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Archive for July 21st, 2010

A Karaoke joint in Tazhong that provides extra services.

“Conquering the Sea of Death” – a slogan on the archway that welcomed me into Tazhong announced.  

After traveling for hundreds of kilometers through a barren desert highway and arriving in Tazhong at two o’clock in the morning, I was surprised by its liveliness.

Though the tiny settlement in the heart of the Taklamakan Desert only has one street, with one row of shop houses lasting for less than a kilometer, it looks like a sleepless town.

Neon lights adorned all the shops, barbecue stalls lined the street, girls in bare-back tops and short skirts scattered all over the places, and loud music from the karaoke rooms floating through the still air.

I soon find out that over 80% of the businesses in Tazhong are related to the flesh trade, be it the barber shops without a single scissor or hairdryer in them, the massage parlors that offer foot massage and more, the karaoke joints, the “recreation” centers, or the only hotel in town.

It was no surprise that when I failed to secure a room in the only hotel in Tazhong, I ended up in a brothel, the only place I could have a soft bed and a roof over my head, and the luxury of getting a bath in the middle of the desert. (more…)

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塔河客运站等候班车的乘客,做姐姐的要安抚等待得不耐烦的弟妹。

 

 在辽阔的新疆,一些偏远又小的地方,班车少不说,有的甚至没有定点的班车,人数凑齐了就开车,人数不足就不走,有时候等上一天都不一定能够离开。  

但在小地方的车站,漫长的等待往往能让我听到许多故事。除了等待得百般无聊的乘客们会互相攀谈,当地居民偶尔也会过来和陌路人打打招呼,话家常。  

小地方的客运站说不准什么时候班车回到或者会开走。

 

 有的小地方只有一条主道,简陋的车站往往就设在主路边上,没有所谓的售票厅或候车室,只有一个小土砖房,里面有桌椅,供唯一的值班人员工作,小房间里还会有一幅帘子,其后面是一张简易床,供员工休息。土砖房外则放着长木椅或一排塑料椅子供乘客坐着等车。  

车站的边上一定会有小餐馆,桌椅就摆放在阴凉的大棚下,而且还会放上几张台球桌,这么一来,小餐馆就成了吃饭喝茶及休闲的好地方。  

我在一个叫塔河的地方,就在一个和上述类似的车站等侯了14个小时。在那期间,除了坐在车站,我还沿着大约100多米长的主路上下来回走了好几遍,整条街的居民在我抵达后的几小时内,都已经知道我来自何方,要去何方。 (more…)

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