Sandstorm in Kashgar

Today while we were at the livestock market of Kashgar, it seemed that fog was descending upon us. This turned out to be a dust cloud, very unusual this time of year in Kashgar. After a while, we all started to cough, since we breathed in the dust. Our very able guide Muhammed organized mouth protectors for all of us, which made it easier to breathe. We continued our program as planned, visiting the great mausoleum (which includes the mosque at which The Kiterunner was filmed), the Great Bazaar (where I haggled in uighur, which our guide had taught those of us who wanted on the very long bus ride the day before), the Great Mosque (where I for the first time in my life had the experience of removing my shoes to enter a mosque). Well, we had our usual day, fully loaded with exciting program points; we were just a little inconvenienced by all the dust. But of course, no airplanes can fly in sandstorms, so what we feared turned out to be reality: our evening flight to Urumqi was cancelled (we were supposed to stay overnight there and then continue tomorrow to Beijing). So our guide and Yale's administrators got on their cell phones and booked us for another night in the same charming hotel that we stayed at for the last two nights. Right now, Ningping is at the airline office to see if they think they can get us to Urumqi tomorrow morning instead so that we may continue to Beijing as originally planned. We'll see. We are not suffering meanwhile.

I made my way to a Chinese internet cafe. One hour of internet costs 2 RMB (2.20 SEK, 30 cents). The room is full of young people, most of whom are playing games (and smoking, as is done very much in this country). I was not supposed to be able to use the internet without showing my passport, but Ningping has that with her to the airline office. I showed them my Yale ID, and that seemed to work. Of course, I cannot upload any pictures here. I have really many pictures, which it will take me time to catch up with. We have had a wonderful trip, seen so many amazing sights. Yesterday, I rode a camel at the altitude of 3600 meters above sea level (which I suppose to equal about 10,000 feet) at the shores of a lake that reflected the snow-clad peak of X, some 7600 meters tall, in the Karakorum mountain range. (I will have to fill in the details when I can look them up.) I was wondering why I became short of breath without any real provocation, until I realized that it was the thin air at the altitude.

Stay tuned for more details and pictures when I am back in Beijing (whenever we get back; sandclouds do not necessarily settle very quickly, but they are optimistic that we might be able to fly out tomorrow morning).

Postat av: Anonym

Det låter otroligt spännande! Det ska verkligen bli roligt att se bilderna sedan!

2010-09-05 @ 17:52:24
Postat av: Eva Winroth

Jag ser verkligen fram emot att få se alla fina bilder från din resa.

Kramar Mamma

2010-09-05 @ 20:39:01
Postat av: Tina

Haggling in Uighur! This I want to hear more about. See you back at the ranch soon.

2010-09-06 @ 08:09:27

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