In the time that I have been living here (July 16 to November 17, 2015 and March 1 to May 19, 2016) in УЛААНБААТАР* (ULAANBAATAR) Mongolia I have heard several of my friends who have lived here all of their lives complain about the air pollution.
*The more I actually use the Mongolian Cyrillic Alphabet letters the more familiar I am becoming with them. The Cyrillic characters are fast becoming my little friends. Who couldn’t learn to love them!
It is somewhat unusual in my experience to hear local residents complain about air pollution in their native home cities. Why? Because when you are born and raised in a city you know nothing else other than what you have always experienced your entire life. What other reference point have you to compare your home city with?
These particular friends are world travelers so they do know from actual experience what other cities are like. They do indeed have good reference points.
The below link provides solid statistical data about air pollution in major cities in the world.
УЛААНБААТАР (ULAANBAATER) comes in at number twelve (No. 12) on the world air pollution list.
To be brutally honest I have not been particularly bothered by the air pollution here. To this point in time I have always felt Calcutta (Kolkata) in India has been the worst and most bothersome city air pollution wise for me. Calcutta comes home in thirty fourth (No. 34) place on the above list. I was shocked to see Mexico City at twenty sixth (No. 26). Based on my own personal experience I would have bet money Calcutta and Mexico City would have been in the top three.
Ah BUT .. based upon what I am now going to show you below УЛААНБААТАР (ULAANBAATAR) does indeed have some air pollution issues.
Below you see my room. Shooting out into the bright sunlight makes it somewhat difficult to see but below my window is a ledge upon which I place a lot of miscellaneous items.
These two photos were taken AFTER I had shot the others so the ledge looks spotless because it IS spotless.
In the next three photos can you see the absolute grime and filth on the ledge?
I have wiped clean the two tiles in the center.
How about looking at two white cloths that I used to wipe up the tiles in the center above.
Do you want grime? Do you want filth?As I have also experienced in Calcutta, just sitting quietly in my apartment with the windows closed not only are all of my belongings getting filthy but I myself am getting filthy! Ask me .. Go ahead and ask me .. “Cap why do you like short hair?”
Look below in the corner to the right of the window. Look at the caulking at the bottom of the window. I have wiped the left side clean and you can see the grime on the right side.
Below I have wiped the corner clean.I set my kettle that I use to boil water on this ledge to cool off. I used to set it on the ledge uncovered as you see below.
No more. Now I cover the kettle with a cloth (if you can believe this) because the grime was actually infiltrating my boiled water.The cloth begins wet and dries to form fit the top of the kettle.Some of your are aware that my CPAP breathing machine has ‘died’ and is no longer operative. I sure miss breathing clean filtered air all night long as I sleep. The inside of my nostrils can notice the difference.
Does this change my attitude about being here. No. Not one whit. I enjoy it and I treasure my time here.
“Yes Captain ХААНБААТАР (Khaan Baatar) tell us once again just why you are loving Mongolia!”
“The people. In Hong Kong .. In India .. In Mongolia .. The people are what I love the most.”
Sign Me As Truly Blessed! Cap ..
- APR 19, 16 .. CHANGE .. CHANGE IS THE ONLY CONSTANT ..
- APR 23, 16 .. MY VERY OWN ‘LOCAL’ POST OFFICE