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Old 04-04-2013, 08:05 PM   #24361
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... It's not a trip, it's a 'move' back to northern Thailand for retirement. It will be nice to get out of this 'cement jungle' and back into a real one!


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In that case, enjoy your time there!

Tea, with dinner.
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:34 PM   #24362
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Of tomorrow morning to Victoria to watch the final weekend of the Men's World Curling Championship. We really can't afford it right now, but we bought the tickets months ago when I had a job. So we'll be as frugal as we can, but still hope to see some good curling. Canada is still in it, and Scotland has confirmed a spot in the Page 1/2 Playoff. But probably no good tea.

A mug of Peet's Holiday Breakfast Blend this afternoon, with a couple of cookies.
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Old 04-05-2013, 12:15 AM   #24363
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I just had this 'Far Side' cartoon 'mental image' of two Curling team 'room mates' cleaning their house....

The temples on Kyoto's hillside were beautiful as usual, but the Cherry blossoms have already begun to fall, and the trees looked a bit scruffy. But the crowds didn't seem to mind, and it was wall-to-wall people in every direction. I came home early to refill my thermos, and later I'll head out on my motorcycle down some southern routes that I know to be lined with Cherry trees along a river. Hopefully, they will be in full bloom. Or just budding. This has been such a strange season. Half the trees on my street are just budding now, while the other half are dropping blossoms like pink snow!

Fortunately, the East India Company never lets me down, and I'm enjoying their 'Royal Breakfast' tea right now!


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Old 04-05-2013, 12:42 AM   #24364
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:20 AM   #24365
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( excerpts from my travel journal; please excuse grammar and other)

About the Uyghur in Kashgar and Xinjiang. Before the Chinese, Timurlane rules in 1219 and next the Mongols. In 1865 it is incorperated in the Chinese province Xinjiang, although they want an independent Turkestan. In 1930-1940 Kashgar wants to establish anew an independent Eastern Turkestan, but the Chinese Kuomintang promises them real autonomy if they give their new republic up.
Since 1949 China imports many Han Chinese in Kashgar and Xinjiang: this reduces the Uyghur population from 90% to 50%. So: ethnic unrests; street protests and bombs attacks. Last time in 2009, with 200 persons dead.

Uyghur are discriminated against and their culture is at stake. They must learn mandarin,to get a decent job. Uyghur is a Turkic language and manderin difficult. Last year in the Autonomous Region Museum in Umruqi and in the Turpan museum, I actually saw the role of the Uyghur in the region's history minimized and the Chinese part in it upgraded. I see that as falsification of Uyghur history.

There are signs in front of the new houses in the old town of Kashar proclaming these are build in the best Uyghur tradition. But that is a farce. This 'traditional' Uyghur style is made with prefabricated coarse concrete forms. Not near as refined and elegant as the lace like woodwork of the ancient Uyghur buildings.I took photo's of these buildings last year and now many are gone. I can imagine that what happens here is not right and will lead to further resentment in due course

(04-04 Kashgar. Train to Turpan through the Taklamakan desert.)
The Taklamakan Desert, 337,000 km2 (130,116 sq. mi.), is situated in southwest Xanjiang. It is bordered by the Kunlun Mountains -south, the desert Pamir Mountains and Tian Shan -west and north, and the Gobi Desert -east. It’s name: "The point of no return" or "The Desert of Death".It is the world's second largest shifting sand desert with about 85% made up of shifting sand dunes. In recent years, the desert has expanded. Being in the rain shadow of the Himmalayas,Taklamakan is a paradigmatic cold desert climate; extreme lows in wintertime −20 °C (−4 °F).Its extreme inland position accounts for the cold nights even during summertime.

By train to Turpan will be a 22 hours journey.
Ho...the train doesn't run, so I board a sleeping bus; dirty bunks, carpets, a fur on the stairs, and a place to recline. I just hope they understand that Turpan is my destination. For my outdoor shoes I get a plastic bag. There are two drivers; Uyghur, I think, for they frequently roll down their prayer mat in the direction of Mekka.

After 6 hours driving through dry scenery/ mountains, someone bullies the busdriver in making a first toilet-stop; near some run down houses and a fruitstall. A hole in the ground and a fierce wind that blows the toiletpaper in my face. Excuse the details, but I want you all to have 'a first row' view. Every 5/6 hours the bus stops for a toilet break; all hurry with their plastic bag+shoes to get out; in the night we just sit in the desert. I am determined to drink as little as possible, and I see most do.
There is little to see as the wind blows the sand up and around. Sometimes I see some men with heavy machinery working on....? And there are a few stops along the way, with small sand coloured houses. The wind has abated, but the sky is a yellowish/ grey.

(05-04 bus to Turpan)
It cools down at night as we cross the desert. Men hawk, spit, snore,sing or shout. The drivers smoke punguent Chinese cigarettes. It is a friendly group of travellers. All are tired and frumpy. 17 hours after boarding it is getting light again and we are in the bare yellow/brown mountains. No vegetation.
23 hours is the journey by bus, but Turpan is here.

