Sunday, April 01, 2007

Middle of nowhere


See that orange blob in the picture above? That's Mongolia. I've never been there but love it already. Part of the reason I love it is the wilderness and barrenness it defies yet embraces at the same time. The ecosystem there is so delicate, any slight over-grazing would render grasslands deserts in very little time. The capital Ulaan Baator, has on average, the coldest temperature in the world and I like the cold. Besides it has very little polution, as there are not many tarmac roads and so fewer vehicles than one might imagine could fit into this vast country of less than 3 million inhabitants. Most people use horses to travel once out of the main city. Between one third to half the population, depending on which internet site one goes to, are still nomadic or semi-nomadic. I suppose part of my fascination about Mongolia is that the country seems to reflect me. Empty, yet rich. Barren, yet alive. Land-locked, yet free. Simple, yet extreme. Getting there however, is another matter. From KL, I have yet to plan a suitable and affordable route to my destination.

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