#166 Project Agape: Kashgar (塔什库)
Thursday, 17 July 2014

*dusts the cobwebs off this blog* Goodness, it's been a while since I've last updated. My life has been completely taken over by my internship, sighs. But more on that in a separate post, this (severely overdue) post features some of the sights of 塔什库. I'll be writing about the secondary school and the stone fortress in the separate entries.

塔什库 was possibly the most scenic place we visited on this OCSP, but even before we managed to get there, a crisis happened. Our flight got delayed for over 10 hours, what are the odds? Fortunately, we had VERY capable leaders who managed everything perfectly (including the incompetent airport staff). For a moment I thought I was going to have to face the nightmare situation I experienced last year in San Francisco.

Sunk our teeth into their mutton buns for the first time, ha-ha why does that sound somewhat dirty. Their staple meat seems to be mutton. Everywhere we went, there were dead goats/lambs/sheep hanging out for sale. You get used to the smell and taste after a while, but I made the conscious effort not to eat too much mutton because I feel smelly after eating the meat. Probably not true, but yeah, ha-ha. Wasn't a huge fan of the China cuisine in general, but you've got to make do and suck it up. At the end of the day, I just kept telling myself - "You're here for OCSP, not on holiday."

On our 8 hour bus ride up to the mountains, we stopped over at Corner Lake & Sand Mountain (I can never for the life of me get the name right without Googling it) for a couple of minutes to take some touristy shots. My picture doesn't do the view any justice whatsoever. It was beautiful to just look at, very serene and calming and peaceful. Funniest part was when the locals there tried to sell us painted stones as souvenirs. Really now, do we look that gullible?

HUGE difference in the weather up at 塔什库 than at 广州, as you can clearly tell from how wrapped up we all are. Should have appreciated the weather there more, it was sweltering by the time we got down to 喀什 on the 2nd half of our OCSP. To better elaborate on just how cold it was up there - when I went to sleep at night, I wore sweat pants, thermal socks, a T-shirt, a jacket and bundled myself up in a blanket. To be fair, I slept closest to the window so it may have been colder at my bunk.

We had quite a bit of free time every morning to explore the tiny town. Morning are supposed to be use to prepare for our activities later in the day, but we were just too *cough* efficient. Their market place is very different from the ones you see in Singapore. Their produce are still alive, ha-ha. They're only slaughtered once you make the purchase, except for the mutton of course.

A couple more interesting sights of the small town that we stayed in for 3 days. There isn't that much to see or do to be honest. The place is very rural and the shops are mostly food places, homes or selling basic daily necessities. Most interesting thing I saw there - a Tibetan Mastiff. I swear for a moment I thought I was looking at a caged, miniature lion, ha-ha. And while we have the Merlion, 塔什库 has their statue of an eagle, because they believe that they are the descendants of eagles.

Another common food staple, their naan. It's so big you can cover your face with it, ha-ha. Definitely wasn't easy trying to have a balanced diet while in China, but like I said, you make do. I sort of lost the inspiration I had to churn out the blog posts for my OCSP trip. I was afraid of this, which was why I tried my best to blog as early as possible. But yeah, internship commitments. Anyway, I'm glad I managed to churn this entry out at work. It's a slow day and I'm just hiding in a corner of the office pretending to be busy, ha-ha. Shhhhh..

PS. Hopefully the next entry won't be another month from now.

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written at 15:01