Thursday, October 12, 2006

That makes Christmas shopping seem tame

I use to hate going Christmas shopping. All of the malls in Canada seemed to become a zoo throughout the month of December. The pushing, the crowds, the noise, the sites, the sounds… all of it together overwhelmed my senses. But Tuesday Bazaar in the village made me long for the mall even on Christmas eve.

My first sight upon arriving at the village market last week during my trip south was the donkey cart parking lot. As far as the eye could see were lined up donkeys and carts. I have no idea how at the end of the day one family can find their matching set and drive home (although maybe a Uyghur lady would think the same thing if she saw a picture of a mall parking lot).

After you have walked though the material market, the metal and tool market, the food market (where you can buy any part of the sheep including lungs, intestine and heart cooked the way you like) you come to my favourite section of the market: the animal section. Where sheep, cows, donkeys and horses are being sold and traded as fast as you can imagine. New purchases are then dragged away by their back legs, kicking and complaining the whole way. It really is a site to see a man drive away with four sheep and himself loaded on his motorcycle.

Last week was not my first trip to a village bazaar but each time I am overwhelmed from every angle. The smell of cooking meat and too many people crowed into one space, sight of sheep’s blood being spilt on the ground and stuff strewed on the ground for sale,. the sound of prices being called out in a foreign language combined with the animal grunts, yelps and squeals. I now understand the quote in Anne of Green Gables part two “this is not a Turkish bazaar girls” In deed it is not, Miss Brook for nothing can quite compare to the craziness of a Turkic/Uyghur bazaar. As overwhelming as it is I love it. This is Uyghur culture at its best… just be careful not to get run over.

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