Today Philippe and I went to the bank of China to change money for the group. On the way we walked through the park and saw all kinds of groups doing exercises, dancing, singing, practicing taiji or chi gong. Two people were having a neck and an elbow massage. A big group of ladies did a little choreography with music. We stopped and watched and when the song was finished the teacher invited me to participate. It was a good exercise and a lot of fun.
After the bank, what took nearly two hours, we went to the bazaar, took a ride on a giant wheel (very old, funny noises; I was relieved when we got back to the ground...) and then went to the old Kashgar where the Uighurs live. It’s pretty and well restored, a little bit too touristic. Philippe had his hair shaved and we had an excellent saffron tea in an inviting coffee shop. The very ancient part is about to fall down and nobody lives there anymore. There is not much left of the ancient legendary Kashgar.
For dinner we went all together to a restaurant where we had excellent Peking duck. It was Nick’s birthday and as the Chinese tradition tells, he had to eat noodles for a long life 长寿面 (changshoumian) and share them with us. For desert we had a piece of birthday cake. It’s great to be able finally to practice the Mandarin I have been learning. It’s difficult, but with the help of Pleco and signs and laughters it works somehow.