baby it’s cold

We’re in the single digits (Fahrenheit) now during the day, which is a definite subzero overnight.  Rumor has it a cold front is moving in tonight, resulting in some seriously frigid weather for the next few days.  Of course, weather channel says nothing of this, but the Mongolian meteorologists seems to know what’s what.

It is a little unreal to check the weather and see consistently negative temperatures, and “highs” in the teens.  It seems absurdly cold to me, and yet when I go outside (in the daytime), it doesn’t seem too bad.  Of course, it will only get colder.  In two weeks, the “highs” will hover around zero degrees or so.

Times like these, I think that the Soviets weren’t half wrong in putting in centralized heating all over their cities.  Mongolia followed suit, and I’m left with a toasty warm apartment that is often hard to leave.  But the people in the ger districts are off the heating and water grid (though often have electricity), and I can only imagine living in a portable hut with felt walls in this weather.

Worse though, as the people with no dwelling whatsoever.  The homeless of Mongolia have it bad.  In the winter, they often sleep in the sewers and near hot water pipes.  The former is obviously not ideal, and the latter can be dangerous, as the pipes can be scalding hot.  The few unfortunate souls sleeping on the streets are left to fend for themselves and hope not to freeze to death overnight.   These same people are scorned for their excessive drunkenness, but maybe in the bitter bitter cold, half a bottle of vodka can very warming, and maybe the intoxication aspect is of lesser consequence.

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