Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Yesterday, I visited a home in rural Kashgar. I had arranged a tour guide to take me to have lunch with a local family. The countryside around Kashgar is very, very pretty, and the weather is perfect. You couldn't imagine a more pleasant summer climate. Kashgar is at about 5000 feet, which puts it at about the same elevation as Denver, Colorado. Warm and dry, but not hot. The country people around Kashgar are very open and friendly. We took a taxi to the rural area where the home was located. We were offered some snacks--Uygur bread and vegetables, and then went for a walk in the neighborhood before lunch. As we were walking, another family saw us and invited us in. Total strangers, but very outgoing. The Uygur people in the countryside around Kashgar live a very simple life. They spend a lot of time making things with their hands.

When we were leaving, I was saying "good-bye," and I reached out to shake the hand of our hostess, and thank her. She smiled, kinda embarrassed, but didn't say anything. My young tour guide, Awanisa, quickly told me that Muslim women don't shake hands with another man. I said, "Do you ever shake hands?" She said, "Yes, but I'm not married." Oh. Guess I should have listened to Ann Landers.

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