Postcard from Xinjiang

Only a postcard, and not a letter, as I’m a bit pressed for time. But who writes letters anymore?

Here’s the front of my postcard, a quick snap I took surreptitiously out the window of my cab. (The├é┬ácharacters on the truck – more likely PAP than PLA? – read “The happiness of the ethnic people is our desire”.)

Army truck in Xinjiang

The stamp mark in dated Kashgar, 25th June. Not bad for the mail to arrive only a few days later, right?

On the back I scribble in a spidery, cramped scrawl:

That truck is part of China’s crackdown in advance of the one year anniversary of Xinjiang’s July 5th riots. The nerviness this kind of police presence creates reminds me strongly of Tongren, the Tibetan town with it’s own history of unrest, where I’ve just come from. But don’t think too much of it: for most of the population, life goes on just as it did before and will after. It’s a beautiful corner of the world, where the sun sets at 10pm (I should be two or three timezones before Beijing) and the old town feels more like my imagination of Persia than my experience of China. Maybe that’s why the truck is there. Wish you were here.

Now think of the act of blogging as me leaving the address space blank, and instead glueing the postcard to the back of every computer connected to the internet in the world, should the user have the curiosity to look for it.

1 comment

  1. good snapshot with the Uyghur style building on the back. It is little bit scary for tourist to take photo of military, because if they see you are taking their photo, they most of the time ask you to delete their photo or they delete it themselves, but it all always depends on what kind of people you are dealing with.

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