settling down under the shadows of  the huge blocks of flats or surprisingly in the middle of the bushes. Suddenly we noticed a lonely bicycle on the opposite street, parked in the middle of the road. Next to it a young gentleman of bigger proportions was rolling on the lawn and creating loud sounds as if he’d have some kind of attack. We saw him vomiting and thought something was wrong, but when he noticed us, he jumped like a gazelle, descending completely to his feet. “I’m good, don’t you guys worry, I just drank too much vodka and now I have a hangover.” His performance was so hilarious that we couldn’t hold back our laughter when we walked away from him. 

Our late-night stroll continued towards the center and when we crossed the bridge an older man was leaning and puking over, down to the railroad. Somewhere in the city had to be a good party! After hitchhiking more peaceful and rural areas Ulaanbaatar, with its bright street lights and busy night life, appeared to be full of action. Later on we learned that the president of Russia – Putin was visiting in the city and it had consequences for traffic, some workplaces were closed and actually some companies had bigger parties. Instead of partying our night was full of walking, small chats with locals (who were all very helpful) and finally sitting inside a 24/7 cafe where we could drink coffee and eat spicy Korean noodles. After the first rays of the sun we finally reached our host – it turned out that he did not respond because he was drunk, but later on he read our messages and even went out from his block to look for us. Once we got into his flat, like little babies, we fell on our mattresses into a deep sleep.

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