Day 30: Needle Stabbings in Urumqi

watching the planes

Watching the Planes at the Urumqi Airport

Day: 30.
City: Urumqi
(City Pronunciation: oo-roo-moo-chee)
Location: Airport
Headlines: “Urumqi Riots Leave 140 Dead”; “10,000 Protest Needle Stabbings in Urumqi”
Resolution: To thank Buddha that the airport is ten miles away from the city proper, to not set foot outside of said airport, and to feel lucky that we are only here to change planes on our way to Kashgar. Also, to not tell my mom about this until I am safely home. If at all.
Digression: We knew there was rioting in Western China and that we would have to be careful. But needle stabbings in the streets? That is just about the creepiest thing I have ever heard. There aren’t reports of any horrifying diseases being spread, so at least that’s good. Still, the stabbings alone, even if they were done with sterilized syringes, (which I seriously doubt), sound pretty heinous.

So Sam and I wander the small airport, sup on buckets of noodles and dessert on ice cream with that flat wooden spoon, feel encouraged and comforted by the presence of the European couple also going to Kashgar, and feel impressive and adventurous at the surprise of the couple’s Chinese tour guide when she learned we weren’t meeting up with a tour but were rather braving this dangerous and unpredictable world on our own. Interesting how quickly I have transitioned from “Needle Stabbings?!? What the hell have we gotten ourselves into?!?!” to “Yeah, we ARE pretty awesome, aren’t we?”
Conclusion: Yeah, we are pretty awesome, aren’t we?


3 Responses to “Day 30: Needle Stabbings in Urumqi”

  1. October 13, 2010 at 3:37 am

    Oh, my! It is one thing to HEAR/READ about such things but quite another to be SO CLOSE to it happening! Glad you guys were someplace safe and avoided the entire situation.

    Did you hear that? THAT was the sound of another grey hair popping out of your mom’s head… 😉

  2. November 21, 2010 at 8:53 am

    That is horrifying! Glad you were able to stay in the airport.

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