A friend of mine who is living in the country capital asked me to mail her a few of the traditional Uyghur cultural trinkets that we can buy readily here at the bazaar. Before heading out on my shopping trip, I changed into my long skirt and such - I have learned over the years that if I wear good Uyghur clothes I get a good Uyghur price. Every item out here has several prices. There is the foreigner price, get ready to pay more than double what it is worth. The local our Uyghur price – if you can get that you are not doing to bad, just paying a regular mark-up sort of price… and finally there is the good friend price.
As I stepped into one busy shopping area I was greeted by the guy at the first booth yelling out “oh look, here comes a foreigner” ( it still bugs me that they can pick me out so quickly , I feel like I fit in, but apparently I don’t). His bold announcement basically declared to all the surrounding shop owners “Look, here comes someone we can totally rip off.” And so I did just what he told me to… I started to look around me, after doing a full 360 I looked back at the guy and replied “where, where is the foreigner? I can’t see anyone that doesn’t belong here”. This got all of his buddies laughing, and in turn got me a really good price on my purchase.
So what are Uyghur cultural trinkets? I have decided to ask you that question. (Some of you may have played this game last time I was home, and if so please forgive me). I am going to show you a picture of one thing I bought and give you a multiple choose answer. Please leave a comment containing you guess.
Let's start with a pretty easy one
a) This is a box of hair dye, just like you would find at any local drug store at home
b) This is a box of dye used for nails, because it's long lasting and considered more clean (halal) by Muslims than using nail polish
c) This is a box of dye used by local police to catch criminals red handed.