It is easy to point out someone`s flaws, but it`s extremely hard to admit your own. I`m proud of you Joyce, you`re brave to openly admitting your mistakes and actions. As i said nothing`s 100% one side`s wrong. You`ve dealt with horrible people too.

And about horse riding i was born and raised in a city. I rarely left it. So naturally i never learn to ride a horse. But i challenged my self this summer and rode a horse, few times. It was easier than i imagined and i finally felt like a true Mongolian on a horse back. Although i wanted to ride faster people around me forbade it. That i should take it slow. So if i can learn to ride a horse, so can you Joyce! Have fun

Joyce, as a Mongolian woman, I was deeply angered by your comments. I did not have good thoughts about you. I am pleased you have chosen a new path as the one you were on would have ultimately led to a life full of emptiness.  I accept your apology.

I learned to ride a horse as a young child. I was taught by my father as his father before him. I learned to ride without a saddle, which is not uncommon for Mongolian children. I miss riding on the steppe. To answer your question Joyce, I have been able to ride at a full gallop on the back of a horse since a young child. Mongolian children are taught to be fearless when introduced to horses. We are a horse culture after all. Remember, I left Mongolia with my parents when I was 7. I still ride horses in Connecticut, but infrequently and it is not the same.

Good day everyone. Just wanted to say that I believe this thread has run its course and will be my final post. What started as a simple question and answer thread, transcended into 81 comprehensive responses, stretching three pages. By far the liveliest thread on the Mongolian Expat blog. I just wanted to sincerely thank everyone for participating in this quest for answers, and know that you are all great and special people who I wish the very best, and happiness in your future endeavors. My contract with Rio Tinto will come to an end next month (October), therefore will be departing this incredible land. I will miss Mongolia horribly. I am off to South Africa to contract with a mining corporate for an additional year with a possible extension. This is the life of a contract engineer who has decided to work off-shore for the preponderance of his career; which at times can be a lonely one. I will admit, it is very financially rewarding, to include traveling to magnificent countries and meeting their wonderful people - it will all be worth it, when I return to the States one day to finally settle down. I have made some very good friends in UB, and acquaintances that I hope to stay in contact for the rest of my life. I believe I stayed focused and on task while here, however, delighted that I also explored this wonderful land and its beautiful people. I have promised myself that although I love fun and interesting ladies as much as the next guy, I will not get overly-romantically involved with a lady from a foreign land, as I do not want romance to interfere with the professional reasons why I am doing all of this. It has been many years since I have been to the USA for any length of time, and want to stay on course. In saying this, the ladies of Mongolia are the most magnificent, fun and alluring of any ladies I have met during my travels. It has been very difficult for me to stay focused here, as I have developed a very soft spot for the ladies of Mongolia. I am truly sad that in 30 short days, I will be hopping on a plane to Cape Town, leaving everything I have come to love behind. Starting to get mushy now - again, best wishes to you all, and may God bless each one of you.


Hamish, I went back and read all of your posts. You are a very clever and interesting man. Expats like you are welcome I am sure wherever you travel. You have received a good experience during your time in Mongolia because you have opened your heart and let it all in without fear, I think you are being too careful in guarding your heart. It is possible to balance a career and relationship. People do it everyday. If you want children one day, the clock is ticking for you. ;) You are a real man Hamish. Too bad you are old enough to be my father ;) God be with you too.


Sounds like you'll be leaving just as the pollution starts getting bad, so kudos on good timing.  Not to mention getting to skip winter entirely to enjoy summer in the Southern Hemisphere.  As for the life of the traveling bachelor, I've done some of that myself and sure it's a mixed bag..... but speaking now as a married man, I say enjoy the hell out of that freedom and plentiful personal/leisure time while you have it  ;)

Well big Ham, happy trails to you. Nickbert said it well, enjoy the “life of the traveling bachelor.” Also, savor the cultures we are so fortunate to brush shoulders with. These memories and experiences mold who we are. By the way, was really glad we were able to finally connect in a real way. Not only do I admire your hollow leg, but the stories you shared with me about places and people you have encountered was nothing less of amazing. Hey… listen to Sarangerel… “If you want children one day, the clock is ticking for you.” You may one day regret not snagging one of the very marriageable Mongolian ladies as did Nickbert. Better here than Africa mate! Those of us selling our services to the mining mafia…… one never knows when our paths will cross again, I hope ours do.

