who wants to stay in Stalin street?

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When I stepped out into the morning, the first thing I noticed was a flat tyre on the Caboose. I messed around with it for a while, trying not to feel bothered by the bystanders.

“Look, it’s broken,” they would say to each other.
“He’s trying to fix it.”

Yeah well, it didn’t help.

I ended up taking the Caboose to a dude who knew more about this kind of thing than me:

This gentleman helped me fix the Caboose

He found the evildoer and placed it in my hand:

evil doer

Curse on you, tiny metal element!

I left Regiment 66 on a back road that passed some of the older parts of the settlement…


…and ended up wandering through some very quiet places:


It was nice. It almost seemed like it was just the Caboose and me, the road below us, and the wind in the trees:


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…eventually I was back on the main road though.

It led through tiny Uyghur villages…


…and past vast expanses of corn:

corn on the road

It seemed like everywhere there was just corn and corn and more corn:


And after that, some more corn:


I was still looking at corn when I reached the outskirts of the city of Yining:

into Yining

If you take a look at the Google Earth file or at the map on this site, you will probably wonder what made me take such a large detour to get to this place.

Well, I had heard all kinds of good things about Yining, and about the area of Ili ไผŠ็Š in general. Come to think of it, the things I had heard were not so much about any particular details, more about a notion of this place being very “good” in general.

So I felt like I had to go there.

I walked past a statue of the flying horse that I had seen many times before:

horse statue

I passed large intersections:


And I walked along buildings and buildings for a long time:

new buildings

But none of the hotels would have me.

It was the same problem as in Jinghe – I was a foreign element and only allowed to stay in special hotels. Though what it was that made them special, I would never know.

This one, imposing as it might look, would not let me stay:


The people at the reception desk told me to go to this other place nearby.

It was a four-star hotel and cost about 700RMB a night. I didn’t like it. Also, it was in this street:

Stalin Street

Motherfucking Stalin street.

I didn’t want to stay there.

Luckily, there’s this number you can call in China to help you sort out transportation, food and accommodation. So I punched “114” into my phone and told the person on the other end of the line about my troubles.

Twenty minutes later I was in a nice hotel that didn’t cost half as much as the Stalin place.

I figured it was time to celebrate with a burger:


And – knowing that it was only a few hours until I would meet a very good friend – celebrate I did!

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