In September 2002, I was on a train in western China, a month into my six month around-the-world trek. I had left home with more than little apprehension about my security as an American traveling overseas. It turned out to be a great trip; I met some fantastic people, both locals and fellow travelers. Here is what I wrote at the time:
“Sept 10, 2002. I had a lot I wanted to write about Kashgar but I was too busy enjoying it. The Sunday bazaar was really incredible, especially the livestock market. 2000 yuan (~$250) for a horse, 800 yuan for a mule. I met up with a French couple I had run into in Turfan. We went to the bazaar together and spent some time at the Caravan Café over coffee. We left Kashgar on the same train, unfortunately they could only get hard seats. I helped them upgrade on the train, what a hassle.
I would like to return to Kashgar someday and see Karakul Lake and possibly Tashkurgan. Maybe a trip through Pakistan? As the train pulled out from Kashgar there were a lot of tears; a young Uyghur girl saying goodbye to her grandmother, and a Chinese woman waving to her boyfriend on the platform.”