NOMADLAND

I know you expected to see the poster for this famous movie. But I won’t show it because it’s bullshit. Nomads do not receive a pension and those are the real nomads. But the people in this movie travel because they have a monthly income that allows them to do what they want. A story written by a pensioner, and not by a true nomad! So I would like to say that yes, it is a beautiful thing to travel the world but if you are rich or have a pension you cannot go and advise others on how to survive. You are a false nomad. If you want to see the real nomads go to Mongolia instead where they can give you real advice on how to survive. It pisses me off all these people who have put themselves on a camper or van and already have money and want to believe that they survive only by traveling and selling bracelets. Come on?!!! Can we believe such fake people?
The term nomad is really overused today, and we often forget that there are people who live this lifestyle out of necessity or culture, as the only reality they have and not as a choice.

Once very many, today there are few people who still live in this way: the nomads of Mongolia are one of them. In the arid Mongolian steppes there is no room for cultivation, the main means of livelihood is livestock, and to always guarantee new pastures for the cattle, families move with their gers and their trucks, which represent all their possessions.

Living this life is not easy, there is no hot water (not even cold water to take a decent shower), no toilet, no power outlet other than solar panels for the cell phone, no fridge and no entertainment. We tried to live like this for a week and it was pretty tough. Between the food always based on the strangest meats, the lack of hygiene and the most absurd behavioral rules, nomads live a truly crazy life.
You cook on the floor, eat on the floor, sleep on the floor ... but if there is food placed on the ground and you try to climb over it, walking over it with your feet, you will hear it screaming! Nomads really eat everything: from sausages made of guts emptied of excrement, to the head of a kid with delicious eyeballs, but the most absurd thing we saw presented for dinner was a… marmot !!! Not just its meat: a marmot emptied of its entrails and used as a "pressure cooker" to cook its own meat!
Thank goodness there will be something good to drink, right? Obviously not, because what they usually drink is salty tea. Yes, salty. They are people used to riding for hours and hours, they will have a very comfortable and soft saddle ... but no, their saddles are made of wood and, in order not to miss any inconvenience, their stirrups are very short, so that you always have to ride raised from the saddle. An infinite pain. The ger is a concentrate of ancient engineering, a real portable miniature house. Once disassembled, it is transported entirely with all the furniture in a pick-up. Do you know how long it takes to assemble one? Two hours, counted.
A nomad wakes up every morning at 6, milks the cows and then accompanies the herd of sheep on horseback to pasture… then he stands there watching them for 4 to 7 hours, with a nap attached. The horses are not tied up, nor in the pens. They are left free but with the 3 legs tied by a rope, so that they can graze and move but… do not stray too far.
What we would call spoiled milk for them is a delicacy in which to dip cookies or add to soup. Nomads eat a lot, it will be to stock up for the harsh winter. And they expect you to eat the same. The problem is that grandma's delicacies aren't exactly what they offer you. And they are almost aggressive in insisting that you do an encore, forbidden to say no.
"I am proud to be born in the taiga," says Tumursukh sitting at a table in a cafe in Ulan Bator, the capital of Mongolia, a stone's throw from the offices of the Ministry of the Environment, for which he works. “My father took me there since I was a child, and he taught me to know and love her. When I left to study in the capital, I began to miss him. I waited several years before my dream came true: to be appointed by the Ministry of the Environment responsible for the protection of the Hovsgol region. So in 1987 I was able to create the first protected area and safeguard a part of the region from mining. In the 1980s, the first industries began to settle down, digging the mountain to get phosphorus. We fight to preserve our nature from this type of threat because the taiga, which is home to rare flowers, elk, bear and ibex, is precious and fragile. The government understood this and decided to keep it ”.
Ulaanbaatar (Ulan Bator), the capital of Mongolia with just over a million inhabitants, has become the most polluted capital in the world, surpassing Beijing and New Delhi, which both have 20 times the number of inhabitants. In December, when temperatures drop to as low as -40 degrees, air pollution levels are five times worse than in historically polluted Beijing, largely due to the number of coal stoves that poorer residents rely on.
Agence France-Presse reports that Mongols are turning to drinks like "oxygen infusions" and "lung tea" to try to strengthen their bronchial ducts and protect themselves from the polluted air they breathe every day. Advertisements for these probably ineffective drinks promise that "an oxygen cocktail is equivalent to a three-hour walk in a pristine forest" and grocery stores sell canned oxygen that they swear will turn ordinary glasses of juice into oxygen-rich cocktails.

Meanwhile, producers of so-called lung teas such as Enkhjin, Ikh Taiga and Dr. Baatar claim that their products are capable of filtering pollutants from their customers' airways. "It first removes toxins from the blood, then turns them into mucus, and then all the plants contained in the tea help strengthen the human immune system," said Baatar Chantsaldulam, CEO of Dr. Baatar.
Unfortunately, it is becoming an increasingly far-fetched prospect. Over the past 30 years, 20% of the entire population has moved to Ulaanbaatar, and many of them are displaced farmers, herders and rural residents who have come to the city to find work. They are too desperate to live in the Gobi desert, but too poor to afford housing, so they live in gers, one-room tents heated by coal stoves that can be built, or dismantled, in a couple of hours.
According to Newsweek, there are more than 180,000 gers in the city, and all that coal (or wood or trash can be burned to warm up during those freezing winters) is responsible for most of the air pollution; WHO estimates that 80 percent of Ulaanbaatar's airborne pollutants come from ger stoves, compared with 10 percent from transportation, 6 percent from power plants and 4 percent from "solid waste."

The Times reports that Prime Minister Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh announced in January that the transportation and use of raw coal in Ulaanbaatar will be banned after April 2019 (this has generated a lot of concern as it will cause another economic crisis among those mining, selling and transporting coal). Meanwhile, the Ulaanbaatar Clean Air project is doing what it can to help, trying to replace Ger residents' coal stoves with cleaner, more energy-efficient models. It is also trying to pressure the government to seek affordable permanent housing options for this section of the population.

"Ulaanbaatar may be the coldest capital in the world, but it doesn't have to be the most polluted," said Coralie Gevers, World Bank Country Manager for Mongolia. "Improving air quality management in Ulaanbaatar and reducing pollution concentrations would prevent disease, save lives and avoid huge health costs."

VISIT ITALY: PANAREA

Panarea, a view from the high
A corner of the town
A beach in Panarea
Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga in Panarea
Beautiful sea
Some marine caves in Panarea
Very beautiful caves
Panarea town
A street in the town
Another street in the town
Raya Summer Fest

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