The golden sunset on the train's window drew all the people's attention, embroidered the gold lines on everyone. They looked like a group of ancient Chinese sculptures dragging out the crimson horizon into the train.
Reading Mò Yán (莫言)'s novel "The Frog" (《蛙》) on the train, the plot shines after page 40. I cried when I read that Wong Yan Mei is died on page 135. I learned about the Cultural revolution in China by reading book《讎囚》 and watching movies,《天浴》,《芙蓉鎮》,《陝邊溝》and《歸來》, somehow I do not understand thoroughly, at least not as much as a "local" Chinese in China, especially on some of the terms and slangs.
S always says that I am not a 100% Chinese and act like a Japanese. My Mandarin improved after the four-month stay in China, but almost everyone thinks that I am from Korea when we talk. A Yunnan university student from Poland speak fluent Mandarin, we met him in the youth hostel in Kashgar.
"He has perfect accent and his Mandarine even better then those Chinese from the south of China." S said.
"I cannot be compared with him in this case, considering he can speak, write and read within one year study in China, and he speaks Polish, German and English, that means he is a genius in languages." I replied.
2.30 hours coach from Qinghai Lake (青海湖) to Xining (西寧)
2.30 hours train from Xining (西寧) to Lanzhou (蘭州)
14 hours train from Lanzhou (蘭州) to Dunhuang (敦煌)
2.30 hours train from Dunhuang (敦煌) to Xining (疏流河)
11 hours train from Xining (疏流河) to Ürümchi (烏魯木齊)
25 hours train from Ürümchi (烏魯木齊) to Kashgar (喀什)
The train from Hamburg to Copenhagen only takes 4.5 hours. It takes 25 hours between two cities in the west part of China, and you can image how big China is.
25 hours train from Ürümchi (烏魯木齊) to Kashgar (喀什), where is notorious as the most dangerous places of the Uighur (維吾爾) terrorists in recent years. Everyone in Ürümchi says Kashgar has more active terrorists then the other cities, where is near the China border, the terrorist would escape to the other countries easily. However, the Kashgar citizen says Ürümchi is the target of the terrorisim because the high intensity of population.
The train runs along the yellowish mountain and desert, by passed Turpan (吐魯番), The Flaming Mountains (火焰山) and Tarim Basin (塔里木盆地), the parts of the route of "Journey to the West" (《西遊記》), a traditional Chinese mythology, where also the parts of "The Silk Road" (絲綢之路).
In the story of "Journey to the West", Sunwukong (孫悟空) also known as Qitiandasheng (齊天大聖) or Monkey King. He escorts Tangsanzang (唐三藏) bringing back the Buddhism Sutra from the west (India) to China. They meet lots of gods, demons and monsters on the journey, a big battle between Sunwukong and the Bull Demon King (牛魔王) is took place in the Flaming Mountains (火焰山).
Also, Erlangshen (二郎神), a knight god has another battle with Sunwukong. He takes rest near Qinghai Lake, and leaves his sword near the Lake, which becomes the shore with the shape of the sword, called Èrláng jiàn (二郎劍) later. And that was the place I lived for two months before I went to Xinjiang (新彊).
Sun raised on the train's window, the fancy pastel horizon divided the window into two, which made me missed Iceland, the clear and wide skyline and the unique pinky colour. It was difficult to believe that is a part of China, until I noticed my dusty clothes and shoes.
The conceptual map in my mind: everywhere being so close, they are always the next stop by plane, by train, by coach or by car. It is an unbelievable joinery for the people taking years on passing through The Silk Road in the old days.
"It looks like Tibet." said L. When I shown my photos in Iceland.
Then I think about how would I visit Montréal then go to Reykjavík again. And how about Africa? South America? I do not know how and when I would end this journey. I am being lead a vagrant life.
The time I spent in Berlin from January to March last year, in Canada on July, then I were back to Europe on September. It was not a long time but it was seemed so long. Time extended by itself, the intensity of life compressed from Europe to Asia. I met Poplar (白楊樹) again in Dunhuang (敦煌) last month, they were bowing to me along the treks. Are they the same trees along the Seine in Paris? And they were everywhere besides the fields and treks in Xinjiang.
Thousand miles of sand lies with the little brushes on the windy dry plain, the illusion of an ocean floats under the horizon, where is only mud and sand dunes.
There were more empty seats for sleeping after a big load of passengers took off at half past four in the early morning. Also many of them slept in every possibly ways: under the three-linked seats, near the exit's door. I woke up at seven o'clock. There still had two to four stops till the destination. New comers entered the train, no one woke anyone up even their seats had been slept over by strangers, but looking for an empty seat for rest or stand quietly, they were so sweet, like the body guards of the sleepers.
"It is normal. I will do the same." A said.
