September 10th, 2010
Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia
Transcribed from written journal

Turns out Chis has pneumonia. I went with him to the doctor’s the other day – we tried the Korean-sponsored clinic, but he didn’t like the look of it, so we went to the International SOS Clinic instead. Between the two of us, we’ve now prevailed upon the services of three of these hideously expensive but hey-we-shouldn’t-complain clinics. Chris was treated by a burly Russian doctor who looked like a former member of the KGB, and was told he had pneumonia. He got put on antibiotics and has to go back every single day, indefinitely, to be hooked up to a machine that sprays white mist down his throat.

Fortunately we have plenty of time in Mongolia, so if we’re lucky we’ll still be able to squeeze in some horse trekking if he recovers. In the meantime we’re stuck in UB. We have only one key to the apartment, and I don’t want to lock Chris out when he goes off to the clinic, so I’ve been staying at home most days – yesterday I read an entire novel in one sitting. I don’t really mind it. Chris, on the other hand, is as fidgety and restless as ever. If he ever went to prison he’d kill himself in the first week.

We no longer have the apartment to ourselves – a pair of German cyclists have shown up and rented the room with the double bed. This is annoying not just because we now have to share the kitchen and the living room, but also because I’d recently taken to sleeping in that very comfortable bed. Now I’m stuck on this tiny single again. Zaya, our Russian landlord, is getting on my case about booking the rest of our stay. I keep telling her I don’t know how long that will be, since it depends on Chris’ pneumonia. I’ve booked until the 14th for now; hopefully he’ll be better by then and we can go horse-riding. Otherwise I guess we’ll have to find somewhere else to stay, which I’m no longer quite so bothered by now that we’re staying with Fritz and Frauleine.