Musings of a Mongolian woman: Any place in UB to spend my free time?

Tuya is a young Mongolian woman living and working in Ulaanbaatar,capital of Mongolia also known as UB. We asked her to contribute to www.mongolianviews.com and here is her first musing on life in UB.

Any place in UB to spend my free time?

As many young UB residents, from time to time, I seek places to spend my evening time. I prefer places that are not crowded and loud, less smoke and with healthy activities.

Choice 1. Bars, pubs
If you like to chit chat with your friends over beer, it would be perfect place. Depending on the location and status of the premises, prices of meals and drinks differ. However, it does not matter if you are in fancy pub or just small bar, you will drink and smoke and chat, about eternal subjects, love, life, politics, and news. Personally, I get bored with such choice easily, as this does not add any positive attributes to me. Probably, harshly said, just waste of time. But I do go out with my friends and colleagues from time to time to pubs and bars, where we "have fun."

Choice 2. Movie theater
Tengis is only decent cinema, as fas I know. Most of the times, they show Korean movies or "modern" Mongolian movies, both with I do not admire. I wish UB had one or two more theater, where they show something alternative to Tengis. I wish that I could see something worthwhile, and be in "healthy and clean" environment.

Choice 3. Pool & Billiards
Again this place is crowded and filled with smell of beer and cigarettes. If you cannot play pool, you just got to sit there and smile at your friends, while they have fun shooting pool. Most places, which are reasonably priced, do not have adequate health and service standards.

Choice 4. Karaoke
Well, if you can sing, this is perfect place to spend your time. As most Mongolians, when you have a drink or two, the hidden talent shines. The song choices are limited to few Mongolian, Russian and English songs. It is hard to imagine why, but most karaokes have plenty of Chinese, Korean and Indonesian songs!

Choice 5. Disco clubs
Well, if you are able to spend a little bit more and get out at night. This is place to shake your stress away. In recent years, this have become the "dating ground" for young people. As I have observed, most people go there to meet people, not just dance and have fun. In many places you can see that old, "business" men sit on the tables around the dance floor and young pretty girls do their best to get their attention by showing what they can do on the dance floor. Seems very pathetic to me. One more observation is that Mongolians like to "judge" people. If you not dressed good enough, or you're not "standard" size, you are looked upon in the clubs.

Few places have closed down. For example, bowling alleys.

So, I'm left with few choices to spend my time! Any good suggestions?

By Tuya, the Mongolian woman
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