Turpan is a fertile oasis, lots of fruit trees, and an important trade centre from old. It's*karez water system is a system of horizontal series of vertically dug wells that are linked by underground water canals to collect water. This water comes from the base of the Tian Shan Mountains and the nearby Flaming Mountains.
Throug the downward slope of the desert, the Turpan Depression, the canals channel the water to the surface;mostly underground to reduce water evaporation.
There are wells, dams and underground canals to store the water and control the water flow. The irrigation system began during the Han Dynasty (206 BCE – 24 CE).Today's system is over 1100 karez wells/channels with a length of 5,000 kilometres.

Tomorrow morning the early train to Dun Huang with its famous Buddhist caves.

In my cup: nescafé and lots of water, now that I have a toilet.
And sketchy wifi; I thought China was better equiped, but I guess we're in the backwaters.

Last edited by desertblues; 04-05-2013 at 02:49 AM.
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:33 AM   #24366
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Thank you for posting!
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:03 PM   #24367
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desertblues - Thank you, I love the details of your trip.

Fresh coffee in my cup.
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:24 PM   #24368
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:54 PM   #24369
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There's strong black* peppermint tea in my cup this morning - it's a must for busy days, and I only have one day off work this week, so I have an excessive to-do list for the day.

* In Australia, or at least in my local community, people have a habit of putting milk in every single kind of tea, leading me to need to specify 'black tea' even if I've chosen a herbal blend ... Eurgh!
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:04 PM   #24370
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Ha! Also peppermint from me as I seem to have woken with a bit of an upset tummy. Black of course! I don't think I've come across anyone trying to put milk in peppermint tea over here, but they do offer it with Earl Grey which is a no no for me.
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:14 PM   #24371
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Ha! Also peppermint from me as I seem to have woken with a bit of an upset tummy. Black of course! I don't think I've come across anyone trying to put milk in peppermint tea over here, but they do offer it with Earl Grey which is a no no for me.
It must be a local community thing... It's pretty dreadful. I don't like milk in any kind of tea, but I expect to have to tell people so if it's English breakfast or "generic tea". When you get to chamomile, vanilla, jasmine, peppermint, oolong and people are mixing the tea with milk, I can't help but think that they don't actually like tea...
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:20 PM   #24372
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Aruba, Jamaica ooo I wanna take ya
Bermuda, Bahama come on pretty mama
Key Largo, Montego baby why don't we go

Jamaica off the Florida Keys
There's a place called Kokomo
That's where you wanna go to get away from it all

Bodies in the sand
Tropical drink melting in your hand
We'll be falling in love
To the rhythm of a steel drum band
Down in Kokomo

( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mP07Oyr7enQ )

Good morning, everyone! Happy Saturday! Rainy day today, with a storm warning out. That should wipe out all the rest of Cherry blossoms still on the trees. But no worries... there is the next species of Cherry that has yet to bloom. I think I got some fairly nice photos yesterday, but I haven't looked at them yet. Something to do today in the rain... Right now, a big mug of Ahmad's "English Breakfast" tea, a plate of hummus, Kalamata olives, some feta cheese, and some flatbread my wife made this morning! Nice way to start the day!

desertblues
- Thanks for the trip report!

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There's strong black* peppermint tea in my cup this morning -
* In Australia, or at least in my local community, people have a habit of putting milk in every single kind of tea, leading me to need to specify 'black tea' even if I've chosen a herbal blend ... Eurgh!
Welcome to the MobileRead forums, Elysium. That's the norm in Malaysia too, only they use half a glass full of sweetened condensed milk, then add the hot water and tea. Absolutely vile....

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Ha! Also peppermint from me as I seem to have woken with a bit of an upset tummy. Black of course! I don't think I've come across anyone trying to put milk in peppermint tea over here, but they do offer it with Earl Grey which is a no no for me.
Hope your tummy feels better soon. Probably comes from drinking Earl Grey tea. I could never understand why that tea is so popular!


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Old 04-05-2013, 09:20 PM   #24373
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Welcome to the MobileRead forums, Elysium. That's the norm in Malaysia too, only they use half a glass full of sweetened condensed milk, then add the hot water and tea. Absolutely vile....
That sounds utterly dreadful... Remind me to never request a cup of tea if I visit Malaysia!

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Hope your tummy feels better soon. Probably comes from drinking Earl Grey tea. I could never understand why that tea is so popular!
As long as you don't smell it, it's alright...
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:42 PM   #24374
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That sounds utterly dreadful... Remind me to never request a cup of tea if I visit Malaysia!
They look at you really, really oddly if you request it without milk, both coffee and tea!

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As long as you don't smell it, it's alright...
I agree! Great minds... and all that! But then, I really love the smell of tea, so holding my nose while I drink just doesn't cut it.


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Old 04-05-2013, 09:47 PM   #24375
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Hope your tummy feels better soon. Probably comes from drinking Earl Grey tea. I could never understand why that tea is so popular!
Stitchawl

Because the best Star Trek captain drank it, that is why.
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