Food, (glorious?) food
Kashgar set the ball rolling.
Finally, I was travelling. No more jetlag, and as far as I was aware, there would be no more time zone changes for at least 10 weeks. Couldn’t quite believe that the whole of China runs ON BEIJING TIME. Just a tad confusing when the whole of the town tries to rebel and run on its own time, so there was a strange 2-hour ‘what-the-fuck-is-the-fucking-time’ difference when you find out your iPhone also has a rebellious streak. Best advice was to not make any plans and just roll with it.
On the second day in Kashgar we headed to the (new) old town. I decided to brave some local food. After hearing some horror stories from our local guide, I thought I’d try some of the more identifiable goods on display. There was a lot to choose from – goat’s head soup, shredded lung noodles, and what looked like fried ballsack but I’m really not too sure. There seems to be something inside goat’s head soup that really triggers my gag reflex. Still haven’t figured out what it is yet.
Probably the goat’s head.
We bought a couple of beers from a fridge-bucket-sort of thing, grabbed a plastic stool, a couple of meat sticks and sat down to enjoy the scenes. The market was rammed even when it was first setting up. Pretty cool watching the town go about its thing.
What seemed like a lazy siesta-y afternoon:
... turned into a mass social feast.
Police were still patrolling the area with guns and bag searching machines, but the locals seem immune to it. It seems like it’s just part of their everyday. Kids were running around excited for food and pumped up for an evening wreaking havoc around the town.
They were always super eager to have their photos taken. If you’re lucky you may even get to hold a baby. Apparently it’s good luck if a mother thrusts her new born into the hands of a foreigner.
I felt hungry for my fam & friends. All I had was social media and WhatsApp to share this with (and fb chat, because Dad hasn’t seemed to jump off the BB wagon yet).
There was a need to tell everyone how cool this moment was, but I knew (apart from the interest in a couple of pictures) in reality nobody really cared. I needed to prepare myself for total band-camp moments, buck-up and live only for myself in the moment, getting ready for the ‘wow, that must have been great for you’, cue jealousy and/or boredom. Yep, we’ve heard that before, we’ve heard it was great. That’s great. The best. Cool story, bro.
That’s one of the many downright difficult things about travelling alone. When something is good, I mean really good, like – you’re going to take this to your deathbed kinda good – you don’t have anyone to share the immediate experience with. It’s difficult to explain because it’s not really quantifiable. Maybe, for instance, you saw a painting that really spoke to you, and you formed an emotional attachment to it. Most of us would post it somewhere because we want to share what we have seen and experienced and tell everyone how great it was. That’s what an artist tries to do, and that’s what I’m trying to do with this blog. That’s what people do with music, too.
I’ve had a few breath taking moments, but what is a breath taking moment without sharing it with someone? This moment in the market, it was one of those impulsive moments where you need to record. There’s a deep, deep desire to depict, as an artist. To pick up your crayons and a bit of paper and try and capture the world. Crayons were not particularly practical, so I made do with my camera until I could get back to the hostel.