Monday, July 12, 2010

the China
stills: Part II (Romantic Tourist Version)
July 12, 2010 My nose is peeling from a hard hike up Mt. Kongur to a massive glacier at about 4500 meters. The dark comfort of a dung heated yurt has never been more inviting. We've bused through the sands of the Taklamakan in searing heat with air-conditioning blasting like a Uyghur action movie gone terribly wrong. We survived the filth of Hotan hotels on and on because we were so intregued with how Uyghur medicine works, how carpets are made, how small pebbles of jade change hands and what reading Arabic means to people. We've observed Uyghur jokers at the zoo and cool cats doing the mukam in Yarkan. We're collecting artifacts of the Old Town in Kashgar. We sat for hours in an old stone fort in the High Pamirs thinking about why Potlemy mentioned the place over 2000 years ago and why Tajiks look so noble. We stayed in a stone yurt swaping glances with an old Kyrgyz gentleman and remarking on the 7500 meter mountains all around, and how hard 20 year-old Kyrgyz women work. We're still in China until Wednesday when we will possibly try our hand at Kyrgyzstan.

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Saturday, July 03, 2010

the China
stills: part 1

June 16, 2010 J and I spent the past few days in a 7 person yurt playing scrabble and admiring the strong backs of the Kazak family who we replaced. We climbed on mountains and rationed toilet paper and spoke about past lives and other places, but not too much since that place, on the banks of a jade lake was too good for music. the week before we wandered the deserts and oases with Zach/Mary turning lazy afternoons into sunbaked walks and crazy chinese tourists into ciphers from another planet. the food was good and the families seemed strong. the week before that week was spent on all night rants and rambles through various eastern cities, long mornings in pagodas and balconies, on river banks in bamboo forests hunting for small adventures and breathing silvery air.