Travel

November 14th, 2017 (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia) - The Joy of Knock-Off Chinese Toys

 

Looking at this toy, one assumes that somewhere in China there is a knock-off toy manufacturer who pictures in his brain a "Toy Story 5" movie where Sheriff Woody goes to "destroy the forces of evil". I wonder... what would that movie look like? Personally, I picture Sheriff Woody teaming up with Bruce Willis to kill terrorists in a high rise office building...  :)

 

August 16th, 2017 (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia) - Something I've Never Seen in the U.S.

 

    The USDA and many U.S. state governments keep telling me raw milk is something that can't be sold or consumed because it's "dangerous". Yet here in Mongolia is a raw milk dispenser, sold inside a megastore that just happens to be owned by and part of the largest retailer in South Korea (i.e. E-mart). It's almost as if they trust people to make their own decisions as to what to put in their bodies... how crazy is that?

 

July 26th, 2017 (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia) - Culture Quirks and Having It Too Easy

 

    For those who don't know, I'm writing this from Mongolia, where my family and I currently spend most of our time. Last week my wife's little nephew was visiting, and they were watching "Clarence" on Cartoon Network (Yes, there is Cartoon Network, even here. Sadly, there is also Fox News and CNN... I try to be positive and think of it as yin-yang with the good and the bad having to be in balance). Anyway, it's the grocery store episode and Clarence sees the very obese woman riding one of the grocery store scooter carts. My wife's nephew had a puzzled look on his face, and it was only then I realized he's probably never seen a mobility scooter before. That then made me realize I've never seen mobility scooters ANYWHERE in Mongolia, whether in the supermarkets or anywhere else. I've tried thinking back to our family's trip last year to Iceland and Norway, and couldn't remember seeing them there either.
    It reinforces my conviction that Americans in general are getting way too soft. Here I see hunched-over little old ladies with canes walking down the roads and in the stores, going slow but still powering through life. There's a guy living in this area with amputated legs who routinely moves his wheelchair all the way up our steep road and across unpaved, hilly ground just to collect the plastic bottles from the apartment complex's trash so he can earn a little cash. Talk about grit.
    I'm not against mobility scooters as a tool, and I know there are some people who truly benefit from mobility scooters. But let's face it... more than half of those who use them do so for convenience, not necessity. We Americans need to toughen up (me included), and challenge ourselves more often. If we don't, we're on a one way trip to being conquered. And they won't even have to send soldiers to do it... they'll just shut off the power and send in their little old women, who will loot all our best stuff and laugh as our mobility scooters' batteries go dead...

 

And with that said, time for me to take a walk  ;-)

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© 2017 Nicholas Berget