Another bus journey
Hami Travel Blog› entry 14 of 24 › view all entries
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.
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.
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.