Trip Start Jul 17, 2008
26Trip End Aug 16, 2008
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Thursday is 'Club Night'. Our regular team leaders take the night off and Social Directors Ash and Paul take over. We get on the bus at around 6 PM to find beer waiting for us on our seats. Nice touch!
We have dinner at a Mongolian BBQ restaurant. It might have been called Mongolian BBQ actually. The concept is similar to the Mongolian Grille in Canada. You pick out the food you want in your stir fry from an array of meat (horse, sheep fatty tail, chicken and beef) and a whole bunch of vegetables. You then hand it over to one of the chefs who cooks it on a huge skillet-type cooker using what can only be best described as giant chopsticks. Granted they are indented slightly but you get the idea. They throw around the food to ensure that it's fully cooked. My firt order lost all it's horse meat :( But eventually if you were paying attention (they cook 12 meals at a time) you get your food.
Horse meat was fine. Nothing worth going out of your way for. The fatty sheep tail was interesting but again not a delecasy. I suspect that anything worth eating in most countries has been discovered and taken to North America. This is disappointing but I will continue to try new food!
At the dinner we meet the Mongolia Habitat for Humanity National Director and some of the other staff. We receive certificates of participation (survival??) and a small gift (leather cellphone/wallet carrying case).
After dinner we warm up at a local Irish pub. We cram into a small corner since there are over 20 of us at this point. Some of the Mongolia staff are joining us at club night!
Finally the club opens and we get into the bus to go. After brief negotiations to get a discount on the cover charge we head in.
This club felt very out of place in Mongolia. It looked as if it could be in any big city. The decor was mostly white and light blue. The architecture and the furniture all supported a modern and almost futuristic theme. It was spotless. When the floors got dirty a lady came out and cleaned them. Even from muddy feet which we had.
Drinks were North American priced. Given the average annual income of $3000 US we were wondering who might be going to these clubs. Maybe foreigners pay the high prices and locals get a break. Or this is where the young and rich play at night.
We danced the night away. There's no other description for it. Everyone in the group stayed and danced until at least 1:30 AM when the first bus left. 12 people out of 20 were on the bus. 8 stayed!
I left on the 'early' bus. My eye was making good progress and I didnt want to risk further trouble. Enough excuses from me now! Everyone on the bus was exhausted
but had had a great time. I got home and fell asleep quickly. The rest of the group arrived a few hours later.
The next day we heard the stories from the rest of the night. The group continued to dance for a few hours and then met to leave. When they had left the building one of the group peeled off to relieve himself near the side of the club. Apparently this didn't go so well with club security and he was dragged back into the club. Back into the club wasn't exactly accurate ... he was dragged into a small, dark room near the entrance to the club. There he was beaten by up to 5 security staff. They must have done this before because there were no marks on him the next day. They were screaming in Mongolian he was screaming in English. Finally he said something they understood: 'I'll pay you.' And it ended by handing over 20,000 tugruks (approx $18).
Nothing was broken. Only a little limp that went away over the next few days. In all he was fine. He did walk away with a interesting trip story and the most expensive bathroom break award.