Saturday, December 10, 2011

Smog and Cold

Taken from our window about 12 in the afternoon yesterday!

Visibility is quite limited!

Winter has come in full force now in Ulaanbataar with usual mornings at about -26F which is about -33C.  Not too much difference right?  But thankfully, it is a dry cold and so it doesn't feel terribly terrible!  Richard still walks to work in the mornings!  I like the warmth of the bus myself (0 degrees)!! but because we go to work at different times its okay!

The thing we have to be careful about is the air we are breathing.  Because of the levels of toxicity we don't want to be out in it too long, otherwise we will be susceptible to bronchitis and all the upper respiratory problems which so many have here.  Just last week our good friend, Tom, ended up in the hospital with bronchitis.

This is the picture at the same time today!!!

Getting worse!

And we thought California had bad smog!!

 Last night we were walking out near Sukhbaktar Square and it was snowing a little.  There was a Christmas tree set up in the square and another next to it at one of the prominent buildings.  It was such a a beautiful night with the snow and the lights - it actually felt a little like Christmas!  Here there are no advertisements for Christmas but in some of the shops there are decorations.  Its kind of nice not to be inundated with the materialistic side of Christmas!

One of two Christmas trees in UB

But someone told me last night they are New Years Trees!

Nevertheless it started to feel like Christmas!

Walking through Sukhbaktar Square

Loved the lights!

This is our last week here in Mongolia before we travel to the US for Christmas with family and friends.  We are looking forward to a break and a time of fellowship and fun with loved ones.