I’ve copied the 2014 and 2015 lists here and am adding to it. New items since previous posts appear in italics.
What has arrived?
- sadly, Louis Vuitton, KFC, Burberry Kids and Ugg
- Mini, Bentley
- child seats
- farmers’ markets
- dogs on leashes
- Sunday morning joggers and bikers
- burgeoning coffee culture
- river walkway along the Dund River (under construction in May 2015 but looking very promising)
- city park along the Tuul
- sports cars
- organic shopping
- gated communities (virtually all the new developments towards and in Zaisan)
- wheelchair accessibility (moved from “What Will Appear” category as ministries are now (meant to be) wheelchair-accessible
What has disappeared, or at least nearly?
- stationary 80s-office-phone-looking old-granny cell phone booth
- for-pay scales (actually, they seem to be hanging on)
- free WiFi on Sukhbaatar, er Chinggis Khaan, er, Sukhbaatar Square
- Sukhbaatar Square, er, Chinggis Khaan Square
- open gullys/missing manholes
- street kids
- packs of dogs
- the sixth-floor souvenir shop at the State Department Store (though perhaps seasonal)
- oversized sunglasses for women that were so popular across Asia (?) some years ago
- Nescafé (see above on coffee culture)
- surprise at seeing bicycles
- hillside Chinggis visible from the city centre
What will appear in the future
- navigation systems
- bike lanes
- new airport (apparently)
- subway (really, I wish they had selected light rail instead)
- urban renewal and historical restorations embracing district north of government house (National University of Mongolia, German embassy, etc.)
- road signs in the countryside (and not just the very random, very occasional ones that can be found now)
- street names and signs in the city
- network of cross-country riding trails (though not in central Ulaanbaatar)
- parking (meters)
- Combined Heat and Power Plant #5 (yeah, right!)
- hipsters discovering УАЗ (minivan and jeep)
- Canada Goose, Arc’teryx.
What will disappear in the near future
I’m going out on a predictive limb here… 2-3 years is what I mean by “near future”.
- stray dogs
- stretched-out hand to signal for a car ride
- that awkward extra half-step on most stairs
- whitening make-up.
What will disappear in the medium-term future
I mean around 7 years or so.
- new (to Mongolia) cars that are right-hand drive
- the neo-classical Ministry of Foreign Affairs building, with its Stalinist (if that’s an architectural style) spire
Tough call to make as the MFA building is now dwarfed by its own annex.
A photo posted by Julian Dierkes (@jbdierkes) on
- deels in the city
- some of the downtown university campuses
- buildings of 4 floors or less in the urban core
- Russian minivans (УАЗ452) but see above.