Saturday, August 4, 2007

Mongolia | Ulaan Baatar | Occultation

I see that I have not blogged since May 27, over two months ago. This is in large part because I have moved from my penthouse apartment in the exclusive Sansar District of Ulaan Baatar to a hovel in the howling wilderness beyond Zaisan Tolgoi, on the wrong side of the Tuul River (and the railroad tracks) from the city. This area is not yet on the phone grid so I cannot get dial-up internet service. There is talk up of running cables for high-speed internet access into the area—who really needs land-line telephones anymore, anyhow?—but so far nothing has happened. The area is serviced by a wireless network, but to utilize it most effectively you need a stand-alone receiver with an antennae. Unfortunately the stand-alone receiver uses only Windows software, so I cannot use it with my Mac OS. The only other option is to go to town and use the free wireless internet in the cafes. This summer, however, the city is jammed with tourists and most of the cafes are too crowded for comfort. Also, this entails walking from my hovel into town and thus risking attack by the packs of ravening wolves that periodically pick off the unwary pedestrian around Zaisan Tolgoi. Until I get regular internet service I have therefore decided to go into occultation. I may reappear if and when I get internet service, but don't hold your breath.