D22 – Sept 22 – A day in Ulan Ude

Do you recognize that man ?
His chin, his forehead, his nose, his eyebrow?
Capture d’écran 2013-09-22 à 16.25.27

No, you don’t?
Let me show you his profile.
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Still not ? Nooooo, I don’t believe you!
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It’s HIM of course, Lenine.
Here, in Ulan Ude, capital city of the Buriate Republic, you will find the biggest Lenine’ head ever sculptured!
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42 tons, 7.7 meters, it was erected in 1971 and even exhibited during the Montreal World Fair. Our hotel is next by. But we din’t get scared by his shadow. We were much more scared by the snow, which started to fall in the city today !!!!!!

It was even colder 35 km from the city, in a beautiful and peaceful tibetan monastery.

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I don’t know much about tibetan buddhism. The only thing I can say is that it wasn’t easy to express and live such beliefs under the soviet times, even though the construction of this one was ordered by Staline himself.
Nowadays, it looks like monks are free to organize the celebrations the way they want.

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The market economy has also retrieved liberty, as those many shops at the entrance show.
Funny to see how cultures mix: They sell traditional items and use their mobile phones, they look Mongolian and they sale to Slaves dressing like Poutine…

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Believers were very open, quiet but smiling, coming here with their friends and families.

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After a couple of hours spent in the monastery’ alleys, we started to wait for a bus to come.
But it was super cold, we were literally freezing, so when a so-called taxi passed by, we caught the opportunity…

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The problem is that the taxi wasn’t really a taxi, the car wasn’t really in good shape, there were already two people inside, the woman on the back seat was drunk, Ulan Ude wasn’t really the destination, and 60 rubles were not really the fees he wanted us to pay. And we were, as usual, in the middle of nowhere, meaning in the inhospitable suburbs of Ulan Ude, where the steppes begin…

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Surprisingly, the story ended well and one hour later we were back on the main square, where Lenine watches the horizon while nobody cares around…

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