Wet Blanket


I came out of the university one evening after teaching a night class. It was dark outside. The apartment building next to the college had a flickering light. As I watched, I realized there was a fire in an apartment on the top floor. I went back in and waved the guard, at the main desk, to come look. He was eating something out of a bowl and brought it with him.

I pointed to the fire. Now it was worse but there were a couple guys trying to put it out. The fire was spreading to the edge of the roof. I could see flames beginning to show along the edge. I look over at the guard. He stood there calmly eating his food and watching like it’s a movie. One guy was leaning out of a window, hitting the flames with a wet towel. Amazingly, they put it out! The gaurd went back inside and I stood there for a while and went home.

I could be wrong but I don’t know that they had a fire department in the city and this is the capital with a population of well over a million people.

I learned that Mongolians are very self relient people. They deal with their own problems. Maybe this is because they were nomads for hundreds of years. They lived in tent homes and cared for animals in remote areas. Many still do.

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Crowded Train

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