As soon as I was old enough to fly, my mother took me to her native poland. Since then, I have spent most of my summers and more hanging out in warsaw and around. I remember as kid, before the fall of the soviet union, traveling alone to see my grand parents. I had two passport, the one with the eagle was supposed to get me inside poland, and the other one to get out. At that time, poland was another universe, people had to queue hours just to get gaz for their car, all the food shops were protected my metal grid and my general memory of warsaw street is a dark and unwelcoming one… Now days, the dark days are gone and warsaw feels like an attractive and dynamic european city. During my last trip over the capital, I particularly enjoyed walking the streets of my old neighborhood and hanging out in new trendy cafes and restaurants … things changes fast ! I ll be back there soon .
Since the late 2000′s, with Mongolia opening its doors to foreign investments, the face of the capital city, Ulan Bator is changing. As on one side, the economy is booming and foreign companies are moving into high rise modern towers occupied by fancy restaurants and luxury shops, the north of the city is developing towards another direction.
With the coldest winters ever recorded in 2008 / 2009, thousands of herders have left the countryside hoping to find a job in the city. But with the government sharing the wealth from the mine in cash instead of infrastructure, poor people are accumulating on the hills north of Ulan Bator, creating a slum of Gers and small houses. With no access to water and sometimes electricity, they are burning their trash and coal to warm themselves in the winter, creating a suffocating cloud of pollution above the Ulan Bator.
At the same time, foreign educated mongolians and the new wealthy part of the population are experiencing fast changes and an access to an exclusive lifestyle, yet inaccessible for the majority of mongolia’s inhabitants.
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