My buddy, Jimmy, Merseybilly & annual Cheshire Bluegrass BBQ fame, has moved himself and his banjo to frickin' Outer Mongolia.
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, to be precise (the capital, which according to Wikipedia, has the "coldest average temperature of any national capital in the world" - fantastic!). He's moved for 6 or 7 months to teach English. And maybe a little bluegrass banjo.
From his new blog.
I was very much arriving to the unknown. For the next 6 months I'll be living in UB and teaching English and as much as possible playing and teaching Bluegrass banjo. It is understood that I have zero experience teaching English. As for what I have to expect I know very little except that I'll be teaching full-time and that as far as my accommodation goes I "don't even have to bring a spoon"
We entered a narrow yellowed hallway and found the creaky lift which I intend to avoid using as much as I can. A second guess on the unmarked buttons found my flat on floor 6. The landlady was inside: on seeing the living room I thought for a moment that I would be living as a guest, but no, the whole apartment is mine and yes, it seems that the school are paying. The kitchen has a painted Mongolian dresser; there's a Russian Doll, a puppy emerging from a barrel, two Chinese tigers and countless other bits of charmingly revolting tat in the front room's enormous wall cabinet. A 3-piece suite (altho it appears that the Mongolians don't bellieve in slouching - the backs are certainly going to do my posture a bit of good); the bedroom has a carpet on the wall and a traditional Mongolian style of wooden bedstead; there's a balcony between the kitchen and living room for drying clothes and I guess summer use; bright, ill fitting carpets and plenty of heat but it's by no means stifling. I love it. Mountains visible towering over the city (and later, the sun setting red over the power station I'd seen earlier from the airport, lighting it redly afire).
No spoons though.
Go there. Read more about the adventures of a Liverpudlian in Mongolia. Permanent link now added to the side bar, over there -->
Editor's note: Jimmy did end up going to the State Department Store and buying a spoon. He can now eat soup.