The bus ticket to
The next morning I sneaked out of the room, letting my friends sleep on. It was sweet to see how the three boys had shared one bed to respectfully leave the girl by herself on the other one. I said goodbye to Haotian, who was going to attempt a long economical hitchhiking trip to
I first went to the market, that, oddly, had a sign in both Chinese and Russian. There was nothing interesting apart from a pungent smell of plastic that emanated from cheap housewares. The street vegetable market was as interesting to me, as I was interesting to the locals who popped their eyes out at the sight of a foreigner passing by.
This big town sees the presence of various ethnic groups, some of which were deported by former imperial dynasties to guard the frontiers, and others naturally found in a border region. Now Yining has been transformed by being within the “motherland”. The harm is already done: cheap products, lifestyle, junk food, demographic invasion, authoritarian political system are among the presents that
I took a bus to the Ily river, flowing down from the faraway mountains with a strong current. There was a sort of pathetic fairground with different attractions like the throw of the rings, merry-go-rounds, mini roller-coasters, and the house of horror. On the river speed motorboats made exaggerated curves to give passengers extra emotions, and those waiting on the shore unwanted splashes of water.
The museum that described Ili Kazakh autonomous prefecture was interesting. I was overwhelmed when I learnt the area of this territory comprised between the
At night the bus station was all in a fluster with passengers boarding tens of buses to