The extended list:
- Catching a cab. I love catching a cab in UB – you just hold out your hand, someone rolls up, you hop in, they take you where you want to go. If you are lucky, they won’t rip you off. In places where cabs are “official”, the element of the unknown has been removed. Much less exciting.
- Driving in the countryside. I love how you can just pick a direction and go. To hell with roads. It’s all offroading. Also, the countryside is like one big campground. So nice to have that kind of freedom!
- Korean food. I mentioned this already. But it bears repeating. Not just the restaurants, but also the supermarkets.
- The countryside. I love the Mongolian countryside. I love the people. I’m not the biggest fan of the food, but some dishes I’ve grown to appreciate (definitely a fan of noodle soup and mantuu).
- Meat. I eat meat here. I don’t eat meat back in the US, and I won’t when I return there. I’ll miss “free-range” everything.
- Making things from scratch. Cooking has been a challenge here, but one I appreciate. When the pumpkin pie came out of the oven on Thanksgiving, I felt a real sense of accomplishment. My friend made the crust from scratch, I ground up the spices with a rolling pin. And of course, the pumpkin was roasted. Delish.