Thursday, April 5, 2012
Life in a construction zone
The more interesting the happenings, the less time there is to chronicle them. Also we’ve been lacking the means, since we moved out into our own little apartment.
That was on Tuesday. We bought a fridge and washing machine after our morning class, and then Seumas went to the airport with Naraa to have another go at picking up our boxes. They were released into his care for the bargain price of about AUD$0.80
Meanwhile, I went and had some soup at a European-owned café and then went to the mobile phone place to try and work out how to get internet access on my mobile. After much repeating of the same few English words over and over, they managed to get me to comprehend that I could turn some of my units that I’d already bought into data whenever I wanted by SMSing a number. How about that! Too bad it didn’t work.
Anyway, when Seumas and Naraa and Chinbat came back with the boxes, they deposited them in our lounge room and then moved the bed over from the Hall’s. Then we ate dinner with the Halls, stole some final internet time, and moved our suitcases across. We were in! Our fridge and washing machine came at about 10pm, carried up three flights of stairs by a single guy on his back!
I didn’t really sleep the first night. It takes until about 11.30pm or so for things to be quiet; night time is prime time for Mongolians. Also cigarette smells are frequently getting in from other units; possibly through the wiring. I can smell it right now. It kind of sucks.
Anyway, yesterday we went to class in the morning and then Naraa helped us with some chores in the afternoon, like getting the internet connected and picking up some new power points. He also figured out why my phone wasn’t getting internet! Pretty much Naraa can do anything. We were going to go to the open air market to get some carpet and furniture items, but the traffic was really bad and the wind was whipping a lot of dust into the air, so we didn’t. We ate instant noodles for dinner (all we have to cook with is an electric kettle) and then had our weekly team meeting. One of our team members is doing a presentation on Mongolian shamanism at his work, which I’m looking forward to benefitting from.
This morning we did our Mongolian homework, and I discovered that we had good water pressure at a decent temperature in the mornings, so I washed my hair. While I was washing my hair, the guys came to start tiling our kitchen. That was a bit awkward, but Seumas sneaked me some clothes. So they started tearing up the floor, and we left for class. When we came home, the guy was there setting up the internet, and there were piles of dirt and dust everywhere! Mud blocking the bathroom even. Naraa came, and we went to the market. We looked at lots of wardrobes and chests of drawers, but the sellers very quickly worked out that I was the one with deciding power, and they kept tugging me this way and that. At one point I got wedged between two wardrobes while the seller hemmed me in. It was a bit full-on! We eventually picked some out. The quality isn’t great, but they’re half the price that Ikea would have been, so that’s a bonus. Chinbat arrived with his truck, and oh was there much huffing and hard work by the guys to get the items up the stairs and inside! The tilers had left for the day as the concrete had to dry, and I felt pretty disheartened by the huge mess everywhere. I did some sweeping, and picked up some dirt, but I feel like I just moved the dust into the air. I can feel the fine coating of it on me just sitting here on the bed. I hope it’s not in between the sheets too much. I think they will finish the job tomorrow afternoon, so Saturday will be clean clean clean! Yuck.
Anyway, this afternoon I popped into a neighbour’s to get some clean drinking water, and then we went to a restaurant/bar to get some dinner. They had many pages of offerings, and we tried to order chicken and Greek salad, but they indicated that our options really consisted of pizza or Mongolian food. So we got a pizza. Pretty ordinary, but we did managed to indicate that we wanted to take the left overs home. So we’ll have to buy a microwave so we can eat them! They had a long list of ‘juices’ with very strange sounding flavours (like tiramisu, and marshmellow), so I tried a vanilla juice. It was quite nice! I think it’s just water with some kind of artificial flavouring, but whatever, it’s nice to try something new and have it turn out nice.
Seumas is trying to set the wireless router up so we can be on the Internet separately and in our room, but perhaps our router won’t work with a non-phone line connection. Maybe we’ll buy another modem tomorrow or something.