Before Irkeshtam border 中國|伊爾克什坦邊境之前

kashgar, wall, old

中文在下方

Back to the hostel which tourist gather around in Kashgar from our Karakol highway, my body started to react discomfort of radical time and space traveling. I said Hi to a Japanese couple who we shared the same dorm in Tashkurgan. I thought it was headache problem that made me feel sleepy, then I went to sleep with stomach flatulence. After I woke up, I started to fart, diarrhea, finally I ran to the toilet throw up all my lunch. Google told me it’s only slight mountain sickness symptom, what a relief!

I went to counter to pay the fee of last night and told them we’ll stay one more night then head to the border. Hostel staff informed us that border is closed on the weekends. So we forced our plan changed then leave on Sunday. We never planned too much budget for accommodation, but we had have spent 5 nights in hostels these days!

Saturday,

we said goodbye to road trip partners. It’s a day of diarrhea and doing nothing, but I had some fresh milk from an old man, he sales barrels of fresh milk on the street. It’s not easy to get fresh milk in China. Misha said the best recipe for diarrhea is Yogurt. You can find lots of Yogurt in convenience store, Uyghur people sale shaved ice with yogurt on it. Such a diarrhea city. I had yogurt and took medicinal activated charcoal, this is an effective rest day. We met a couple in next door, Marlin and Alex. They have a similar travel route like us, hitchhike across Asia to Europe. Yesterday I couldn’t talk to them, since I was exhausted. They were the same as me. We showed them the night market which we had our body scanned by polices. During chatting with Marlin, I got she had diarrhea problem. She also told me that “There are a lot of people got diarrhea here, because I heard terrible sound from the toilet." There’s a shared toilet between our dorm room. Hopefully, she doesn’t know that was me.

Sunday,

Traveled through the over-renovated thousand years old Kashgar, desolate Tashkurgan and the natural resources dug out of the land. Xin Jiang has not been peace since 19 century, this made me want to leave China as soon as possible. We focused on hit on the road, still, Han people stopped for us. Two young people invited us local food in Artus. During the conversation, they said Han people got more benefits if they work in Xin Jiang or Tibet. No wonder I heard sister of a friend plans to work as an accountant here. The girl expresses passionately how much she loves Xin Jiang. After lunch, she even made a phone call to a colleague to take us to Uchia-a border town.

I didn’t expect to get to Uchia so soon. It’s just one more lonesome boring place. A hotel seemed to be under construction for a long time, Door-closed buildings, no people on the streets, empty, nothing. But the only import store full with customers, there are lots of goods import from Russia, Ukraine, Stan countries. Especially alcohol, chocolate and tea products. Although they are more expensive, we chose some beer and chocolate to comfort our homesick taste. Finally, I don’t have to buy Snickers anymore. Yes, it’s always a good choice to bring on the road, it fills my stomach with one bar, it was also what I could find the best in convenience store in China. We walked to the next building with 2 floors, the first floor is under ground. Except a convenience store was opened on the right side, others were just full of dust and garbages. There’s no better-hidden place for our tent, we decided to camp underground tonight. We made hot tea on a broken ping pong table which located in front of the building. A gust of wind blew and then all the scene changed, did not expect the wind is getting bigger and bigger also began to rain, the glass of windows and doors was blown thunder, I nervously hid to the convenience store. No idea how long it took to stop this weather. I came out and saw the mountains already turned white, probably it snowed in a short time. It’s a magical nature. We back to the place where we want to camp. A man with a long stick came and asked us to leave. I’ve been unpleased with this dirty environment, now he made me more unhappy. I waited in the tent to dusk. Two police cars stopped by, around five to six policemen got off the car, and one in a different suit, I think he’s the boss, he had an angry face.

Of course, boss’ tone was very bad. I felt like if we don’t listen to them I would be expelled from China. I forced to leave the tent to have my passport checked.

“Please, we only stay here one night, we are leaving to Kyrgystan in the early morning." I said.

“No way, it’s very dangerous, what if something dangerous happened to you, we are all in trouble." police said.

Actually,  I think it’s safe to stay near the border. Misha insists we don’t have money for a hotel.

