Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Nan Shan

Short post for my homies*
This blog is about a week behind schedule, so I'm going to catch it up pretty quickly in the next 5 days or so (depending on internet availability) pay attention now:
"shan" means mountain in Mandarin, so when I say I went to Nan Shan, that means I went to "Nan" what? Mountain, that's right. I went to Nan Shan which is an hour from Urumqi on a bus with standing room only and a video from the 70's playing the minor hits of euro-soul-funk group Boney M**. Most of them seemed to be about semi-historical characters who were 'bad cats' like Ma Baker and, hilariously, Rasputin.

Ra-Ra Rasputin(e)
Lover of the Russian Queen
There was a cat that really was gone
Ra-Ra Rasputin(e)
Russia's greatest love machine,
It was a shame how he carried on

Anyway, Nan Shan was a different groove altogether, being a large many-peaked mountain, with goats grazing in the foothills around Kazak yurts, some of which you can pay to sleep in. I was just there to hike, though, which was fun because you can hike anywhere on the mountain, unrestricted over and through the crags and brambles and dense coniferous slopes.***
So I went up, I came down, it was great. Highlights were playing Jeremiah Johnson on my little guitar, and crawling up a slope of thorny briar by following a little tunnel made by goats. I had to rush to get down, especially since I came down on the wong side of the mountain, but fortunately I ran into a man, in a tent, on a farm, with a motorcycle, who gave me a ride to the bus stop.

***I don't think a slope can be coniferous, no.
**Yeah, I hadn't heard of them either. I had to google it just now.
*Are you my homie? You can be. Send me an e-mail and I'll love you forever. matthewstirlingvaughan at gmail dot com

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