[ Sept.1996 ] On the last day in Urumchi, the capital city in Xinjiang in China, we went back to the market and ate lamb meat buns and a huge soup with meatballs and dumplings.
I found that when I tried to do what the locals were doing, they were friendly to me.
The blouse that I had ordered two days before was ready as promised.
In the city, I saw a woman wearing a dress with spangles doing heavy physical work, carrying some coals, while some women were wearing a warm knitted scarf on their heads totally covering their faces.
I wonder if they could see anything through the small gaps of the mesh?
In the afternoon, we flew to Kashgar.
We took an airport bus to the Urumchi airport, which cost 8 yuan (in those days $1=8.28 yuan).
When the check in counter opened, again all those people taking this flight rushed there and scrambled.
This was nothing but a useless effort, as we had plenty of time and the seats were reserved, so I think it was just their habit.
The view from the window seat was wonderful.
The high mountains with snow could be seen on top of clouds.
Towards Kashgal, there was a lake between the flat land and mountains, which was another stunning scene.
The airline was called China Xinjiang Airlines (later absorbed by China Southern Airlines), but on the aeroplane body, it said AeroVolga and western looking people were working.
Many of the passengers seemed to be coming back from Urumchi after buying a lot of household goods including TV.
After arriving at Kashgar airport, we went to the town by bus (4 yuan) and settled in a 190 yuan room in People’s Hotel which we had already checked in Urumchi that they had rooms.
But the room was as bad as the one in Hami, so we decided to stay there just one night.
Next morning, when I was woken up by the alarm at 7 am, I heard Adhan.
It was the first time I heard Adhan in China.
On the other hand, I could see the workers lined up in the site of a company and they were doing some sort of exercise
I guessed that that company belonged to a Han Chinese owner.
Although I could not know if the Adhan in the morning came from this mosque, we visited the Id Kah Mosque, apparently the largest mosque in China.
On the floor with lovely Mihrab rugs (the Mihrab is the symbolic arch of Islam and often d in rugs), young men were reading aloud the big books of Koran.
I thought it would be rude to take photos of them, so I was looking at them from afar, but one of them beckoned me and asked me to take photos, so I did.
They were friendly people and I enjoyed being there.
Ono the way out, there was a person in the ticket box which had been empty on the way in, so we paid 3 yuan for the entrance fee and 5 yuan for taking photos.
After that, we headed for the reputable bazaar.