Thursday, April 21, 2011

Red flag

On the way back to Ulaanbaatar from the countryside last Sunday, I noticed quite a few cars with small red flags fluttering in the wind. I thought perhaps that communist party dignitaries had some kind of outing, but no: they were driving school cars! That there were so many of them on a Sunday is probably explained by the fact that Sunday is the only day when you don't risk being caught in a traffic jam.

The red flags should be used on all cars that are not driving school cars though, in my opinion. I'm sure the learners' cars are, by far, the least dangerous vehicles in town. I never cross a street unless I really have to since it's so scary. You have to take one lane at a time, meaning that you have to stand there in the middle of the street with cars whizzing past just centimeters in front of you and behind you. But I should add that since I came here almost three weeks ago, it has actually happened on three occasions that cars have stopped or slowed down to let me cross! The first time I was so surprised that I just stood there staring at the car.

In the countryside you don't have to worry about crossing roads ... They are usually dirt tracks, quite often parallel tracks have developed, as in the picture. If there is no track in sight you can just drive wherever it's possible to get your vehicle to move forward.

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