Ulaanbataar First Impressions
Sep 08, 2010
Ulaanbataar is quite possibly the ugliest city I have ever been to and yet I utterly love it. This strange mixture of gers and heavy industry, of tent fabric and collosal gas pipes. Gers on construction sites, unfinished rebarred concrete monoliths and yurt for a site hut. And the Mongolians themselves don't yet seem comfortable with the concept of the city or of urban living. The roads are chaos, the buildings are woefully constructed and hideously ugly and public space are construction sites that haven't yet been constructed. The gers and shanties stretch out on the surrounding hills and a real sense pervades of a frontier, wild west town - a few crumbling buildings stuck up in the desert ready for bar brawls and cheap hookers. A sense that things are about to kick off at any moment. And yet, on the whole, Mongolians seem smiley, happy people and I am smiley and happy being here.