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  • Writer's picturePatricia Bernard

Memories of travel before COVID-19

On my 5-week visit to China, I had a fantastic time travelling with my photographer friend Francoise Picard of Marseille. We flew to Chengdu, 5th largest city and travelled by car around the Tibetan foothills. We visited old Buddhist towns where the temples had been knocked down in 1964 (Cultural Revolution) and rebuilt after the Chinese Gov. realised that tourists wanted to see Buddhist temples. We visited Panda Parks & National Parks. Walked 1000 steps down from a gorgeous turquoise lake. I couldn't walk the next day. During Ramadan our Chinese guide took us to a Pork restaurant in the middle of a 90% Muslim Uyghur city where we ate pig's trotters with a plastic glove on our RIGHT hands as we didn't want to offend. She was dressed up in a red dress. We were her excuse so she could visit her boyfriend because her husband drank too much. It was an arranged marriage. It was in this city that I lost my passport. The train station was 1 1/2 hours away from the city before I realised - no passport. I didn't panic. I was sure it was in the restaurant and that Anna would arrange for its arrival before the train arrived to take us to Kashgar - Pearl of the Silk Road. If not it could be sent on by the next train. 25 Israeli tourists were freaking out for me. Of course it arrived; I had offered the driver $20. We travelled China's western border south of Siberia, east of Kygystistan and Kurdistan. Saw Urumqi, Kashgar and the desert city of Hotan, saw grapes the size of chicken eggs growing in Oasis gardens. Irrigation wells 2000 years old, 3 different deserts. Realised that the Uyghur, Hui, Kazaks and Tartars have lost their lands to the Chinese. The pictures are me showing a woman in a Buddhist temple her photograph, and a Uygur woman in tradition clothing.

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