Published in the Mongol Messenger on 4th August 2017.
Mongolia, although perceived by the rest of the world to be a land that exudes enigma, there is no denying that there is an unprecedented curiosity amongst foreigners to explore its rocky terrains. As I fully immerse myself in the culture during my first week in Mongolia and I have noticed that the “going with the flow” attitude, works seamlessly. This country literally throws you lemons (in my case, ice cream) and you might have to catch and turn it into lemon juice.
I compiled a mosaic of pictures that encapsulates the “element of surprises” within Mongolia.
The Relaxed Optometry Practices— when I lost glasses one night and panicking like a maniac and when I asked my host sister about getting frames. She just casually mentioned it was quite easy to get them, which surprised me because it usually takes me at least a week to get them in Australia. Also, glasses frames don’t just casually sit in one place. In Australia, we put these frames in individual shelf for aesthetic purposes.
A Big Apple House!!??– When I was exploring the streets of Ulaanbaatar, I came across this big apple house. I looked at it closely, and there was somewhat liveable. Interesting!
Casually Displaying Alcohol on the Shop Floor— Okay, this was actually a cultural shock. I work as a supervisor at the Australian supermarket, Coles and I was rather flabbergasted at this casual display of alcohol is very appropriate. Australia’s a very strict country.
A Birthday Cake next to a shelf – Again, I can’t express how causal Mongolia is when it comes to displaying groceries. I’m somehow in love with the fact that their supermarkets don’t bow down to the hierarchy of product consumerism.
Yaks, Goats and other animals— I actually admire the fact that these animals are roaming on the roads and fields. Although, I fear for their safety if they go too far from the road. Yaks are rather majestic animals, you know.
A Rather Funny Statue— On our way to Khovgol lake, we stopped at a fast food joint, and I noticed this peculiar statue. It made me laugh for a good five minutes.