Sunday is day of the market and in Kash there is an animal market dating back 2,000 years! Jesus would have known this if he had come to these bands as a child.
As Flavio was on vacation, did not like to wake up early, me on the contrary wanted to take every minute of the clarity of the day to know everything, I left the hostel without him. Lok and I had found some Italians to go by taxi to such a market together, the dishonest driver didn’t want to turn on the meter, extorted us.
The market seems stopped in time as in the Middle Ages, with the exception of trucks for cattle transport, everything is archaic! You could see people shaving hair and beards in public, food stalls with charcoal or wood stoves, fruits like melons and watermelons piled up on the floor, sheep being shaved, sheep heads on the floor, animal auction, finally a medieval show.
This market that takes place every Sunday is the great attraction of the city! In fact it is the ultimate attraction of Xinjiang province, attracting hundreds of tourists eager to take photos and to see and feel the environment, and also merchants from various regions and ethnicities of Central Asia, many come from far with their cargo donkeys, horses and sheep, producing a transit of wagons. The dirt floor and the men in unmodern clothes gave even more that rural, nomadic and frozen air in time. The movie “The Kite Runner” was partly filmed here.
Kashgar’s Sunday market.
Barbers at Kashgar Market.
Lok and I hitchhiked on the tourist bus of another band of excited and retired Italians, we went to the merchandise market not as interesting as the animal market, where we separated from the Italians.
Next we went to the tomb of Apak Hoja, I found it kind of dull. The tomb, which looked like a huge mosque, was covered with green tiles on the outside wall. It was built in 1640 AD to house the body of Yusup Hoja, an Islamic missionary, however it was his son Apak Hoja who became most famous. In this cemetery there were several tombs within the building and others more in the annexed outer area.
In the evening we went to eat at the same Uighur restaurant as yesterday, this time I invited a beautiful Uighur girl from the tourism agency who looked like a mixed race, to have dinner with us, she ordered the dishes, spoke Chinese, Uighur and English and had clear eyes. We ate pigeon, typical noodles and lamb skewers. A waitress when she was not serving any table sat next to me, the chair was vacant, I looked at her strangely and waiting for her to say something, because she had not even asked permission but she remained indifferent to me, only then I realized that she just wanted to rest her legs.
Lok and I had good conversations, Lok is an assumed homosexual, which surprised me his courage to tell me the first day I met him. He confided to me his crises in adolescence, and that he had finally accepted his condition, he was a Methodist-educated Christian, like everyone in his family. I came to respect him, after all I was not his type, and my preferences were for women. Every time he talked about a girl, he told me he preferred Caucasians.
Flávio and I moved to the Qinibag Hotel, where Lok was, it was better. Here in China some hotels reserve some rooms for backpacker use as if it were hostel.
Today at the railway station I lost my mind when I went to get information of trains an Uighur simply stuck the queue and there was no point yelling or pulling him. That would be just one of the times when I’d be annoyed with these smart asses, it was something so common here that no one cared. I obviously missed the organization, education and hygiene of Japan.
The next day I didn’t do anything but sleep in the afternoon. I made contact with two other Frenchmen to arrange the tour to the desert the next day. We had dinner at the hotel’s Chinese restaurant, Flavio, Sébastien, Cassandre, Chihiro and me. I didn’t know how Chihiro was doing around here, she didn’t speak either Chinese or English and she was traveling alone. Sébastien was tall, blond, half-hunchback and half-shaved, was living and working as an engineer in Hangzhou, and had a twin brother in New York. Cassandre was a short and friendly blonde girl and knew a little Portuguese, she had studied a little Chinese and Islam.
Here in China it is forbidden to have any religion when you are a child, student or member of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party), other than Maoism. Freedom of religion and expression is something hypocritical confined only to papers. Many Christians, Muslims, Tibetans and members of the Falun Gong sect are wrongfully imprisoned, tortured, have their organs harvested, women are raped and sometimes killed. The Chinese government does not respect human rights and pretends to be unaware of these acts.