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A Glimpse of Urumqi

In fact Urumqi felt more like Turkey than China.

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Urumqi, August 26th 2012

From Tianchi, I headed to the International Grand Bazaar Xinjiang, a must-to-go in every travel guides.

The bazaar building stood side by side with Carrefour. Traditional vs modern? Knifes, watches, jewelery, bags, scarfs, spices, and spices again, were all about the bazaar. I thought of buying Cory a gift as a token of gratitude. But what to buy? What is good? Living in Urumqi himself, might he not have everything that's offered here? Maybe I'd better send him something from my home country, instead. Or, bring something, when I return.

It seemed to me that the items sold in this bazaar were more meant for tourists than for locals. Something touristy. Something that didn't seem real. From the highest level, I went down, and outside.

Nah! This is something more real. Really amazing. This dancer had a booth behind where I stood. Through a microphone she gave explanations in Mandarin. I reckon it must be explanation about the dance she was about to perform. And then she turned on a music recording, stepped away, and dance!

Many people gathered around and cheered. When the dance ended and the music faded, everyone clapped their hands. She returned to her booth looking content. In my home country, or at least in my home town, no one would do such a thing, for free. I waited and watched whether the dancer would take out a box to collect money, or whether people would walk to her and give her money. No one did.

Did you notice the green metal plates hanging around the tip of her hat, sleeves, skirt, and trousers? As she swirled around, the metal plates added to the music.

Not far from the parking lot towards Carrefour was another performance! The music was loud enough to be heard until a hundred meters away. Besides me was another Chinese guy with an SLR camera. He snapped with greatest enthusiasm.

What a lucky day today.

As I had mentioned in previous post, the air in Urumqi felt different than the other cities I had been in Xinjiang. If only I had more time, I would have got on this trem and roamed the city.

I left the hustle and bustle of the Grand Bazaar, and walked to the other side of the street, to feel more of Urumqi...

... and the people.

Besides the few Chinese characters here and there, I didn't feel like I was in China anymore. In fact Urumqi felt more like Turkey than China. Ah, how amazing humankind is. We transform beyond borders.

Let me assure you, I didn't use a fish-eye lens. This is the longest wedding car I have ever seen. I wonder, who will sit in the car? Just the bride and the bride groom?

The instant noodle I had in Tianshan was apparently not enough to replace the energy I had burnt out. Although it was yet not dinner time, my tummy cried for something to dissolve. I picked up this restaurant, because the name sounded interestingly funny to me. 'Baik' in my home country's language means 'good'. 'Al', as far as I know, means 'the ultimate'. So does 'albaik' mean 'the ultimate best'? I trusted it was 'albaik', so I went in.

The restaurant was crowded. I nearly couldn't get a seat. According to Dad's theory, a crowded restaurant means good food. Well, it was. For a 16 yuan I got cheese burger and a glass of ice coffee milk.

This was my last shot of Urumqi -- at that moment. See you again, Urumqi!!

Posted by automidori 00:33 Archived in China Tagged china xinjiang urumqi

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