"Field Diary of a Great Russian Writer"

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"Field Diary of a Great Russian Writer"

Postby long_way » Thu Jun 05, 2008 6:52 pm


Excerpt from the diary:

"In June 1993, I unexpectedly received $350, a considerable amount of money in post-Perestroika Russia. Without giving it much thought, I decided to spend the rest of the summer in Xinjiang, to try to visit Tibet and, if possible, other parts of China. At that time, Lonely Planet's and other guidebooks were totally unheard of and unavailable in Russia. It was virtually impossible to obtain any information about travel conditions or the cost of life in China. I found a 1970 Moscow-printed 1:5,000,000 map, and a list of 50 Chinese words, all in wrong transcription. I was almost trembling with fear when I got on a bus to Urumqui in Almaty, the capital of Kazakhstan. Later, I discovered that China was a cheap and easy place to move around, so the abovementioned sum of money was enough to spend 100 days there, and to visit all provinces except Ningxia."

Below is an almost unedited text of my field diary, from which I omitted some purely scientific stuff and most details that can be found in guidebooks. I also deleted all personal names and records of conversations with local people, because all of them inevitably included political matters, and I didn't want anybody to get into trouble.
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