Hello people
We are just different people. As the world's population grows, we all know each other every day. Our language is different, and culture is different, also food. But Everyday We are still united. We /Mongolians/ have become a democratic country in 1990. We are one of the young democracies.
I think Mongolians are learn something quickly because we always eat lots of organic chemicals. Such as Boodog, Hoormog, Airag and some wild animal meats. It is a stain left of our tradition, just like a turkey with thanksgiving.  Sorry about that.  :P
It's time for Americans and even Mongolian women to be afraid of some natives.
Everything that happened to you was terrible. Please apologize for them.
Some Mongolian young girls are attracted to the American men and even the Mongolian men. You are strong women, who care about that girls.
Have you ever been to the city's bus? There will be rough manners there.
As we move forward, the stupidities become increasingly rude, and the smart one is developing themselves. It does not relative on our traditions and the food.
There are good and bad in any society. If we do not have good or bad, we will not use adjective words in our language.  :)

Don't worry too hard, enjoy time in Mongolia. I hope you all make lots of new good friends are here.
Sorry for My English. I still trying to good this language.  ;)

Just checked in and see the OP is leaving us. Good luck Hamish. I have never been to Africa but have always wanted to. I do more blue collar stuff and the opportunities are not there as much. My dad worked on the Alaskan pipeline back in the day and have kind of followed his lead working far away from where I am from. Glad Joyce got everything straightened out. Thank Hamish Joyce before he's gone. He put all this together which helped you get over your fear.

Hamish, last night, my husband and I were eating dinner at Monet's in the Central Tower. He pointed to Ambassador Galt who was at a table near us eating dinner. She was with a group of people. One of those people was a tall blonde guy with the same smile as yours. I could swear it was you. My husband would not let me go and ask with the Ambassador sitting there ;) I know you are getting ready to bon voyage Mongolia, but this has been an itch I can't scratch - was that you? TELL ME!!!! Haa..Haa. By the way, good luck to you in Africa. Are you sure you want to go there? My husband said there is no place more dangerous than Africa. Be careful.

Yes. It was me, you should have came over and said Hi. I had conducted an Exit interview with Consul Chief Spellberg earlier that afternoon. The Embassy generally likes receiving feed back from specialized tech professionals who had served on long-term assignments/agreements. It was a special surprise that Ambassador Galt joined us. You are not going crazy Jenny, it was me. :) My flight departs 10/13. Seems like just yesterday I arrived. I am beginning to understand how fleeting life is. Enjoy every moment of it everyone!

I was reading your expat path Hamish. You are having such an interesting life. So many countries. If I was a man, I would do exactly what you are doing. My family and I had dinner at the Monet restaurant also when we were there. Very nice. Great views. Stay away from the African women!! ;)

Have a safe trip Hamish. Pay attention to Saraangel's advice. Africa is not as American-friendly as Mongolia. You seem like a very sweet inquisitive fellow! I wish you continued health and may you find what you are searching for in life.


Have a safe journey Hamish. Looks like you are out of here in 4 days so may not get this. South Africa?? The money must be good!! You're picking one of the most dangerous places to go on earth. Somehow I think there may be an Expat blog on "WHY DO YOUNG AFRICAN LADIES SEEM TO DISPISE AMERICAN WOMEN? in our future, LOL Seriously, be careful and do not get too comfortable there, I have heard horror stories. Other than the indigenous people, my husband said white Afrikaners can be especially harsh with Americans because they remain bitter over the economic sanctions imposed upon them by the USA, ending Apartheid. Thank you for this forum Hamish. I am having a great time in Mongolia, and for some strange reason have no more problems? :) Well, maybe not so strange ;) I am very happy, and  remembered that happiness is never stopping to think if you are.

I now saw earlier this subject. I will speak. American girls who behave and treat us with respect are leaved alone. Girls who look down nose will have problem. I have seen American girl slapped once for no respect. I have not done. Behave and you will not be learned.

I_LUV-_STEPPE, I believe asked and answered. Your comments are very clear and understood however. :)

Hey Everyone! Thought I would drop a quick hello and advise that I am all settled in my apartment in Cape Town, South Africa. I am staying at the Carradale apartments in case any of you ever venture this direction. The Carradale is somewhat more pricey than I was looking for, however, gives a 25% discount for anyone contracted through my employer (could not refuse ;) I would be kidding you if I did not admit I am enjoying the 70 degree seaside weather here 😊 I have also been asked to join the mining indaba team which will hold an international event on February 5-8. I am looking very forward to it. Most of my work is conducted just northeast of Cape Town, so requires a minor sojourn to and from work each day, however getting acclimated to it. I am currently doing 60-70 hr. weeks, however, should decline to 40-50 in a couple of weeks.

