"There is no fun to be had here any more"
One half of the owners of the Oasis Guesthouse, a man named Rene had broken a few of his tows at the afore mentioned motorbike race.
I can almost hear my Mum saying "I told you motorbikes were dangerous!"
This, however did not dampen his enthusiasm to find me a tyre. Nothing had been done on Sunday as Rene really needed to find a Doctor that was not drunk, pretty hard thing to do in UB apparently. Doesn't help a hell of a lot when all the hospitals are closed on the weekend, no ER around these parts!
Some Austrian doctor's sorted him out in the end and I took the whole thing as a big warning not to get hurt in Mongolia!!
On Monday phone calls were made, some driving around was done (resulting in meeting another Dakar competitor! Two in two weeks, not bad!) and that afternoon a German named Vait dropped me off a brand new "Mefo Stone Master", a very angry looking tyre! Exactly what I needed for a couple of thousand offroad km's.
I fitted it up and finished cleaning a few things this morning and am looking almost ready to leave. Decided to stay another night here, although I know I am really pushing my luck with the weather, but it's a great spot this Oasis Guesthouse with really good food, friendly people and a locked up car park with 24 hour guard for the bike!
Speaking to Rene about UB is very interesting as he has lived here for 12 years. He explained how there were hardly any cars here when he arrived, there must be a bazillion now, most of them it seems are intent on killing foreign motorcyclists. And how the population has doubled, everyone is always drinking (being able to buy a bottle of vodka for $A1.50 doesn't help), stealing and corruption are normal and summed it up with the comment "There is really no fun to be had here any more".
UB seems to be yet another classic example of an ancient culture dragged unwillingly into the 21st century, having all the complexities that go along with 21st century lifestyle thrown upon them in just a few short years when we (us Westerner's anyway) have had 100.
He tells a story of a man he knows buying a property near his for $US5000 3 years agos and selling it this year for $US80,000 you don't need a degree in economics to work out that this type of inflation causes massive social problems.
A handful of VERY rich vs. the majority of VERY poor has become the norm in developing countries and even some of the developed seem intent on following suit.
I know we all know and I'm not complaining, just reminding myself and you lot that next time your mobile phone battery goes flat or you miss an episode of that reality TV show, don't worry, its not that bad...