I’ll be taking a sleeper train to my next destination, Turpan, today, so I won’t be able to post anything. I’ll be kind of sad to leave Dunhuang because I’ve grown attached to this place.
Turpan will be my first destination in the Xinjiang province, which was once called “Chinese Turkestan.” It used to be the case that all the people who lived there were of a different ethnic group, Uighur (pronounced WEE-gur), but the Chinese have been migrating there over the past ten years. Now, it’s about 50-50. At any rate, it is decidedly Central Asian, and I’m trying to learn the basics of the Uighur language so that I can communicate a little bit with the locals. It’s much easier to learn than Mandarin. I’ll let you know how it works out.