My arrival in Mongolia is on time at Chinggis Khan airport in Mongolia’s capital, Ulaan Baatar (UB). It’s the middle of the night, and I only saw a few lights outside my window, so as expected, I’ll have to wait until morning to see anything. I pass through immigration quickly and easily after completing my entry form, and my checked luggage came out fairly quickly, since it’s a small airport.
My Arrival in Mongolia
I scan the crowd at the exit gate after customs for Dolgormaa’s family. Unfortunately, Dolgormaa is in on a business trip for the week. She’s so sweet and thoughtful, though, and really just a genius! Before leaving on her trip, she printed my name on a piece of paper and laminated it for her family to hold up. I instantly spot Dolgormaa’s brother holding the laminated paper with my name and her dad waving at me. How exciting! I am nearly to my new home for the next night or 2!
Exiting the airport, the 2 men and I cross the street to a parking lot lit with a million street lights. I take my first breaths of Mongolian air. You know how the air smells different in other countries? Well, Mongolia smells different from home. Not bad and not good; just different.
The Ride Home
Dolgormaa’s dad insists on taking the back seat with my luggage although I gesture for him to take the front seat. In the front passenger seat on the left side, I feel funny– it’s been a while since I’ve been in a car with the steering wheel on the right side. Leaving the airport in the 4-wheel drive SUV, it’s nearly midnight. We drive down paved roads with dirt portions in the pitch-black night. My first Mongolian word is “dusty”. Dusty, dusty, dusty. The dust puffs and billows up in front of our headlights, as it’s stirred in massive proportions by the vehicles in front of us. Dolgormaa’s brother’s name is Dasha and he speaks some English. Dolgormaa’s father speaks no English. Mongolia will be fun!!!!!! And, chances are great that I’ll learn some Mongolian.
Coming all too soon… My first Mongolian bathroom. There’s always an adventure waiting just around the corner!
The next Chapter of this story: I get a cozy bed after nearly 24 hours of travel.
The previous Chapter was: Sushi in Seoul
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