I feel like the proverbial “Russian peasant” here in UB, walking on the wide sidewalks next to so many high style, elegant, graceful Mongolian women – and men – clad in fine leather jackets, fashion boots, and narrow legged black pants, carrying tasteful accessories, such as handbags, hats, or scarf accents. This is a very young city, a university town, and the capitol, so it may not be completely representative, but it is extremely striking. So many women look like models.
All of the high style fashion designers have shops here, and the prices even in the mini-malls are much higher than in the US – which leads one to wonder – how do Mongolians pay for all this finery? Either 1.) they are making very nice incomes, 2.) there are “knock off” fashion malls somewhere where they can obtain imitation versions of these things, or 3.) they are spending all their cash on looking nice and skimping on other things.
I don’t know; however, I can tell you that I am, definitely, the most unattractively clad person on the street and at the university. No joke! Part of it is due to my foolish decision to bring only the bulkiest clothing I own, for a cold snap that simply hasn’t materialized — the other part was just not researching where I was going well enough. Even my genial host said in a gentle way, oh, you’re not wearing the colorful dresses and skirts that you wore at the university in the US. Eeeeek! I guess I’m just filling the role of one of those earnest, dowdy professor types. I’m lively, though!