“How would you travel without money?" police asked.

“There’s a friend waiting for us in Kyrgystan side. He’ll help us. We have only few RMB left now, we thought to leave China very soon, so we spent most of them." I said.

We both sides hold a firm tone and position for some time. Usually, I am cowardly timid, I’d packed away immediately. Do not know how many excuses I answered, and finally, we packed the tents and backpack leave with the policemen to the hotel. On the police car, I suddenly thought that the time we stayed one night at the police station in Thailand, perhaps it works in Xinjiang. “I am sorry, we really have no money, could you please let us stay in the police station?" I said.

“I am sorry, we really have no money, could you please let us stay in the police station?" I said.

“Police’s duty is to serve for people, we should help you." a police sit in front of me answered.

Ah ha! So you still remember this old-school slogan is not only a slogan. He made few phone calls, the answer is “NO". We arrived at the hotel.

“Do you have any credit cards? I can take you to withdraw money, or you have some dollars, you can change the yuan with me." Police driver said, I really feel ashamed now, but it’s a loss for us to spend such amount of money, so we insisted our position.

“Maybe you could stay in a hotel, the one cooperates with the government. Let me ask if they are open today." Policemen were really kind to solve our accommodation problems. He made few phone calls, the answer is “NO".  “Captain promised you two camping at the place he ordered. So we could check in anytime." he said.

I felt relief, and finally we return to the back of the same building, a half-built hotel.


從喀拉崑崙公路回到喀什唯一遊客聚集的旅舍,身體開始消化24小時內從海拔4000多公尺回到1200的時空不適,也遇到了在塔什庫爾干時同一間房的兩位日本情侶,打招呼後我以為只是頭昏太想睡,然後就帶著肚子漲去睡覺,醒來後竟然放屁、拉肚子什麼的通通都來,最後跑到廁所把中午飯菜通通吐出來,我才開始上網查…感謝天感謝地,這只是輕微的高山症。

去了旅舍櫃台補繳前一晚不在的占床費,並告知還會多待一晚隔天出發到邊界,才得知邊防也是有周休二日的啊,逼不得已只好又多付一晚的錢,星期日再出發,從不打算把預算花在住宿上,就這樣幾天以來共花了五晚的住宿費。星期六與公路之旅的夥伴們說再見,這是一個放空拉肚子的日子,一早還是喝了路邊老人賣的桶裝新鮮牛奶,要知道在中國能找到新鮮牛奶是不容易的,但是Misha說拉肚子最好吃優格,也意外發現這裡是很適合拉肚子的城市,因為這裡買得到一堆優格哦!便利店賣著一盒一盒的當地自製優格,路邊維吾爾族人賣著淋著優格的剉冰,配上藥用活性碳,似乎這是個命運安排的療癒之日。回到旅舍後我們認識了一對住隔壁房的情侶-Malin與Alex,他們與我們有幾乎同樣的旅行計劃,從亞洲搭便車旅行到歐洲,只是到吉爾吉斯坦後,前往我們不去的哈薩克,昨天剛抵達旅舍時其實我累得無法跟他們說話,而他們昨天也是累的只在房間裡休息,一起約了晚上去那個要被掃描身體的夜市吃晚餐,聊起天後才知道Malin也腸胃不適在拉肚子,還說大概很多人在這裡都生這種病吧,因為白天時她聽到好幾次廁所傳來很可怕的拉肚子嘩啦的聲音,我們彼此的房間中間是公共廁所,想一想後只能微微笑暗自希望她不知道那是我。

barber shop, barberhandmaden, noodles, kashgar, traditional, dumplingshostel, kashgar, international
星期天

走過被翻修太新的千年喀什老城,還有荒涼的塔什庫爾干,到處被挖天然資源的土地,新疆自19世紀以來都不平靜,離開中國是個讓我迫不及待想達到的目標,走上高速公路後還是專心於當下攔車,依舊只有漢人停下來載我們,被兩位年輕人帶到阿圖什請了頓道地午飯,原來漢族在新疆或西藏工作可以得較高的薪水和福利,難怪先前聽過朋友的妹妹想來這做會計工作,那女孩很熱情的說他多愛新疆然後也很好心的打電話讓主管接力載我們到烏洽-口岸旁的小鎮。