"But it is still amazing that everybody do so." S replied, "I appreciate."
The trains were full, some of the trains only had tickets for standing left. I hardly got the ticket to Kashgar on the fifth day in Ürümchi. This was the nightmare that I could not buy any sleeping-seat and got a seat for sitting over 25 hours on the train.
The countless hours of sitting without sleep, I gazed my reflected face on the window. Am I going to be a blank traveller or going through the profound depth in my life?
Der Müller schnarcht und das Gesinde, Und nur die Tochter wacht im Haus; Die lachet still und zieht sich heimlich Fürsichtig die Pantoffeln aus. Sie geht und weckt den Müllerburschen, Der kaum den schweren Augen traut: »Nun küsse mich, verliebter Junge; Doch sauber, sauber! nicht zu laut.« -- »Sommermittag« Theodor Storm
Both Sides Now – Somewhere between Hong Kong and the UK presents contemporary and historical film and video work from Hong Kong and China, curated by Isaac Leung of Videotage and Jamie Wyld of Videoclub. The films explore developments within the culture and society of Hong Kong and China over the past three decades, including work which reflects on the on-going dynamics of cultures in Hong Kong, China, and the UK. The programme contains work by some of Hong Kong and China’s most exciting artists working in film and video, and varies between animation, documentary and artist’ moving image.
Screening Date in UK
24 June 2014 : FACT, Liverpool
26 June 2014 : Duke’s at Komedia, Brighton
05 July 2014 : Whitechapel Gallery, London
13 July 2014 : Floating Cinema, King’s Cross, London
Screening Date in HK
Exhibition : 14 – 20 August 2014
Location: Osage Kwun Tong, 4/F, Union Hing Yip Factory Building, 20 Hing Yip Street, Kwun Tong, Hong Kong
Curatorial Talk: 16 Aug (SAT) 3-6pm British Council
HONG KONG ARTISTS
“LOWEREST TO LOWER”
CHAN Chui Hing, Nose
“EAST IS RED“
CHENG Chi Hung
CHENG Chi Lai, Howard
“Star” & “Move”
CHOI Sai Ho
“Complaint Song of Hong Kong – Youtube Karaoke”
Complaint Choir of Hong Kong & CHOI Thickest
“97 TONS OF MEMORIES”
“Cycling to the Square“
CHUNG Wai Ian & LEE Chung Fung
“X-mas Half-Nude Party “
Forever Tarkovsky Club & Gregor SAMSA
” I Love the Country But Not the Party (Party version) “
“A Woman in A Flat”
HO Sik Ying
“A Flags-Raising-Lowering Ceremony at my home’s cloths drying rack “
KWAN Sheung Chi
“Door Games Window Frames – video version (2012)”
LEUNG Chi Wo
“Meditating at the Central Point of the Kingdom”
LO Yin Shan
“TV Game of the Year”
“Playing Cards 1997”
TSE Ming Chong
“Under the Lion Crotch”
“Sounds from Beneath”
Mikhail Karikis and Uriel Orlow
“The Delinquents Part 1 (Jobseekers) “
“New Materials in the Reading of the World”
Chooc Ly Tan
July, Sawm (صوم)during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan (رمضان).
Today is my 1st holiday after the 10 working-days in the youth hostel.
Sunrise at 6am, sunset at 10pm in Kasghar, the longest summer daylight I have even enjoyed. However the brightness of the mid-day is too hot and dry, everyone stays indoor, eating lots of juicy watermelons, chatting or gets some rest. Most of the activity resume after 6pm, the temperature descending with little bit of wind. People walk under the shadow market opened till 8pm, and the Islamic restaurants open at 10.30 till the other morning, the dinning time for the Muslims during the fasting month.
Some part of the Islamic old city is developed, where looks like everywhere in China. The last 2 parts of the old city will soon be the touristic places. A entry ticket will be issued next year.
"The old city looks more charming and nice, why it needs to be develop like the other city in China?" I asked.
"You are the tourist, you just stay for a while, that looks fine for you. Try to think about the locals? They need a better living." Y said.
"You should write something to promote the city. The media massed the place, and there is nothing to do with the terrorists." M said.
"Most of my fiends said Xinjiang is the most dangerous place in China, especially the south part of Xinjiang. One of the seniors from Qinghai Lake even blame me to get here, and telling others I am too crazy to stay for a month, also warn those trying to promote Xinjiang are idiots and ridiculous." I replied.
"So, why you still come here?" M.
"I do not know. I just want to be here and understand things by myself."
Chewing Noodle in Ürümchi, Chewy, al dente
If you ask me about my stray, I will advice you start your trip today.
a sweet post from 喀什 新彊 شىنجاڭ / قەشقەر شەھرى Shinjang,Kashgar
親愛的，假如你想要一張從新彊 喀什 寄來的明信片
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