Interesting Times

Mongolia is undergoing many changes and this is a very interesting time to be here. Our last and first visit was in 2010. There was a sense of chaos then in regard to traffic and I note most people who comment on Mongolia usually write about the traffic; the seemingly distrust and disregard to road rules. Red lights then and now are taken as being non existent and pedestrian crossings as places to attempt to cross the road. India comes to mind. However, I suspect there is change on the way too with the traffic chaos. Even Unench was booked yesterday for illegal parking. If there is any sniff of alcohol on the breadth there is suspension of license. Rules are in place and now it looks as if they are being enforced. We are noting more cars pulled over by police with notebooks. There are a few more red lights installed, but even then they often do not make sense… Particularly on intersections where you would expect lights to help you make a right turn.

There are also visible concerns about the western influence on the Mongolian ways. It is illegal for advertising signs to be written in English; all signs are supposed to be written in Mongolian Cyrillic.there are many signs appearing throughout Ulaanbaatar in written in English. Mostly the say Internet Cafe or something to do with fashion or cafe or restaurant. No idea how this is policed or what the fines are. Now only the elderly seem to walk streets in traditional deep clothing. Young people are wearing western clothing and they appear to dress only in traditional clothing when we see the, performing in a concert.

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