Having guest come through does a lot to help me remember what is unusual and different about where I live. After almost eight years here I no longer blink an eye at many of the sights and sounds around me. But going through the photos visitors leave me with after their trips stirs my memory for interesting blog post.
Right next to my house is a great food night market. Starting at about four in the afternoon all the sellers wheel their carts into one big open area, they lay down cheap plastic flooring, assemble tables and places stools beside them. Next they start to prepare their food. Each cart has something different there are guys selling the standard bbq kabobs, women with piles of cold starch noodles that they drench in hot sauce and top with a few veggies. There is the booth with “everything on a stick”, from tofu to mushrooms or fried eggs to leafy greens; they all get a stick pocked through them. The person ordering chooses what they want on a stick and then can watch them get deep fried in the hot vat of spicy oil sitting right next to the cart. After a few hours the oil starts to take on a mixed flavor of all the ingredients that have been soaking in it. Further down you can find another guy selling full roasted lambs, but if you are not up for that much meat you can stop by and just grab food from the person selling lamb heads and hooves, or there is stuffed lung and intestine. All of these food can be toped off with a glass of honey beer (Uyghur still argue whether or not it is actually alcoholic) and some freshly cut melon that has just been shipped in from the country side.
I end up strolling through this bustling markets several nights a week, but very rarely to I stop to enjoy its fine cuisine… I guess I have got over the joy of nibbling on sheep cheek and calling it dinner.