I have found that most folks I know can not believe I actually chose to go to Mongolia. "Why in the world would you want to go there?" "you went where?" I have a different view of the world that many people.......I like to experience different and I genuinely enjoy stretching to learn about things beyond my reach.
I have written about my trip before. Today I will focus on something that was different. In the middle of nowhere (I know some would say the entire country is) there is a huge statue of Ghengis Kahn. Made of metal it is 37 stories high and includes a restaurant, (the best meal I had in Mongolia), a museum and a couple of shops. You can go to the top and view the surrounding area as well.
Reported to have been built where Ghengis was born and spent the better part of his life, this structure is incredible. The contrast between this monstrous buidling and the nothingness of vast majority of the country is startling.
In my travels I have noticed that it is often the case that the poorest people have the biggest monuments to something beyond their understanding or necesity. In Thailand shoeless workman apply gold to Budhas. In Cuba, the unemployed want for everything while tourists visit a Hemingway home maintained by the government. In Uganda, most people never go more than a mile from their homes during their lives while travelers from around the world come to see the mountain gorillas.
Life is funny and often trying. It has been my experience that going to places very different than my own give me the foundation for appreciating what I have.