Asia | China | North West | Kashgar – Tea and melons
Once again, we overslept and missed the bus to Tashkugan. I took a walk alone in the Uygher neighborhood in the evening for some possible photo-ops, and was pleasantly surprised when a couple women invited me to sit with them on the doorsteps for tea and melons while watching them stitch hat tops. One of the womens daughter, a little girl in lacy dress with brown hair and hazel eyes, convinced me to take her picture in the sweetest voice and happily posed in an European courtesy when I took out my camera.
All the neighborhood kids came, hoping to have their pictures taken, too. But getting a good picture of the Uygher kids takes a professional photographer. Whenever I tried to sneak in an action shot, one of the sharp-eyed kids not in the direction of the camera would jump into the viewfinder suddenly, unwilling to be excluded. Then they would form a stiff group pose. Of course, one must look serious to be remembered with respect.
On the way back, I stopped by the mosque and saw a funeral nearing the end and the Hoja shaking the hands of the men standing around the green velvet-covered casket. When we came to Kashgar, Daniel and I said the best way to learn about a culture was to see a wedding, a funeral, and be invited in for tea. Having seen a wedding procession on the first day we were here, I could now say that I had half-done them all. My missions in Kashgar were complete.