There's this way that Mongolian people look at me when I walk down the street. It's hard to define. I suppose because there are so many foreigners living here now and many travellers passing through, I expect something different. I forget that Mongolia as a country was closed to outsiders for decades--due to ideology and geography––and the people are still getting used to having foreigners around.
Of course, because of America's conspicuous cultural terrorism, they like so many people across the globe carry an inaccurate and refractory image of the American people in their minds. (Note: The United States is commonly known here as America, or Америк. However, I still feel strange writing this because America is so much more that simply the U.S.)
It's not that Mongols don't like foreigners for the most part: whenever I have a conversation with anyone on the street, their face quickly becomes a warm smile. However, I still find it difficult because I live here, however temporarily, and I'm not just a tourist. I want acceptance but I'll always be a foreigner, an "other".
The word that expresses "foreigner" in Mongolian is "гадаадынхан" [gadaadiinhan], which literally means "outsider". I'm always struck by how language can so often be a litmus test of a culture or people's thought.