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Xinjiang, China

Xinjiang tea dark but mild:

I like.

Cell phone service dropped frequently

Despite a cell phone tower behind the hotel Zyear diverted me from, service dropped more than frequently.

Repeat music:

Boy, Gooli and Zyear like those three songs played over and over and over and over and over and over and over for 48 hours I stayed with them.

Ought, chuh!
That's Kyrgyz for, 'Horse, go!' I said 'chuh,' a lot. It works on Kazak horses, too. Well, it SHOULD work on Kazak horses...

What are:
"You realize I have altitude issues and you don't." "If I can do it you can do it." "I'm paying not to walk right now." "Hey, I only have two legs you have four!"
Things you say to a stubborn Kyrgyz 'ought' as you pull it by its reins around the back side of a seven kilometer lake trail.

Culture shock:
Though from the outside a round white tent looks like a round white tent, a Muslim yurt ['mongu ba' in Chinese] is easier to navigate than a Buddhist ger. No direction issues (a Buddhist ger is navigated clockwise with the first part upon entering & turning left being the woman's area including mare's milk churn, and the last part being the man's area including the idol altar). And there are no water disposal issues in Muslim-land. They readily toss dirty dish water out the door of yurt. Nice.

Set a spell?
In all of China the concept of 'comfort' has yet to be applied to the chair. And in 'Yurtville' we take a step backwards from that! Here I am surrounded by gorgeous scenery just wanting to sit and read while soaking up some mountain sun and nary a stool, let alone a lounge chair, to rest upon.

Too hot to handle:
I risk my life to see a glacier - I let them take me up the mountain on a small motor bike. First we stop for gas. This is not at a gas station since there are none near by. This is stopping at a neighbor's yurt and hoping he has fuel in a can. He's not there. We proceed with possible insufficient fuel. He does not check the fuel gage - I'm not sure there is one. He just shakes the bike back and forth and listens to the slosh sound from the tank. I weigh more than either lad (16 & 18) and take turns riding with each. Going up older lad's engine overheated twice. We made it back with out running out of fuel. They turn of the engine on declines.

Long eared rabbit in cemetery:
I hope it's in the pics.

More 'Chinese characters':
L, the Aussie investment lawyer living in London and former mountain climber heading to Russia in haste before the cold sets in who had captured coveted images of certain soldiers in certain cities; K, the Frenchman born in Algiers who introduced himself at 'Tarzan' thinking my name was 'Jane' - I did not disillusion him of his clever joke [Grrrrrrr, Jane Eyre!]; Japanese pierced lip photo happy beer drinking su-chef going overland to Pakistan, India, Nepal and Tibet.

Slow restaurant service:
Tends to take awhile to get your food in Tashkurgan.

Quick! Call 119??
My Tashkurgan accommodations came complete with plastic flowers, a pamphlet on AIDS and complimentary condom, and a phone. Who would I call? Who could I call?? The cord was cut.

White potato substitute:
Imagine it is Thanksgiving and your favorite yam/sweet potato dish is fresh from the oven. It probably has lots of brown sugar with marshmallows melted on top. Yum! Or if you are health conscious may I suggest roasted yam mashed with orange juice concentrate, a little real butter, pecans & cranberries. Tart but tasty. Now imagine either dish made with white potato instead. If you've just wrinkled your nose in disgust, that's my thought exactly. So that was my reaction when I ordered Chinese style candied yams/sweet potato, doubled checked that they were indeed yam/sweet potatoes, but was served candied white potato. Ewwwww!!!

The runs:
I've had the runs intermittently since arriving - the nasal kind. Dust? Virus? Not sure. I just keep tissue handy.

Glacier butt melt:
My derriere contributed to glacial melt. My apologies to the world. Twas cold and muddy but fun. Twas also precarious and standing would have been dangerous - Spikes of muddy ice ready to break off at any time next to deep crevasses of no return. At least I can say I sat on a glacier!

Pay up front!
Grrr.... Person one said 80rmb a night, maybe 60 - talk to the manager. Manager said 50rmb, 100 for two nights. I doubled checked and reiterated 'all together two nights for 100'. Manager said yes. Two days later at check out, morning manager demands 100 per night!!! I had a bus to catch. Grrrrrrr.....

Tajik women look like Jackie O as a business nun. Beautiful pill box hats, stylishly tailored suit jackets over knee length flared skirts and shoulder length drape of a veil. Jackie O as a business nun!

permalink written by  prrrrl on October 2, 2009 from Xinjiang, China
from the travel blog: China 2009
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