Sunday, September 9, 2012

Super Saturdays

I think I'm going to have a new Saturday ritual. I like to call it "Spring-Cleaning Saturdays." I mean, I'm going to wake up early, anyway (because teaching has left me with an internal clock that only fails me when it means I'm going to miss my damn flight), so I might as well make good use of that time. Besides, since Sun started to clean my apartment, I kind of missed having that time every week to get my head straight. So that's what I did these past two weeks when I first woke up. And was just finished in time to visit the Black market with some of my new friends.
If you look at UB on google earth, a little to the east and the south of the main body of the city you'll see these bright blue roofs. That's the big market here, Naran Tuul. In English we call it the Black market, but it's not a "black market" in that sketchy way we always used the term in Korea.
The biggest similarity between this place and the concept of a "black market" that I grew up with (thanks to my brother's Indiana Jones Atari games) is the fact that there are pickpockets aplenty, so you have to watch your bag. You can get just about anything you want here. If you watched The Long Way Round, this was where Charley and Ewan went to get their "ass-kicker" boots. I loved all the Mongolian style goods.
But my biggest purchase today was a one-girl rice cooker shaped like - what else??? - a red bell pepper. It's awesome, although I haven't actually used it yet (and can only assume that it will still work after being jostled around all day yesterday).
After we finished shopping I ended up going downtown with the Korean PE teacher and having a blast. We checked out Joy Reflexology Massage (just like China, baby) and had Thai for dinner at Bangkok restaurant (pretty decent, actually) and picked up a few things at the State Department Store. The only thing that could have improved my day was cute boys, but that's almost always true, so I have to chalk this one up as pretty fricking awesome.

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