Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Ulaanbaatar look

Dark stringy hair, weathered brow. A worn wool coat ( a deel) and felt boots with turned up toes. It's the Mongol look, right?

Go West, young man. All the way to Paris in this case. Although you still see traditional garb on the streets of Ulaanbaatar, the Mongolians out chic Americans coast to coast. I've never seen so many men in expensive suits, women in heels and expensive outfits or such great hair on both genders.

No nation can be fairly stereotype, but all in all the Mongolians are handsome people. They are fairly tall, have elegant facial lines I always associated with the "Indian princess" of old movies and a grace of movement I envy.

They are also exceedingly clean. That sounds like a given unless you have looked at the streets and surroundings of Ulaanbaatar. Dirt is the operative word. It's too cold and too dry for lawns or other landscaping. If it is not paved here, it is just dirt and rocks. And not many paths or shortcuts are paved.

But no one seems to have dust on their shoes, spattered trouser cuffs or telltale dirty handprints on their shirts. It's a trick I wish I had learned as a 5-year old. And especially as a 57-year old.

Here are a few street scenes of Mongolian fashions. I hope you are pleasantly surprised.

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