Thursday, January 7, 2010

News Update: Freezing Cold in Mongolia

It's freezing. Two days ago, I parked my car outside for 3 hours without starting it or heating it, and it turned into an ice box. Wouldn't start. I called the trusty 1950 and asked the operator to send someone over. A taxi drove up to the car after 5 minutes, and the driver spent the next 30 minutes doing his best to rescue my ice cube on wheels. Unfortunately, nothing worked. Even the good ole Mongolian method of grilling the engine bits and the spark plugs with a makeshift blowtorch failed to bring it back to life. After 20 mins standing outside, I could no longer feel my fingers and toes. It was and still is that cold. -36 degrees Celsius cold.

We are on the second of the nine nines, as Mongolians call it. These are the coldest 81 days of winter, that start around winter equinox. And until the first 4 or 5 nines are behind us, the weather doesn't look promising for cars, toes and fingers. The temperatures will, probably, get better after Tsagaan Sar, which is on the 14th of February this year, so far, though I'm fairly certain there will be disputes over the exact Tsagaan Sar date come February.