Eager for a moving portrait of the faraway land I would soon call home, the month before leaving for Asia I typed “Mongolia” into youtube’s search engine. One of the first choices the search returned was not footage of wide green landscape or yurts or even camels. No, I had the opportunity to watch the “Miss Mongolia 2006” TV special in ten-minute segments. I had spent the preceding months in California listening to bad mainstream Rand B songs at top volume every time they came on the radio with the laughably misguided idea that the opportunity to do so would be rare over here in Mongolia. One of those songs was the soundtrack to the opening segment of Miss Mongolia 2006, wherein all the contestants perform a choreographed number to the tune of, I shit you not, the Pussycat Dolls’ “Stick Wit U.”
Glean from this what knowledge of contemporary Mongolian culture you will. I give up.