Kebab Vendor Shrouded in a Spiced Haze
A kebab vendor shrouded in a spiced haze of charcoal-grilled mutton. Beads of sweat crown his forehead while he pays utmost attention to the grill, frenzied hands flipping and reflipping, gazing up for the briefest of moments only to acknowledge a new order. A bite into a chunk of succulence in the cool evening air is a simple Uygur pleasure.
Curiousities and Generosities
Being Chinese we worried that the Uygurs might be hostile towards us, but they are a people filled with warmth and grace, and are slow to anger. When he discovered where we came from, the roadside fruit vendor offered us a sweet slice of Hainanese watermelon, and inquired curiously about life on distant shores.
The Aroma of a Central Asian Spice Bazaar
A typical Uygur spice bazaar, in the cool shade of an old stone building with high ceilings. Figs, pistachios, almonds, walnuts, cashews and a rainbow selection of raisins overflow from rough sacks. With enough experience, one would know if the raisins are from Uzbekistan or Kyrgyzstan, or somewhere further west.
Uygur School Girls on the Streets of Kashgar
A bevy of Uygur girls on the streets of Kashgar after school, dressed in floral doppa hats and long-sleeved, yellow uniforms, bathed in the warm, sleepy glow of the afternoon sun. Their mothers are gathered nearby, chatting merrily while doing the groceries.
Freshly slaughtered, lamb carcasses are on display outside a food store at the Livestock Market, while men devour them by the bowlful inside. Mutton is abudant in this arid, desert region, and is the undisputed meat of choice. It is available in almost every meal on the table, be it scattered in small chunks in a bowl of noodles or polo, or fat cubes strung through a skewer. The word ‘vegetarian’ incites puzzled, unbelievable chuckles from the people.
Bagels for Sale
Hard bagels on sale at the Livestock Market. Wheat is a staple in the Uygur and northern Chinese diet, and comes in the form of naan (drier than the Indian version), sesame studded flat breads, thick hand-pulled noodles and polo (pilaf).
Setting Up at the Livestock Market
A young man manually holds a rope taut, gaze focussed and muscles tense, helping his father set up their store at the Livestock Market.
Picking at Raisins
Young Uygur boys relaxing atop a dusty, mud-splattered cart, quietly picking at raisins from within a white plastic bag.
The Fall of the Cow I
The Fall of the Cow II
The Fall of the Cow III
Sweet Hainanese Watermelons
A fair-skinned Uygur lady dressed neatly in traditional wear, enjoying a slice of watermelon under the warm sun and cool spring air. It is not the season for watermelons in the west, so they mostly come from Hainan, the furthest tropical island in southern China, and just might be the sweetest ones I’ve ever tasted.
Rams Packed Like Tuna
Rams packed together like tuna, systematically tagged and arranged in the organised chaos of the Livestock Market.
Furry White Coat
A man pats and ruffles the furry white coat of his ram.
Livestock Market Sale
Rows of all sorts of asses.
Weekly News Central
Uygur men dressed in doppa hats and coats gathered in casual conversation, patiently waiting for their livestock to be purchased. They all greet each other with a happy familiarity, and the Market would probably be their weekly gathering place for the latest news in town.
Man and His Donkey
An Uygur man gives way to a small, confident smile, waiting for an interest in his healthy looking donkey.
The Inquisitive Sheep
A nosy sheep nuzzling its nose into mobile carts belonging to various people.
Boy and His Pet Sheep
A young boy with a shaven head squints under the bright sun and fondly ruffles the soft fur of his sheep, looking deep in thought.
A Firm Grip on His Precious Flock
The hands of an elderly Uygur man are full with rough ropes, leashed firmly to his small, precious flock of sheep, which he keeps an alert watch upon.
A middle-aged man strides out of the Market with a hearty step, his newly bargained for and purchased cow scrambling in tow.
A traditional stone pit for heating wheat dumplings stuffed with, guess what, mutton.
Front of Id Kah Mosque
A compulsory tourist shot of Id Kah, the biggest mosque in China.
Two young brothers happily scramble up and down a plank in one of the many back alleys of Kashgar, before degrading into a volatile sibling squabble.
Wood Craftsman and His Wares
A wood craftsman gazes into the distance, taking a breather from work. Beautifully crafted wooden tools are stacked and hung around him, a testimony to his trade.
A Stark Contrast
An older brother crouches upon a big stone step of a back alley, engrossed in his digital toy, while his younger brother scrapes at the dirt with an empty jelly container, immersed in his own creativity.
Smiles Caught in the Alley
A young Uygur girl resting upon a large stone step in the back alleys of Kashgar.
An Uygur father and his five sons work at peeling vegetables at the back of their house with a steady rhythm, neither of them missing a beat.
A Simple Uygur Household
A typical Uygur house in Kashgar, consisting of three levels, with creaky wooden stairs in narrow spaces. The first floor is the entry area; the second floor consisted of the kitchen, squat toilet, and a big bed that took up the whole room. The top level is open air, where the laundry is hung, with lots of sunflower seed shells scattered all over the uneven flooring.
Up and About
A woman in typical Uygur muslim wear, ambling casually off.
Sellers at the Livestock Market
One of the many sellers at the Livestock Market, looking slightly dazed from waiting under the hazy sun.