This afternoon in Ulaanbaatar I was sitting in a coffee shop in a shopping mall trying to make the best of the flaky Wi-Fi there.
A local guy who was obviously slightly drunk arrived and joined my table and decided to befriend me even though we did not have a language in common.
The guy was in his thirties, had a family, and was an artist and rock musician. Once he decided we were now friends he put his hands around me and made an action like kissing my cheek. My policy is when in Rome do as the Romans, and go with the flow. Instead of making contact with my cheek it seemed he took one sniff.
This took place one or two more times before he left. Once while the waitress was there serving as interpreter. She didn't change her expression to suggest it was something unusual, or more unusual than a drunk customer.
Is this a customary thing between men in Mongolia? I hadn't seen it before and I've spent a day or two hanging out with local truck drivers. What was this guy doing? Where can I learn about this?