Monday, May 19, 2014
The Last Few Days In Kashgar
After the dessert I spent the last few days in Kashgar buying little things for people back home and for myself (an amazing Afghan carpet, which no one will be allowed to step on). Kasghar is really a gem. There are no Western influences yet, which means that by today I was about ready to eat chocolate and drink coffee again. The old town dates back many thousand years, but the Chinese government recently decided to destroy it and rebuild it so it is safer in case of an earthquake. Even though I have to say the Chinese government surprisingly did a pretty good job one cannot ignore the fact that Kashgar is not really near an earthquake zone......(Also these buildings have been standing for 2000 years and when the terrible earthquake in Sichuan happened in 2008 the worst damage was caused due to new school buildings collapsing, because they were so incredibly poorly built. I could go on.)
If you ask my personal opinion it looks as if the government just kind of wanted to show the people what it is capable of doing and I couldn't ignore the fact how many security cameras were installed EVERYWHERE.
Never the less, Kashgar is awesome and very far away from everything I know. The spices are mind blowing. I bought some spices to bring back home and no matter how many plastic bags I pack them in they smell so intensively that I am currently keeping them outside my hostel room, because the smell just penetrates everything. It is pretty awesome when it is in food, but I am getting sick of all my clothes smelling like cumin all the time.
I had my Kashgar city tour on a Friday and when I saw Tudajim that morning he told me that we need to take a break in between 12.30 and 2, because he wants to go to the mosque and pray. I learned that day that the praying on Fridays at noon is the most important and I did not really want to believe it, but surely enough the city completely shut down. Every Uighur man closed his business and went to the nearest mosque to pray. The mosques filled up quickly, which meant that men were rolling out there praying carpets on the street (all facing West of course).
After praying there is a huge market that opens every Friday and 30 seconds after the quietness of the praying the screams broke out. People were promoting there products all over the nearest streets to the main mosque and quickly the masses all venture to these tiny streets. People were selling everything (mostly targeted towards men, since they were out praying)
Afterwards I went to the local steel production place where a man was making every possible tool. I really wanted to buy one to bring back home, but the Chinese police would have taken it away from me (yes, even in checked luggage). Watching the process was pretty great and I would have loved to support such great craftsmanship. My guide told me that the local people who make knifes are running out of business, because the police is taking away any sort of sharp tools from luggage and so no one is buying them anymore.
Okay. I just had a really long travel day and am really tired. I hope you forgive me for my short post.