So much for the boring stuff. I have not found Cape Town dangerous, however, I stay away from the townships, and do not frequent the seedier areas in the evening – the crime is very high in these areas. There are far too many safe places to explore and enjoy. I do get “hit up” by beggars often, or someone offering to watch my rental car, however that is basically it. It has taken me time to get used to the public transportation here, and starting to actually enjoy it (shows what you can get used to). Next month, along with a few of my work mates, we have booked a flight to Kruger National Park to go on a “Big 5” safari – can’t wait, and another line item I can scratch from my bucket list. Cape Town is somewhat cosmopolitan (i.e., wine regions, shopping, etc.), however, there exists an uncomfortable tolerance between the white Afrikaners and blacks. Surprisingly, there is also a large population of what is described as “Coloureds” (multiracial), and are slowly becoming the majority in Cape Town. I have been treated congenially by all three diverse groups during my visit. However, white Afrikaners 50+ seem to have little interest in communicating and show an evident disenchantment for Americans. The younger white Afrikaners do not seem to have this conflict. If I had to pick one thing which I was not prepared for (other than the ultra-spicy food), it is the preponderance of interracial dating and marriages in Cape Town – especially considering this was a country deeply divided by race only 40 years ago. Nearly every other couple is interracial. What was also peculiar, nearly every one of these interracial couples consisted of a younger black woman with a slightly older white Afrikaner - I see very few white Afrikaner women with black men (not sure why). Cape Town also has an amazing, lively nightlife. I finally made my visit to the legendary ThirtyOne Club and Planet Bar. Tried to get to the “Era Club”, which has been internationally touted for a decade, however understand that it is closing slowly and rarely open.

Well, time to get going, however, wanted to check-in and let everyone know how I am faring. I can say that although so far, so good – Africa does not tug at my soul as did the Land of the big Blue Sky! I miss Mongolia very much and think of this magic land everyday, and will never forget. God speed.

Hey Ham!! certainly didn't expect to hear from you again but glad you stopped by. I rarely check-in anymore, but was glad to see your post. I know nothing about Africa but sounds like a country in constant transition. Sounds as if you are getting established and making strides both professionally and socially. Enjoy! One day you will wake up relaxing in a soft-back in your living room in California, thinking, "those were the days". :)


Well look who the cat drug in ;) Thank you for checking in Hamish. It means a lot. Sarangerel_UConn was so right when she said you have an interesting life. If you haven't done so already, sign up on the South African forum. That is when things settle down and you have time. You are intelligent and a great communicator who will have much to share. Best of luck to you in your career path wherever your travels may take you. 😘

Hamish, good to see you landed with both feet on the ground. Not surprised. My family said Mongolia has been cold, cold cold. I am jealous of your 70°F African sun. Do not be one of the white men marring an African woman. Come back and marry a Mongolian woman ;) Happy you are safe and interested.

I logged in and saw this form received 6 extra comments. Curiosity dragged me in. Good to see everything is going well for you Hamish. I believe you have found a good balance for interacting abroad. You seem to float on the fringes, enjoying the culture and enrichment without going native. In a city which is known for violence such as Cape Town, this balance will serve you well. It is also a good choice to avoid the seedier areas as you call them completely. Take care of yourself, and stay away from the African women! ;)

Joyce, I would like to bounce a couple of things off of you. You seem to have a logical, and calculating way of thinking (I mean this in a good way). I have need of this special talent of yours. May I send you a private message please?

By all means. Please do Hamish.

Sorry ladies ! especially Joyce , I'm a mongolian female lived here 2/3rd of my 20 something years I do have to take your side on some mongolian woman has thuggish ways of dealing with other women especially of another ethnicity, color of skin. I have had my fair share of bullying all throughout elementary/secondary school and even at my job all by women (younger women).  You'd think the bullying wouldn't go beyond secondary school but it doesn't stop there, it continues through to workplace. I don't hop around clubs here in UB, never really did and like some posters had mentioned there're places you should just avoid going AT ALL at all costs. But I wouldn't necessarily judge every Mongolian woman to be aggressive, insensitive, loud and generally unpleasant. Some are definitely maybe 50-60% but some aren't 50-40%. But generally speaking though they aren't as polite as well mannered as soft-spoken as the ladies from US, UK and the western world - on Mongolian women openly flirting with guys who's got their wives beside them - what a disgrace I thought they were better than Thai girls, I guess not. But truthfully speaking I could be wrong here, but the places you expats usually hang around may attract desperate white fevered young local ladies who wants an easy pampered life like you ladies get to enjoy. There will always be a few rotten apples anywhere, everywhere you go. Just avoid them like a plaque and do not acknowledge them. Give them no attention they're not worth your time. As for me I do have no prejudice whatsoever to any American woman, and if you'd come at me asking for help I would gladly help - but no one really comes forward - maybe its the bad rep those idiotic women set for the rest of us. But we aren't all that bad.  And if you hate this place, move on life is too short ! I have yet to find a place where I love everything (and I mean everything ;-) )

Late to the party, jupiter.

