Sunday, December 28, 2008

11am dec 28

this morning my eyes had opened to snow flakes quietly falling on the window pane.. what a soothing way to wake up to dreary surroundings! decided to walk around town, and ended up with breakfast in a minuscule chai khana by idgah mosque -- i share a table with a family of teachers - he Dulkun, teaches mathematics, she Nisa Gul teaches Uighur literature. they live in Yawagh with a 9 year old son Dili Murat. its sunday, they're enjoying this treat of samsa and a thick flaky paratha filled with lamb, onion and spices . very tasty
the side door to the id gah mosque is slightly ajar.
i walk in and unhurriedly take in the peace and quiet. an old Uighur man or two strolling the snow covered gardens. couple of men sweep the snow flakes and leaves away. they don't take notice of me-at the door leading out the ticket keeper asks for money.. i tell him the other fellow at the other entrance let me go cause im 'musli'...he says no youre not musli..i show him my ya Ali pendant---he smiles and says ...go go yes you musli....

8pm dec 28 - Chinni Baagh hotel restaurant
dinner with the waitresses--
mao shui wong - is what they're eating - this very hot soup
bai kai shui - hot water - is what I'm drinking with 'goosh naan' and shi liu (anaar)
I'm actually eating with the food and beverage manager Li Yi Yen Jun - they call her Yen Jun. she offered me some of her food, some pillau.
if i hang around here for a month or so I'm bound to improve my Chinese not to mention learn some Uighur as well. but not this time----I'm beginning to make friends, beginning to like the people, connect with them,and I'm leaving just as I'm getting familiar with my surroundings. I'm sure it will be easier next time. i wonder where ill land, back here in kashgar or further east. who knows--for now I'm headed back home. this most unaesthetically modern city, this dreary, dull, dusty landscape, this at once old and decrepit yet totally modern new city will have left a profound imprint on my life. for this is the very first time I've travelled by myself in a foreign country with a foreign language - the works, and yet left out wanting to go back for a longer time. i will remember my December in kashgar forever.

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