Travel and Travellers to Kashgar

What kind of traveler are you? We’ve hosted all kinds this year. Some come bearded and sunburnt, hauling a backpack and asking directions to the youth hostel. Some were baggy-eyed retired folk hoping for a cup of real coffee and longing for a better hotel. One of our favorites was a blue-eyed eighteen-month-old who had just been 3000 meters above sea level!

We were happy to have all of them. Most travelers love to talk about what they’re experiencing, and having a chance to listen to their stories is one of the perks of running our little cafe.
But there are those moments that you meet a traveller and your heart just pumps a little extra and you share a few moments you will never forget. One of these was a stout Japanese man who spoke very limited English. Early one morning when the city was just waking up and as the sun warmed the cool spring air, he walked into our cafe. He was looking for his hotel. He pulled out the receipt he printed out from his internet booking with a little tiny unmarked map of Kashgar. It took us a few moments to get our bearings, but soon we figured out where he wanted to go and showed him the way. He breathed a great sigh of relief, then said “wait, I want to give you a gift.” He then set his backpack down and unzipped it. Took out his camera and took a picture. Then pulled out of his camera a portable printer that printed out a very high quality photo! He took a photo of us one each, then us together. What a wonderful gift! Definitely memorable.
On another occasion, we were concentrated fully on finishing a dot painting outside the steps leading to the café, when suddenly a voice came up behind and said ”Bonjour”. When we turned to look at the source of the voice a French tourist was standing there curiously wondering what other non-tourist foreigners were doing in this small city. We simply pointed to the café door. Our French adventurer poked his head into the café, took a quick survey of the place, decided he was satisfied then called out to the rest of his clan. They were 15 of them ! In no time the café was full. The quiet uneventful afternoon in the sun suddenly became a race to prepare the drinks for all our French guests. One French lady was ecstatic because she saw us on TV while she was in America ! She couldn’t believe that she was standing in the very cafe, with the very tall blond American man and the very tall brunette Swiss man she saw on TV. We were on CBS last year. One hour later, the French tourists were fully satisfied with their afternoon caffeine intake and everybody was on his way again and the sunny afternoon continued again. Life is beautiful in Kashgar.

Note: This article contributed to our blog from Gallery Cafe in Kashgar when they left from Kashgar middle of  last summer 2011. We missed Gallery Cafe!

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