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wild on xinjiang: setting the stage

note: the following is the first of many posts that will document my 10-day stay in china’s xinjiang uighur autonomous region during the national day holiday. now, i’ll be the first to tell you that this introduction has little to do with the xinjiang i saw. but i’ve been doing some research on the topic lately. i find it interesting. and there you go.

the uighurs wobble … but will they fall down?

the place: china might as well add “restive” to its already long and disingenuous name for the xinjiang uighur autonomous region. read a newspaper or magazine story about this vast and mysterious northwestern non-province, and restive will undoubtedly show up somewhere. (see, i’ve already done it twice.) this makes me chuckle. my dictionary defines autonomous like this: “not controlled by others; independent.” and restive like this: “difficult to control.”

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11.09.2003, 10:56 PM · Politics, Xinjiang · Comments (4)


photo: shannon shue
click here for photos from xinjiang. they’re not all from me this time. five jarring days on the back of a horse didn’t agree with my digital camera. actually not even two days did. my camera now rattles when i shake it. thankfully, several other cameras also made the trip. and sometimes i was even allowed to borrow them. the photos end after page 27. more could still be added.

(if you care, my camera is currently in the shop right now. this explains the dearth of new photos here recently.)

later this week, i will begin posting my xinjiang travelog. i plan to do this day-by-day, diary style. lots of stories to tell. xinjiang is — um, well — different.

11.03.2003, 12:51 AM · Photos, Xinjiang · Comments (1)

muslims, raisins and knives … oh my!

yes, i’m back from xinjiang. yes, it was a great trip. yes, i will write about it soon. yes, i will post photos soon, too.

but i’m suffering from a cold and a slow internet connection. i hope to have both problems remedied by mid-week.

until then, please enjoy this sampling of photos i culled from the hundreds i still need to sort all the way through.

oh, if you were wondering, the name “good cheap tent” only proved to be two-thirds correct.

10.14.2003, 12:29 AM · Photos, Xinjiang · Comments (2)

i hear siberia is nice this time of year

i’ll keep this short … because i still need to pack. i leave tomorrow — really later today — for a national day (oct. 1) holiday trip to xinjiang, the huge territory that occupies the northwest corner of china. and then i’m heading to the very, very top of it, a lake called kanas that sits close to khazakstan, russia and mongolia.

we’re doing a week-long hiking/camping trip through the altay mountains (a chinese guidebook to the area features the english words “asian switzerland,” so i’m expecting lots of blondes, banks, chocolate and clocks) and eventually ending up at the remote kanas lake. (actually, it’s not that remote. it’s also accessible by a very long bus ride, which no doubt is what almost all of the chinese tourists will opt for. so, i’m expecting this lake in the middle of nowhere to be crowded, noisy and smoky, like everywhere else in china during a holiday.)

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09.29.2003, 3:34 AM · Xinjiang · Comments (3)