Greetings to everybody once again, with one last cyber-newsletter before I fly back to Ankara via Moscow next Sunday. The MWC is quite a bit longer, in the effort not to leave anything left unsaid that could or should be said about this Mongolian experience, additional commentary.
Date: January 2, 2000
How are you after the crazy (or relaxed) New Year parties? Any hangovers? Over here we had plenty! Saturday was a totally blurry day. Not that we here in UB had too much wild fun, but we did have our share of champagne! At the National Opera House overlooking Sukh Baatar Square, where we could watch the whole vast square fill up with hundreds of people around the giant, lit up (Christmas) tree at the square’s centre. A few toasts and dances with friends from the local scene, including those friends from the US, France, Holland+Japan (the 25% Japanese gentleman I was telling you about), Mongolia, Bulgaria and Turkey.
Throughout the week, small happenings have been going on, like the diplomatic New Year cocktail on Thursday night, and another one on Saturday, which also featured facilities to view the entry of the rest of the world into the millennium on CNN. I’m sorry to be cutting this short this time, it’s just that I can’t concentrate enough (I guess my blood needs to be cleansed of foreign substances yet more- just kidding). The week has been uneventful otherwise anyway, hope to be in touch with a more interesting newsletter next week.
Welcome to the last MWC of the year. I hope the holidays have been going well for you so far. As for UB, Christmas is being celebrated around the relevant pious households and communities, with the appropriate snowy urban landscape to accompany.
Ha ha! Thought I’d given up, eh?.. Alas, I am back to plug up your inboxes once again! hope all your weeks have been fine and full of good fortune. As it is the time of the year where everybody is wishing each other well as part of the season’s greetings, I hope the general rise of positive energy has been helping in this respect.
Welcome back to another gruelling round of MWN. This time, though, the @#$% computer has stabbed me in the back and malfunctioned, so after a lot of lost time, whatever nerves and good spirits left will be squeezed out into a more shorthand-type mail.
Here is yet another episode of the by-now-getting-established News from Mongolia. Even though it is 2 am here, I am very intent on finishing this on time (i.e. one week from the previous one) and being disciplined about it.
As a result of some nice feedback, I got used to the idea of writing the story of my daily life and times in the Far East to you good people. (Maybe you can gather that it is not the busiest of places in the world, so that I can sit down and write stuff like this!)
Hi from Ulaan Baatar… I arrived yesterday from Beijing. Directly my parents whisked me off to an international women’s club ball, with a grand raffle and dancing and a lot of smiling, fake and not, where my fatigue after traveling from 7.30 am onwards topped with some wine finally showed their effects, and today I slept till 12 noon.
The Mongolian Weekly Cyber, November 1999- January 2000
At age 24, after my year of master studies in York, England, I spent part of the winter of 1999-2000 with my parents in Ulan Bator (Ulaan Baatar in the local way of saying it), capital of Mongolia, my father being the Turkish Ambassador there from 1998 to 2002. This journal chronicles two months in the heart of the winter of this enigmatic, ‘deep Asian’ country, based on a spontaneously evolving series of weekly e-mail messages to friends from York and other places, for the purpose of keeping in touch.
Mongolia was much more an unknown element, one of the few ‘last frontiers’ left in the world of travel back then. Now, thirteen years on, I imagine it is much better known and celebrated. Here in this journal, I endeavoured to present a window into diplomatic/ expatriate community life in a truly foreign land. I look back at my own writing of younger days with some amusement and embarrassment (!) (and confess to editing some ‘creases’ in the original text to improve the narrative flow), but I still find it worth sharing, with the hope that it will entertain and inspire you to discover more of that beautiful Land of Blue Skies, and lastly, to ponder the fast-changing times evidenced in the contrasts to some of our modes of living and thinking today, in 2013.
Mongolian Rhapsody Date: November 21, 1999
Mongolian Weekly News no. 2 Date: November 28, 1999
Mongolian Weekly News no. 3 Date: December 5, 1999
Mongolian Weekly News no. 4 (aka the Mongolian Weekly Cyber) Date: December 12-13, 1999
Mongolian Weekly Cyber no. 5 Date: December 19, 1999
Mongolian Weekly Cyber no. 6 Date: December 26, 1999
Mongolian Weekly Cyber no. 7- New Year Edition Date: January 2, 2000
Mongolian Weekly Cyber no. 8- The Final Episode! Date: January 10, 2000
Joi (my friend Jaideep Chakrabarti) and I met with the tour group at İstanbul – Atatürk Airport. Threw ourselves into the airplane, for the 07.00 am Diyarbakır flight, in a grumpy early morning mood..!