Sunday, April 28, 2013

Of the People, By the People

Democracy's come to town.  To be exactly precise, it arrived here in 1990, as communist regimes around the world began to fold.  This is important because the Community of Democracies are having a conference here this weekend.

What does this mean to me?  Not a whole lot.  I am a fairly straightforward person when it comes to politics.  I don't have time for them.  I don't care about them.  It is sad and I should probably be ashamed, but I don't vote - I figure if I can't be bothered to find out what the issues are and where the candidates stand on them, I have no business voting (and, for the record, JFK agreed with me).  And as an asocial butterfly, I don't spend a lot of time forming connections with powerful people, of whom there are undoubtedly a few in town right now.  If you are interested in what the conference is about, you can check out Info Mongolia.  But for me - politically disinterested and socially untethered - this conference mostly meant photo ops.
Sukhbaatar Square and the parliament building were decked out in their finest, and the Peace Bridge has the Mongolian flag and the Community of Democracies flag flying all along its length.  Additional measures have been taken to keep things running smoothly, mostly more cops out and about and traffic restrictions - only odd-numbered plates can drive today and last Friday, even-numbered plates yesterday and tomorrow.  There were a couple of shopping closures, as well, but Merkuri wasn't one of them, so I wasn't too concerned.
After two years in a country that needs no introduction, it was a breath of fresh air to see some protestors.  These guys were calling for an end to political persecution in Mongolia.  Apparently we've still got a political prisoner locked up somewhere.  I tried to find out who he (or she, I suppose) was, but Google is failing to dig up the truth on this one.  That's pretty much all I have for you this weekend...except for this:
Gold cars?!?  What the?!?  Please note that these aren't even the same car.  What are the odds that I would see TWO gold cars in a city this size in the space of about three months? 

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