Six Ways to Cross a Mongolian Street (at a Pedestrian Crossing)

#1 – Flag down a taxi (advised) and gesture four lanes across to the other side of the street. Don’t worry about confusing the driver, he’s used to this. Hot tip from one who knows: when choosing a taxi look for one without too many dents in its side, if you can.

#2 – Wait for a lull in traffic and cross just as you would anywhere else in the world. But bring a meal or else you might starve, and watch out for rogue speeders when you finally do make your move — they have a habit of sneaking out from nowhere!

#3 – Wait for the government to build a pedestrian overpass, crossing your fingers in the hope that the first in the country will be built at the exact point you’re standing. But make sure you’re stationed next to a supermarket that isn’t in danger of shutting up shot and that you’ve brought enough tugrugs (1000 to every Canadian dollar) to keep starvation at bay for you and any potential future children.

#4 – Call that guy you know, the one who may or may not be related to the junior accountant in the department of roads, and pull a favour/make a threat get the street closed for sixty seconds the next morning, time enough for you and your fellow crossers-in-waiting to make a dash for safety.

#5 – Along similar lines, offer the driver of the longest lane-blocking vehicle a 500 tugrug bribe to park his car across the street lengthwise, stopping traffic just long enough so you’ll have a chance to cross.

#6 – Dig a hole. Dig it deep and dig it far. You’ll feel like you’re escaping from prison, and if you started on the smoggy side of the street, well, that won’t be too far from the truth.


Austin Andrews is a Vancouver-based photojournalist and occasional filmmaker with a penchant for finding the fantastic in the everyday. Contact him at austin [at] disposablewords [dot] net

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