For this post to make sense, this is what you need to know: Our mode of transport UB is via a carpool service the company provides. Most of the cars are not cars – they’re Ford Transit vans or minibuses, and you share a ride with other people in the company. This is how we get to work, to the grocery shops, to the airport and picked up after dinner or a night at the pub.
When the time comes to leave Mongolia, I won’t necessarily miss this way of getting around. Nothing beats making the decision to go to the shops, and then just getting in your car and going.
But I will miss some of the drivers and their Western music selection. Here’s some of the highlights from their playlists:
Seasons in the Sun: Terry Jacks
Apart from this being one of the most depressing, saddest songs ever… it was playing the other morning on the way to work, just as winter was really setting in.
Mandy: Barry Manilow
This song, hands down, has the best line of any song, ever written. See if you can guess what line I’m talking about.
Rivers of Babylon: Boney M
Personally Rasputin is my favourite Boney M song, but this is a favourite amongst our drivers. Generally after a night at the pub, you can be guaranteed this is playing when they pick you up. Must be their Friday night feel good song.
Oh Carol: Smokie
I’ve only ever heard this once on the transport play list, I wish they would play it again. It was a Sunday afternoon in summer. The driver picked me up in the trusty old white transit van, I sat up front with him, windows rolled down, this came on, up went the volume and the two of us sang our hearts out! (it was one of those rare times I wasn’t sharing the van with other expats – shame, they all missed a great show.)
I Will Always Love You: Whitney Houston
The day after Whitney died, this was playing in the transit van. The driver sang along with it, and he truly had one of the most beautiful voices I’ve ever heard.
Someone Like You: Adele
Adele fever really hit big in Mongolia. Some of the drivers LOVE her. For a few months over summer, you could always count on Adele playing in the tranpsort vehicles. She doesn’t seem as popular now, but she will forever more remind me of Mongolia.