Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Day 21: My plans, your plans, His plans

Today we went to college early!

We decided we ought to go to chapel, in part because we thought it would be good to videotape some of it, and in part just because one ought. We've put it off because when everything around you happens in a foreign language, one's heart might rejoice but the mind is unedified. So off we trundled, extra early, and enjoyed the chapel service. Passionate singing, passionate preaching (Seumas asked his class about the sermon later on).

Apparently Rachel talks "soft", "like an ocean". Mongolians speak "like falling rocks". This from one of her students.

We were delightfully invited out to two concerts in the next two days. We'll let you know about them afterwards!

In the afternoon Seumas had said he'd wait around and do some English Conversation with some of his more struggling students. Alas, they didn't show up!

Rachel is worried about her mouth and a tooth. We are thinking that it might as well wait until we get back, so pray it doesn't become any kind of problem.

That is all. Not a lot to report today. Oh, perhaps we'll talk about Mongolian roads. There are three types of crossings in Ulaanbaatar. The first is at traffic lights. There are not a lot of these. Also, just because it says you can cross, this doesn't mean cars won't be turning into the street you're crossing. So traffic lights don't always help. Second, there are "crossings". Imagine a zebra crossing, and then that the white is actually dark grey. That's what a crossing is: dark grey on grey, virtually invisible. So crossings make no difference to drivers. Except sometimes they do stop! And then it's very confusing because you weren't expecting them to stop, so you need to hurry up to take advantage before some other driver behind gets too annoyed and veers around and into you. Third, there are just the roads, which is what crossings are in the end. The strategy here is to wade into a suitable gap in traffic, preferably to make it halfway, and then wait for a gap on the other side. It helps to have (a) a group, (b) Mongolians, (c) someone aggressive and imposing, around you.

1 comment:

  1. It's the same in China. They have traffic monitors to get the cars to stop at the pedestrian crossings, but they don't often stop. They will, however, brake for white people (apparently it's more serious to hit a foreigner!), so I tended to stick fairly close to Ben when he was crossing the road.