Residents of the old town in Kashi. Very very nice people.
Hello people, I need to tell you something. I am now traveling with Katja and its (wow) so different to travel with somebody. I didn’t expect it to be so different. The time we traveled before we came to Nanjing was different as well: We didn’t need to make any decisions together since the plan where we are going and when we are going somewhere was set. But now things have changed. I am not alone anymore and I have to deal with somebody. Wait for somebody, respect other people’s choice where to go and how long to stay there. I realized how much I am fixed only on myself and my desires and wishes where to go and what to do. Basically the fact about traveling alone its not new. The more you travel alone the more you have a hard time getting back into society. Funny though, that works actually pretty well. But I am so used to travel alone, that its really hard for me to accept somebody next to me for a long time, doesn’t matter if that is a good friend or somebody I just met. Sometimes, I could explode inside when something doesn’t start exactly in the moment I want it to start or when somebody wants to leave a place when I am not ready to leave. I am so egoistic when it comes to traveling. There is another thing. Since I practiced my Chinese with Shawnee in the states, its going really well going through China without any problems. So Katja is dependent on my Chinese and my knowledge how to get around in China. That makes it easier for her. But I actually don’t want this for her. When I thought about traveling with Katja it should be about make her a little stronger and more confident and secure. But it doesn’t seem to be this way as long as she is with me. I think she should travel alone, because its such a different experience for somebody and I want her to make her own experience. But in the same time I want to take care of her and protect her as it is not easy for alone-traveling-women in those countries. Finally I realized how much I need to be my own boss. Also in business and therefore to be a photographer seems to be the perfect choice again. Ok, sorry, I am going off topic. I have to learn to respect other people again when it comes to traveling again. Good practice for me though. I like Katja, and when it comes for example to photography, she just sits down to the people, watching them doing their handcrafts and taking pictures, damn it, I can’t do that yet. I can learn from her.
About the situation where we are right now: We are in Kashi (喀什), the very west city in China, which is not Chinese anymore and yes it is again. The old town is full of Uygure people (moslems), but the city has developed the last 15 years, because the Chinese government put a lot of money in its surrounding area: New streets, well paved, new shops for clothing and all the commercial things. Kashi is a city with two faces and this fact makes it really interesting to experience.
Our plan was to go to Tibet, Ali. But recently it seems to be almost impossible to pass the checkpoints since the Chinese Police refuse all the foreigners to get a Tibet permit (again, the Olympic Games made things more difficult instead of more easy, open minded). Sucks. Anyways, we met an Australian guy who is heading there today and will inform us about the very latest situation there. If this might not work out we are trying to get to Pakistan on the Karakorum Highway, which is well known as incredible beautiful. Lucky we are, we met a Pakistani guy in the train from Urumqi to Kashi and he couldn’t repeat himself often enough how welcome we both would be to stay in his house in Gujranwala, south of Islamabad. Since the situation in Pakistan is not the most secure one, of course I am a little worried. But hey: the truck ride from Yencheng to Ali in less than 3 days, and from 0 m to 5400 m altitude within 350 km on very dangerous roads is not less dangerous and a few people died on this journey, either from exposure or traffic accidents. So my choice: To die in a stupid traffic accident in the mountains of Tibet or in a bomb attack in Pakistan, I go for the bomb. Sounds more special to me. In the end, to get run over by a cow in India isn’t less horrifying. Don’t worry, I am not gonna die, because I booked already my flight from Madras, India, back to Germany. And the flight attendants expect me already. So far I heard only really really great things about Pakistan and its people.
So thanks for keep in touch with my life. love you all. Especially my girlfriend Shawnee, the woman I love so much, so much, so much.