I also lucked out on my timing with visits home and managed to obtain a Chinese visa (a bugger to get outside your country of citizenship, these days, unless you do it in Hong Kong), so I will finally, finally get to see Kashgar. You hear that almost all of the old town these days has been destroyed, and the Sunday bazaar become a complete tourist trap, but some places you just have to go. In the absence of any knowledge of Mandarin at all, I am pinning all of my hopes on the fact that I bought a train ticket in Uzbek once and Uzbek is sort of maybe a bit mutually intelligible with Uighur if you squint. I have no idea. I'll figure it out. I miss travelling, I miss being on a journey, and it's hard to get that sensation back in only two weeks, but I love Kyrgyzstan so much, love the mountains and the smell and the immensity of the landscape, and Xinjiang sounds like it's going to be a proper challenge. I am so happy and excited to be going back.
In the meantime, I hope everyone is enjoying Pi Approximation Day! "Good enough, just not transcendental" has been my life motto for a while and so far it hasn't let me down.