AsiaChinaHami

Another bus journey

Hami Travel Blog

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I went for a little walk before I got my morning bus to Hami. it was around 9:30 Beijing time/7:30 Xinjiang time, which seems to be the time that employees have their communal exercise  before work starts. The government office I passed took it seriously. All the staff were focused and earnest in their synchronised exercising. The session ended with one of them giving an equally earnest motivational speech, and them all doing some sort of company chant before breaking up. On the other hand, the staff of a mobile phone shop were playing musical chairs on the pavement outside.

I'd had breakfast at the virtually deserted travellers information cafe next to my hotel. It's weird how there are no tourists anywhere.

Apart from one small tour group of French people, the handful of westerners I've met this on trip are all living in China - working or studying, and at present on their holidays and just exploring a bit more of the country. I can't think off hand, of a single other person who's actually travelled here from their home country to visit.

The bus to Hami - though no great shakes, had...joy of joys... wonderfully efficient air conditioning. And of course, people kept their shoes on. I was a happy bunny. The police checks became more cursory as we left the Uighur heartlands, the scenery passed by nicely, and six hours went reasonably quickly. Instead of the usual music videos played at top volume, on this bus we had films, at a sensible level. The first was a Jackie Chan movie, the second a slapstick comedy of some sort.

It featured useless soldiers, donkeys, and lots of farting. Mainly farting donkeys. I didn't understand what was going on in it, but the whole busload of passengers was laughing uproariously. It was brilliant. I was surrounded by people all having one great big harmonious laugh together.

I was dropped at the long distance bus station, only a few yards from the mausoleum complex that I'd come to Hami to see. The staff were very kind and solicitous, and looked after my pack and stuff while I explored. It was the sweetest, most peaceful little oasis. A collection of buildings in a variety of styles, creating an endearing whole and a lovely atnosphere.

I was hoping to be able to travel on through the night, but there was no bus, and queueing for ages in the frenetic atmosphere of the train station ticket windows, and ultimately needing rescuing by one of the rare English speaking public, served only to discover that there were no tickets left for the overnight trains. So I found a hotel and booked in for the night. It was fine, and I had a wonderful big yellow kebab cooked in one of the tandoori type ovens at the street food market.

oldschoolbill says:
Farting donkeys do seem to have a universal appeal all over the world!
Posted on: Dec 14, 2009
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photo by: sarah55