I have a final exam to take back in Hangzhou in three days, and a flight booked from Urumqi that departs 36 hours from now. This trip, my last one before leaving China, is about to end. But before that happens, I’ve attempted to squeeze in one more stop between Kuqa and Urumqi: the beautiful Tianshan grazing lands of Bayinbulake, and a break from the desert heat for one day before going back to the humid sweatbox of Hangzhou.
Things were going well until I got to Baluntai, where I was told I could switch buses for a faster connection up higher into the mountains. As a result of the encounter related below, I am now incarcerated in a hotel room above a gas station, with nothing to do but write a lousy blog post. Continue reading