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Humans Buy Products Like Dogs Piss on Fire Hydrants

I guess it was a little impulsive, but I got an apartment in Mongolia yesterday.

I've only been here eight days, but I like it enough. And I felt like I needed some grounding to get all my work done. Worst case scenario, I just eat the security deposit if I move on early.

500,000 tugruk a month. $400. It's a nice place. Furnished. Near Sukhbaatar Square.

Then a funny thing happens - my inclination after moving in is to think about all stuff I could buy to fill the place up. I think, ah, I could get some really nice soaps. And some of this, and some of that.

And it strikes me - that's kind of absurd. Don't mistake me for anti-consumerist, because I'm not. I think mass production has done so much for the world in terms of getting a reasonably high quality of goods to people at a good price.

Fitness One - Indiranagar, Bangalore, India

On The Gym Scout

Indians value "paisa vasool" (value for money) more than any other factor while making a purchase.

So I'll tackle that at the end, if at all I do. This one is about the gym. What you feel when you workout, the kind of people around you and the kind of free advice trainers dish out (this is all part of paisa vasool).

First things first, this is one of the few gyms I have worked out in, which has an entire floor for free wights. The only corruption is a Smith machine, but it at least gets people to squat and bench, so I don't begrudge it. This floor is a terrace converted into a floor with a false ceiling and sliding windows, which lends it a raw edge. No air conditioning, speakers which seldom work and hence free of (another corruption) music. Enough benches and enough space. One of the few gyms in Bangalore with a proper squat rack. So your squat isn't the least common denominator of your overhead press or your partner's snatch!

The free weights section also has a LOT of 45lbs discs. So the strongmen can really get going without having to cobble together 45lbs with 5/10lbs discs. This also helps your DL form, but not making you bend lower than you need to. Dumbbells aren't in short supply either. Almost every weight till 60lbs has two pairs available. The one major drawback though is the lack of kettlebells. Replaceable with dumbbells, but not without a loss in training efficiency. For gymmers looking to do box jumps - disappointment again. Because of the windows around this free weight section there is almost nothing you can use as a box of challenging enough height.

A stretching section as long and as wide as the free weights section that it runs parallel to, also where you can skip and try doing box jumps on the perimeter wall (this one is a bit too high to do on a regular basis, maybe for your "really explosive" days!).

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