I finished packing my suitcase, with 24 hours to spare before the plane takes off. I had bought gifts for several friends and family members, as well as clothing and other little trinkets; they are all packed in tightly into one bag. I am slightly over the domestic weight allowance, but hope they will take pity on me when they see I am travelling straight home to Canada.
Today I made last minute calls to say goodbye to some of my close Uyghur friends. I don’t know if it is a cultural thing, or a friendship thing, but none of them would let me leave empty handed. I was literally showered with presents. Several ladies gave me scarves for my mother; others presented me with fruit and nuts that are famous in our region, not to mention of the heavy bag of rock sugar that one friend thought would we a sweet treat for people in Canada. They offered their tokens from their heart and their generosity was amazing, but my luggage allowance is still just as tight. By mid afternoon I was scared to run into anyone else I knew for fear they might try to load me down with more bounty. One or two of the scarves might make it on the plane, the rest will likely stay here to be re-gifted at a later date ( I better label them so as not to give a person back their own gift).