Wonder if there's a way to lock the thread

By pure hazard, while reading stuffs about Mongolia i end up here... I will admit this whole thread i just read for 2-3 hours got me nervous...

And im wondering.. How about a western woman dating/married to a mongolian man and hang out somewhere in the city??

My boyfriend is mongolian. We met in canada while he was here for couple months ... He return in Mongolia... Visa problems and long delay he won't be able to come back soo.. And im supposed to come to UB  in the next 3-4 weeks visit him and i was so excited but now im kind of worry and im suddently insecure because im a western woman. I really don't know what to except and I never really travel also.. Doesnt help.

Hey don't worry! Mongolian guy who has a western girlfriend has a god-like status here, no one will make trouble to you lol. Most some girl can do is glare at best, but they won't dare to do anything with a local guy beside you.

But seriously we really are not some savage, angry people who declared a war against caucasians, you know? This post is really making us look horrible 😣

Dear Joyce, I understand how you feel.  I haven't been to Mongolia, but these women seem very rude and very illiterate as well.  As foreigners traveling to different countries, we learn about social etiquette in other countries, but often times, it's not reciprocated, and others don't attempt to learn acceptable behavior towards Americans.  We visit Cambodia often, and the children I teach English to have better manners and more class than many of the middle aged women in the provinces.  I have a short, stocky build, and have naturally thicker legs that are quite muscular.  I work out daily.  Women often laugh and point at me, and I've even had had women come up and grab me before.  This is very annoying.  I can't do much, because these women are so weak looking, that a soft breeze would knock them over.  Most of them wear pajamas and don't have their teeth.  Many Cambodian women, particularly bar girls, are always looking for western husbands who are twice their age so they can be taken care of.  Sometimes women in the villages flirt with my husband right in front of me.  They want to be rescued from their impoverished existence, and hope to ride into the sunset with a western white knight while wearing expensive gold jewelry and carrying a Coach purse.  It's sad they don't know truly how to love.
Mongolian women seem like childish bullies.  If someone pushes me, I'll push back twice as hard.  I've acted in self defense before, and I'd do it again if necessary.  We have both experienced catty women in different parts of Asia, and these women have no manners, and they're downright jealous.  I don't think all Asian women are like that; it's only the ones who behave badly. I have many Asian friends who are beautiful and intelligent with good hearts.  These women aren't flirtatious, because they're not insecure and don't have anything to prove to themselves or their peers. 
I truly feel for you Joyce, and I'm on your side.  Hang in there!  Feel free to talk to me anytime.

Joyce, my name is Brenda.  My username includes the names of my husband Jeff and our cat Sugar, as well as my name.

I believe everyone has made peace here ;) Other than the time I was in the Naran Tuul Market, I have had no real incidents. I have adjusted my way of maneuvering through UB. I have come to the conclusion that Mongolian girls are just more rough and tumble than we are. Our men love them because they are beautiful, strong and wild just like the country they live in. Men tend to be attracted to exotic women. Western women just don't mix well with them. They can be overpowering and crude to us. I have changed the way I behave. I do not behave like i would in the USA or Europe. When I walk, I try not to make eye contact and look down often. I always give way and do not sweat it if a group of girls cuts in front of me in line somewhere or pushes me. Whatever! I also have learned to say "I'm sorry" a lot. Seems to work like a charm. I have found that if you let them know that you are no threat to them and they are in charge, they will leave you alone. I do not like being so humble all the time, but since I have, i have had no problems at all in UB, zero!

Hi Everyone:

I continue to get feeds from this forum but first, allow me to say hello. Loving South Africa, although nowhere will draw at my heartstrings as did the cloudless Land of the Blue Sky. I started this thread some time ago. The reason I did, I had spoken to a handful of western ladies who felt they were treated rather harshly by the local ladies, feeling browbeat. I never would have dreamed this thread would have gathered the momentum it did and transverse so many sub-topics.

