Published: June 2nd 2008June 2nd 2008
our own darjeeling limited
joel and i after disembarking at urumqi
the past 48-72hrs or so have been an exercise in cultivating patience and zen and inner peace haha. having been on board 2 back-to-back 24 hr train ride, the solitude and serenity that engulfs you is really...nonpareil. most unnerving of cos was sending the sms to nus to ask for my results; anws, yes so before the train rides we were in this shithole called lanzhou; bloody hell we were in the most dogdy and sleazy of guesthouses. oh anws so we abandoned the plan to fly from guangzhou to urumqi straight in favour of a cheaper more ass-punishing stratagem. us cheap charlies. fly to lanzhou. then train from there to urumqi 24hrs. train to kashgar another 24hrs. so here i am. after 4 daysof not bathing, downing maggi mee packets after another, and shabby decrepit squat toilets with shit and pee smeared all over (which more or less says 'welcome to china' haha).
so here we are in kashgar. simply put...THIS ISNT CHINA. the litany of difference btw them and the han chinese is unceasing. over here, they look russian/turk/central asian/eastern european, anything but chinese. they are/speak Uighur. ohspeaking of which!! they said i look like one of them.
lost in translation
andy and the sign. our chinese already so CMI, much less decipher their native vernacular Uighur language
hahaha. so anws, yes i eat lamb everyday. wake up to the sound of the muslim prayer call, very idyllic. entirely different sound and landscape. very surreal.
kashgar is a world trapped in time, as if time stood still and refused to budge. it has not in any way dislodged from its perch, still reeking of old world charm, and disavowing conformity to the modern world. at the bazaar, people still engaged in barter trade; ferrying their livestock from the farms to the sunday market. bullock and horse carts still ply the roads alongside sporadic motorized vehicles. a not-at-all jarring cacophony of road users. this place is a suspension of belief. there is an opulent and replete history that gives kashgar this mystical nimbus. from the silk road chronicles, to marco polo's travels, and more. of cos theres the kite runner that filmed here. btw, they dont like the han chinese. its heavily policed here, very militarized and surveillanced. why? its not rocket science, really. just liquid gold the uighers are sitting on.
oh and below our guesthouse is the most enticing yard ever- a watering hole. every drinker's mecca. beer by the bottle for 3.50 yuan (70c
stud or dud
Sarah this is for you! angmoh looking chinese muslim. should be can cook also i reckon.
sgd). last time we were drinking with some pakistani businessmen; talked politics, you shld hear them. bhutto, sharif, musharraf, and their abhorrence for the US. mad stuff. but then they're here doing biz in china. hahaha.
There are more photos below