Tag: china

The Year Of The Monkey

I can’t believe it’s the Year of the Monkey again. That it has been more than a decade since the last Year of the Monkey. Gone through 12 Zodiac signs. All the other animals before reaching the monkey again. It was in 2004 that I first met the monkey. Back then, I was in Lianyungang,

Bok Choy And Memories

I found some fresh bok choy in the local grocery store and I was immediately taken back to many a dinner and lunch in restaurants from the north, south, east, and west of China. All these years. I remembered the texture, the flavor of garlic and ginger. Just gentle garlic and ginger and the rich,

Two Drunk Chinese and an Orange

  Many years ago, now more than a decade, I spent a few months in the most obscure town you can imagine in China. Shuyang. Deep in Jiangsu Province in the northern part of China, it was my first stay abroad. Shuyang was a nondescript town. A village really. It was drab, colorless, and would

How to Survive as a Vegetarian in China

Having spent around 3 years in China, the first question that people ask me, a vegetarian for life, is “How did you manage/survive?” Not how the land was. Its wonderful people. The spectacular temples. The beautiful juxtaposition of tradition and culture. Just this question. You then shrug and say, “Oh, it was fine.” “But I

When Little Things Mean Something

I wake up these days feeling like I have never slept. I don’t know what it is – the lethargy of a hot summer kicking in? Or the ennui of each day that yawns itself into monotony? Or just the excesses of an adrenaline-packed week in Shanghai? After a gap of just over 7 months,

A last kiss to Karakoram

July 12 The sun is out already by 4AM. I lie awake for sometime in my yurt. Both Jorg and Birdy are still asleep. Inside the yurt it is pitch black, but I can see little sparkles of light through the netting. I have a few quilts on me, and I feel a bit hot,

Karakoram Highway and Karakul Lake

July 10th It’s time to go through the usual rounds again – up early, have no breakfast, check out of the Qini Bagh, and rush to the Kashgar bus stand where we wait for tickets. Jorg is unwell, suffering from a bout of food poisoning. There is a hilarious incident when Jorg thinks that a

Kashgar Again

July 9th It’s still drizzling in the desert when we pack up and leave. I tried running before we left. It’s easier now that the sand is wet. In around 2 hours, we reach Kashgar, which strangely is bathed in hot sunshine. We laugh at the irony. It’s raining in the desert but hot in

Desert Adventures

Here was the plan. Pitch tent somewhere in the Taklamakan desert. Grill some meat and a potato or two. Have some wine. Lay back and see the countless stars that a desert sky provides you with. Wouldn’t that be the life? Life, as it turns out, is more than you dream of. Even when the

The Taklamakan

July 8th Kashgar’s sun signs a bright midday-kind of heat even though it’s early morning. The skies are crystal blue, and today would be the Karakoram Highway. This is what I was looking forward to – the entire reason why I chose Xinjiang once I realized that Tibet would not be possible this time. We