30 November 2007


I can't believe I'm in Kashgar.

I spent 23 hours on a train from Urumqi to get here. I ate something disagreeable to me in that train's restaurant and, amidst much vomiting, got an unfortunate case of TD. At my hotel, the Western toilet in my room doesn't flush, necessitating frequent sprints to the somewhat grim squat toilet. But, nevertheless, I made it, and I'm glad I'm here. I don't know why I dreamed of coming to Kashgar, poised as it is, at the furthest end of China, so close to India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Look for it on a map. It's way out there. This was the epicenter of The Great Game, as immortalized by Rudyard Kipling's "Kim". Actually, my hotel was once the Russian consulate, which would be exciting if the toilets flushed. Central Asia has so many ethnic groups, you become dizzy trying to account for them all. Chinese, Uighurs, Tajiks, Kazahks, Russians, Kyrgyzs (?), Pashtuns, Uzbeks, Turkmen, etc. etc. I'm missing more than a few, but they're all here in Kashgar, storied chokepoint and crossroads of the Silk Road. I hope I learn something about them while I'm here. To that end, I am off. I've already lost too much time to illness. I'll have more interesting things to say later.

1 comment:

mel said...

Feel Better Steve!
Next time you find a walmart, see if you can grab some Pepto for future gastric infelicities....

much love