Kashgar Again


Travel, Xinjiang

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 […]

September 4, 2011

Desert Adventures


Travel, Xinjiang

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 […]

August 24, 2011

The Taklamakan


Xinjiang

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 […]

August 20, 2011

Kashgar


Travel, Xinjiang

July 7th Kashgar or Kashi – this famed city of the Silk Route. It’s history is beguiling, but the city isn’t. It’s a city that is closer to Baghdad than Beijing. It’s a city where you can see snow-capped mountains in the morning, and then the vastness of the Taklamakan Desert in the afternoon. It’s […]

August 17, 2011

Chaos in Korla


Travel, Xinjiang

July 5th and 6th I refused to rouse myself from the cozy cool environs of John’s Cafe as Turpan’s torpid heat envelops me. Jorg and Birdy are not to be deterred and go to a nearby mosque, on cycles no less. I glug a can of Diet Coke, and allow myself to wilt in the […]

August 13, 2011

Turpan Arrives


Travel, Xinjiang

July 2nd and 3rd As the train chugs into Gansu Province, the landscape changes. Green gives way to brown. Gansu in Chinese means “dry,” and the  province is doing well to stick to that name. For hours together I watch an endless panorama of nothingness pass through. These are not the sandy desert dunes that […]

August 7, 2011

Quiet Days Drifting By


Everyday

It’s been a while since I updated this blog. It’s been a quiet week relatively, although it doesn’t necessarily mean free days! Last Friday, it was fun meeting up with Silk in this coffee-house near the university called High Connections. The ambiance was cozy and comfortable. Spread over three floors, all laid out in wood, […]

June 4, 2011

Cherry Picking and Silk


China, Travel

Last Saturday, Yoke called us to go “cherry picking, drink tea and play mahjong.” Are there better ways to spend a Saturday? Since I couldn’t think of any, we agreed. It was around 10AM when he came knocking on the door. The day was gloomy with a forecast of rain and we were wondering if […]

May 22, 2011

Last Day in Xuchang


Travel

I am so far behind in my posts. Blame it on the non-stop tests here. Monday in Xuchang dawned hazy, cloudy and drizzling. Zhang You’s unbelievable kindness was still lingering on my mind. It was around 7:30AM when the phone rang, and the receptionist at the hotel announced that Lynn was waiting. Lynn was one […]

May 12, 2011

Unreal Part 3


Travel

It’s just a short taxi ride. We stop before a hotel I have never been to before in Xuchang. We enter, and I can see the “live display” in front. The place is buzzing. In case you are wondering with your dirty mind what the live display is, rest it. Just poor little frogs, eels […]

May 9, 2011