As my friend Red observes, Ulaanbaatar is as much "the field" as the countryside. And the reminders of this come when you least expect them, or maybe when I least expect them.
I walked into my apartment building about an hour ago, at 1130pm on Friday night. A 46 year old woman I know saw me as I entered and pulled me aside. We spoke for about 20 minutes. My concern for her privacy prevents me from telling the story of our conversation in much detail. But I can say that we talked about alcoholism, health referrals, cancer, Liv52, Monoglian traditional medicine, the costs of healthcare, and death during that time. None unfortunately as abstract topics.