I just wanted to clear-up a couple of things. I enjoyed myself immensely the whole time I was in UB. I found the people friendly, warm, and ladies enchanting. I have vowed to not get overly involved romantically while abroad. However, have no compunction to assert that was I to marry, it would have been to a Mongolian lady. I believe they are the quality of woman that every man dreams about – loyal, beautiful, intelligent, faithful and fun!  To reiterate, I only initiated this thread based on my comments with a couple of western ladies.

RiyannaLala, you need to listen to Twohumpedcamel (you are going to have to tell me how you came up with that name one day ;). She is a quintessential representative of a quality Mongolian lady. I never told her, but I found Twohumpedcamel to be intelligent, beautiful, fiery, warm and friendly. She is the best representative of a Mongolian lady. I am sure that Twohumpedcamel would not mind you contacting her with any advice or questions you may have. However, she is correct, you will have no problems at all. Even when walking about UB alone, I believe any conflict would be rare at best. Can’t believe I am carrying on again, however, as I initially stated, I found the Mongolian people to be warm, friendly, intelligent and hospitable. In fact, perhaps the most hospitable people I have ever met in my travels. When I return to the USA one day, UB is the only destination which I will return to. I have no choice, a piece of my heart remains in the Land of the Blue Sky. Be safe.

Hey guys aren't we over this yet? All places have good people as well as few bad apples! I've moved to London and i'm witnessing all kinds of people and their personality and i'm loving it! Just go with the local flow and you'll be fine! Cheers!

LOL... Cheers! Twohumpedcamel, please don't start drinking tea, will never forgive you.

That's very interesting thread, I had to sign up but at the moment I will just let you have a look at this:

I think "white" women are full of themselves and mean. I lived in many European countries and I can tell you "a bit" about the unfriendliness and rudeness of Caucasian women in general!

Wow.  This has been very interesting to follow and I had no idea it would have such a happy ending.  Congratulations to both Joyce and Twohumpedcamel for being able to work through their individual "blind spots".  I am always up for a trip to the Ger District/Steppes, so if anyone is going give me a shout.  I want to connect more with locals, but it is hard with little language abilities and the fact that I am only here for 10 months on a fellowship (halfway through that). 

Let me know if you're headed out and have some space!

Hey Jeff,

I will be in UB for a while and have some time under my belt. If you want to go exploring, or don't mind bending your elbow on a pint of ale on occasion, I know a few of the best kept secrets for such things. I also know a couple of local concessions who rent horses by the day and can gallop over the Steppes. I have come to know one owner well enough that he will allow me to keep the horse overnight for more adventurous excursions. Just be careful doing such things during unfriendly times of the year. This can be a harsh land and unforgiving to those unfamiliar with what it is capable of to the inexperienced.



What an interesting thread. I appreciate many of you for trying to make a difference in my country as expats. In my eyes, everyone should be treated respectfully (you do not have to give it) whether they are foreign or not. It is baffling to hear stories from foreigners who have gone through a bad experience with local Mongol women. Even though they are generous and were raised in a warrior culture, many maintain a "me-first" mentality and tend to feel indifferent when cutting in line and shoving people. As a Mongol, I've experienced this first-hand and know what they're thinking when they do it. Of course, our younger generation is more sensitive to their environment and many are connected to social media, allowing for more efficiency in obtaining knowledge of other cultures/customs/etc.
     But in my opinion, it's kind of obtuse to think that as a foreigner, you will receive a better treatment over everyone else when Mongols themselves aren't even being friendly to other Mongols. They're very blunt people, quite similar to the Germans,  who overall, rarely smile and go straight to the topic. Almost 99% of the population can read and write Mongolian, which might be surprising when you travel to the outer slums near UB. Although Mongolians are regarded to have one of the highest IQ (101 avg) in the world, their definition of "civility" is different in the city compared to the people in the countryside. The people in the countryside are the real gems compared to city-farers: respectful, nice, sharing, overall very pleasant, hardworking people. My best advice is to travel far from the city and get to explore the countryside. Its untouched beauty is marvelous.

My family travels to Mongolia Mid-May each year to visit my grandparents. Only a month and a half away and I will return. Although I already know the answer to this question, has there been any drastic changes to internal policies that I need to know? For example, is the 12:00 curfew which is never enforced, but still in effect?

About the "cutting in line and shoving people", I see you have never tried to jump on the subway or a taxi in New York. Shoving and cutting in line in the subway and stealing someone else's taxis is a city pastime.

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