The last one of my three new tires started acting up in the morning, and I knew it was about to become a very hot and miserable day:
Oh, how I envied this dude on his carriage that I saw – there he was just dozing off while the donkey was getting the job done:
Just as I had taken my shoes off somewhere by the road and planted myself on the floor, this Uyghur motorcyclist appeared and started talking to me in his language:
I didn’t feel like replying in Mandarin Chinese, I really can’t explain why though. So I just pointed at my ears and kept shaking my head. Then I said something that was supposed to sound like the Uyghur version of “Germany” and pointed at my face. The dude looked like he understood. We talked a bit about how the sun was so hot, and about how the way was very long. We figured out that I liked to walk and take pictures, and that he lived in the east and worked in a place west from there. Then the dude gave me a very friendly smile and two large handfuls of dates.
Thank you Uyghur dude!
There was a railroad crossing a little down the way:
But not just any railroad crossing – it was far more romantic than that:
Isn’t she beautiful?
You see, I was getting very mixed signals from my destination of the day – a mine district called Sandaoling.
On one hand there was that beautiful old steam locomotive I had seen at the railroad crossing.
On the other hand the whole place just looked repulsive…
…and there was some smelly black stuff (water?) running in a canal next to the road…
…but then again there was this little grove that looked so peaceful and nice after all that desert today…
…but only until I laid eyes on the coal mine itself:
Oh my god, no mixed signals here!
It looked like… one gigantic flesh-wound on the face of the earth:
I didn’t expect anything good from this place when I entered the residential area:
Maybe I’ll find someone to fix my Caboose here though, I thought.
Otherwise I would have to go back to Hami.