Monday, November 1, 2010

A walk by the river today to see the Mongolians

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Friendly Falcon, Ghengis Khan, Obama, Oprah, Our Man In Saigon,   Vietnam, Have I mentioned to anyone that I've had two spectacularly shitty weeks here in Saigon? From scheming employers to lunatic lawyers I began to think I had seen enough. And Obama's got problems with the Tea Party? Please. What a walk in the park. So I took a walk in the park. The little skinny park alongside the Saigon river. And do you know what I saw? I saw the Friendly Falcon, an absolutely down-on-it's-luck, shoulda-been-scrap-heaped-years ago freighter, in the Saigon docks for a makeover. And boy howdy Oprah, this is gonna make you look easy. And do you know where the Friendly Falcon is registered? It's registered out of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia! Go fetch me that map Columbus - does Mongolia have a sea port? Not that I can see, nestled there in the Gobi desert between Russia and China. That's it in the photo. Who knew? Ghengis Khan was a sailor? Apparently.

And so my day ended with a chuckle. It's just these sort of scratch-your-head-and-say-WTF? Things that make the emerging world so interesting. And that's why we stay. Events over the last six months, and even year have made me wonder if the Wild Wild East might be getting just a bit too wild for my liking. But I spent 2 months in Mongolia 6 years ago making a television program about, of all things, the Olympics. TV 5 in Ulaanbaatar was broadcasting the Olympics, 24 hours a day, for the first time in country and I was brought in to create a local program for the event. Fun. Weird. Like today. Mongolian sailors now in Vietnam. WTF? Who knew?
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