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Two Second Street

Since the end of the world has come and passed, a new kind of long count may begin: The Nine Nines.

The count usually begins on December 22 (Winter Solstice), and is a way Mongolians measure the intensity of the cold during winter. Each «Nine» is nine days in length, with nine «nines» in total. This makes for 81 days of winter. The first few nines are described in terms of what will freeze outside during those nine days. The second and third nines, our medical officers tell us, are particularly brutal. Knowing this, many primary schools close shop for a solid five weeks during the third, fourth, and fifth nines.

I asked my supervisor and my English teachers about this. There was debate as to how everything translated. I’ve seen different versions online, but this is what my teachers came up with. My supervisor noted that when…

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