Today at the airport I saw a woman in a jilbab (an Islamic headscarf), a first for me in Ulaanbaatar. She brought back memories of my time in Aceh, the tsunami-ravaged province of Indonesia where I lived before coming to Mongolia. Aceh practices Islamic law, and all Muslim women there wear headscarves. The woman I saw today could very well have been Indonesian, but I was too shy to ask.
I have no idea what she was doing in Mongolia, but I was happy to see her. I loved my time in Aceh, and there are many fabulous jilbab-clad women there. My Facebook friend list is loaded with them.
I find that a jilbab focuses your attention on a pretty face. I'm not sure if that was the intention, but as long as a woman is happy to wear one, I'm all for it.
But how strange to see an Acehnese-looking, jilbab-wearing woman bundled up in a thick, fur-lined winter coat. I wish I had spoken to her. I'll always wonder where she was going.