Posts Tagged ‘Food


Day 32: This Little Piggy Went to the Market, pt.3

Non-Market #1: Lunch
We kill some time by eating lunch at a local favorite restaurant and try the delicious spicy chicken soup that we were hearing is so delicious and spicy. We spend a few hours of decadence back at our fancy, resort-like hotel (thank you, off season!) drinking a few beers on the upper patio, watching the sand duneyness of the sand dunes, reading novels, writing in our journals.  Spoiled.

Non-Market #2: Apakh Hoja Tomb
A few miles outside of the city is a tomb compound for some seventeenth century rulers of Kashgar. Gorgeous, vivid ceramic tiles abound. The most interesting tomb, for both aesthetic and comedic reasons, belongs to Yiparhan, whose name translates to “Fragrant Maid.” The tomb, dubbed “The Fragrant Concubine Tomb” (or, as the sign actually reads, ‘The Fregrant Comcubine Tomb,’) describes the history: “. . . in fact Fragranf Concub-ine is a true lady in history who was called fragrant maid, Apakh Hojia’ sgreat grandneice for her exceptional bodily aroma since her childhood.” So, I guess “exceptional bodily aroma” is something they celebrated back then.

apakh hoja mazar

Vivid and Decaying.  Love it.

apakh hoja

Decay and Doors.  Love it.

Fragrant  Concubine Tomb

Looooove it.

apakh hoja

Moody Columns

apakh hoja

Tile Palette

abakh khoja tomb

Tile Perspective

apakh hoja

Domes and Crescents

apakh hoja tomb

Haunted Tomb

Market #3: Occurring at Night
Smoke from sidewalk barbecues wafts away to reveal backlit tables crowded with locals eating dinner along the streets. The chicken kabobs are delicious; the lamb kabobs, not so much. We find some frozen yogurt that doesn’t suck entirely.

kashgar night market

Like a capture from a Hitchcock movie.

night market

Dinner Table

outside id kah

Id Kah Square

Outside the Id Kah mosque square sit Cinderella princess carriages, souvenir booths, and sharply dressed camels. When we walk by, the men are surely disappointed that we do not want to take pictures. After all, we are their target audience. Actually, I do want to take pictures, but this is one of those times when the self-righteous, experienced world traveler inside me drowns out the inner child shouting “Look! CAMELS!!!!” and so I refuse to fill that tourist stereotype.

tourist trap

I really want to climb up on that sophisticated camel and get a picture, but we have plans to see more camels soon enough.  So I shall wait.


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?


Day 28 and Day 29: Shopping, Dinner, Then Breakfast; Then, Bon Voyage, Kristy

Day 28

I can’t get enough of this haggling, it would seem.

Something happens to you when you spend enough time in these markets surrounded by inexpensive things.  Maybe they pump subliminal messages into your brain through a PA system.

All I know is that I am considering purchasing far more fake designer watches than I ever would have anticipated before getting here.

There’s, like, SO much more. cliiiiiiiick!


Day 26: The Day of Cliché

All of our unplanned, haphazard, Sam’ll-handle-it traveling had been going swimmingly, but we finally hit a snag this morning.  We arrive back in China after the splendid overnight train from Shanghai and take a taxi straight to the Liyun Apartotels that were so good to us.  We explode into the lobby, a dust cloud of backpacks and random limbs.

But it’s booked solid.  Heave the bags backs on, down the street to cross on the overhead bridge, back up the street to try somewhere else.


Bags, bridge, try again.


Bags, taxi, try again.

We finally find a place that is somewhere that I cannot explain because I cannot explain where any place is in Beijing.

And so, forward with the Day of Cliché.



Day 25: Zhujiajiao, Including Imagining the Gondolier’s Tour of the Canals

Hello!  Yes, yes.  Welcome to Zhujiajiao.  What?  Yes, ok, more slowly then: Joo-Jeeaw-Jeeow.  I know what you’re thinking – it looks like Venice, yes?  With canals and gondolas and so many people everywhere.  But trust me, you’re still in China, heeheehee!  Do you see the lanterns and architecture?  It’s like I told you – still in China!!

Click for more. You know you want it.


Day 24: Shanghello

The Shanghai Museum is architecturally marvelous.  And this building, which looks like it could be a Jedi temple with its stable foundational blocks and a huge ring that surrounds it like a halo, houses some amazing ancient pottery – they have shards from 6800 B.C., which blows my mind.  Ancient Buddhist sculptures, elegant silk paintings, the history of the silk road shown through the evolution of the coins exchanged.  Very cool museum.

So Much More! All You Must Do Is JUMP!


Day 23: Adios, Qingdao; Ni hao, Shanghai

We wake up surprisingly refreshed after yesterday’s, well, depravity. Given our recent penchant for studying all day to prepare for the bar, I think I drank more beer yesterday than in the previous three months combined. But we stayed up late enough and ate enough delicious, delicious Ali Baba chuanr that we weren’t spinning when we went to bed. So there is no hangover to ruin our sublime hotel buffet.

CLICK for more! Click to JUMP

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