Cultural Connections

Musings about my experiences, art, and life in Mongolia and beyond.

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Location: Ulaanbaatar, Tuv aimag, Mongolia

Native Chicagoan currently teaching in Mongolia.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


From the time I agreed to teach in Mongolia (mid August), to the end of my first week here, it has been a whirlwind. One which I could not have accomplished without my family, especially my Parents (who I can never reach at home), and I can't thank them enough.

All the while, I kept thinking of some of the Victorian women and explorers who moved their lives to the other side of the world - Alexandra David Neel, Roy Chapman Andrews and his family, etc. The trunkloads they must have filled with their books, research tools and personal effects. There were no suitcases on wheels or travel size accoutrements. Then again, they didn't have to deal with airport security!

Since I was a young girl, I dreamed of traveling to Eastern Europe and Central Asia. A dream partly fueled by my Grandpa Joe's tales of being a descendant of a Mongol Prince. Not sure if that is true, but he was intrigued by my college studies in Anthropology and Central Asia. Anyway, it's been a long and varied road, but here I am.

The flight from Chicago to Beijing is about 12 hours, and takes you over Wisconsin, Canada, Alaska, the Arctic, Siberia, Mongolia and China - making a big horseshoe in the sky. Above is a photo of the Arctic.

I spent one and a half days in Beijing and met a relative of one of my Mom's friends there. She has been living and teaching in Beijing for several years. She showed me around a fascinating area of the Beijing art scene - the 798 Factory Complex. It's reminiscent of the Chelsea district in New York. Quite avant garde for a communist country!

From Beijing, I flew over the Gobi to Ulaanbaatar onboard MIAT's Kublai Khan. Arriving shortly after midnight, I was whisked away to my new apartment. More on teaching and life in UB in the next posting...


Anonymous Chaerite said...

Aieeee! Julie's got a blog!!! We miss you, Julienschka. Oceans of love and BRAS!

Monday, October 09, 2006 8:40:00 AM  

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