Bad joke. But the situation is serious in Kashgar. The day we left, August 4, I think, there was a bombing in Kashgar. Now, the Chinese claim it was the Uyghur terrorists, bent on disrupting the Olympics. I don't know about all that. Regardless, it happened and may happen again. It's hard to predict how much of a threat exists, really, but I'd hold off visiting until after the Olympics.
Kashgar, like the rest of China, is a great place to get ripped off. Don't pay more than you agree to, and agree to prices beforehand. Get them to write it down, even. I tell you now, the next bloody person here to try to rip me off is going to get beaten. I am so sick of people being like this in China, but it's so endemic. A ripoff everywhere you go. Just be aware of it and doing.
The guy arranging our trip to Lake Karakul told us 500 yuan... for three people, permit and car and driver up there. That was yesterday (July 28, 2008). Today he approached us in the parking lot of the hotel and began to tell us how angry his boss was at him for charging such a cheap rate... I knew were it was going- he wanted more money- so I got mad at him, and he got defensive. By getting mad, I think I preempted his attempt to raise the price. In short, we'll pay 500 because that's what we agreed on. It's called honesty and decency. Why is that so hard to understand here?
While walking at the Sunday Market in Kashgar I stumbled upon this dentist-billboard. I saw several before. To me al these paintings of the inside of the mouth do not attract me, it would more or less scare me away from the dentist. From my dutch dentist I heard that he has patients telling him the horrible stories of the chinese dentists, so go see a dentist before you go for a china-trip!