沒想到這麼順利下午三點多就來到烏洽,這是個很荒涼無聊的地方,蓋一半的旅館、關著門的建築物、沒有人走在路上,空空如也,倒是邊防旁一家舶來品小店擠著人,這裡有許多來自俄羅斯、烏克蘭、斯坦國的貨物,特別是酒、巧克力和茶,雖然貴了點我們還是各自選了啤酒和巧克力聊慰思念已久的味道,我終於不用再買士力架當作旅行用的止飢食品,全中國便利店最好吃的巧克力大概也只有士力架。走到另一排只有兩層樓的建築物,地下層有一半在路面上,然後一層則是走樓梯上去,除了最旁邊的一樓便利店開著,其他地方堆滿著垃圾和灰塵,似乎附近沒有更隱蔽的地方,我們決定在地下層搭帳棚睡覺,反正只要忍耐一晚,我們在建築物前的破舊撞球桌上煮了茶,喝著茶和巧克力,颳來一陣風接著看這個地方風雲變色,沒想到風越來越大還下起了雨,窗戶和門的玻璃被吹得轟隆轟隆響,我緊張的躲去了便利店,不知道過了多久才結束,走到戶外看遠方山頭變白了,大概就在那短短時間內下雪了吧?真感嘆大自然的神奇變化,回到我們預計要搭帳篷的地方,此時來了個帶著棍棒的男人要我們離開,原本就被這糟糕的環境搞得心情不太好,遇到這樣的人更是差,我躲在帳篷裡看著天色漸漸變暗,然後來了兩台警車,大概有五、六位警察下了車,一位穿得不太一樣的男子表情特別兇,他就是他們的老大。

當然,老大的口氣非常地不好,一副不配合的話就要把我們抓起來丟出去的感覺,原本只想躲在帳篷的我,最後被迫出去檢查證件,

「拜託,我們只是待在這裡一晚,隔天一早就要離開新疆去吉爾吉斯坦了。」我說,

「不行就是不行,這裡很危險,你們要是晚上發生什麼事我們麻煩就大了。」警察說,

其實我倒覺得邊防附近是個超安全的地方,但Misha堅持要我告訴他們「沒有錢可以住旅館」,「你們沒有錢要怎麼旅行?」「我們在吉爾吉斯坦那邊有朋友,他會幫助我們,我們現在只剩下幾塊人民幣了,因為想說要馬上離開中國了,就盡量把它花完。」我們就一來一回,雙方持著堅定的語氣和立場,通常懦弱膽小的我早就打包離開了,不曉得我回答了多少藉口,最後我們收拾了帳篷和背包跟著警察前往旅館,就算我堅持說我們沒有錢。上警車的時候,我突然想到在泰國時曾經在警察局裡過夜,或許在新疆也可以,「不好意思,我們真的沒有錢,那可以讓我們睡在警局裡嗎?」

「警察的職責是為人民服務,或許我們該幫助你們!」坐在我前面的警察說。

原來你們還記得那個唸到快爛掉的標語應該是拿來實際行動的,然後他就開始打電話問老大,問完的結果是不行的,這時候我們已經開到了旅館前,

「你們連信用卡也沒有嗎?我可以帶你們去提款,或者你們有美金,可以跟我換人民幣。」開車的警察說,

其實我都感到不好意思了,但為了睡個覺花100塊人民幣對我們來說真的是重大損失,還是繼續堅持我們的原則,「或許你們可以待在靠近邊防有一家與單位合作的旅館,但是我得先打電話問問他們有沒有營業。」警察真的很好心想解決我們不能外宿的問題,沒想到那家旅館沒有營業,他又打了幾通電話,才說「隊長允許你們待在一個地方露營,這樣我們也可以隨時查看你們!」,我整個感到鬆懈了,最後我們回到同一個建築物的後面,那蓋一半的旅館裡面搭帳篷。

camping, abandoned, hotel

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