As we walk under the blue tarpaulin held up by long pieces of sun-scarred wood, we walk past an older, weathered-looking lady behind a stool with a scarf over her hair and a large jacket. She is selling some fresh vegetables. While she is beckoning customers to come and have a look at her wonderful fresh food items one thing becomes clear. This is not a style of language I ever expected to hear in China. The sounds I could hear seemed to flow more, it had less negative inflections at the end of sentences. The sound was definitely more familiar to my ears than the mix of Cantonese and Mandarin I had heard before in the Hong Hong bazaars. I would almost recognise this new language I could hear as a European one if I didn't know where we were.
It turns out that there is a local dialect used Xinjiang province, this is called (Urghur)
I feel a little lost but Laura had clearly done her home work. While ordering local delicacies like a stuffed bread, she would use words like "Rach-mid" meaning "thank you" and "misleke" meaning "tasty". We can speak Mandarin to the locals however they respond more positively to Urghur.
I must say I felt like a little bit of a tourist, letting Laura talk to the locals and order our food. However for me there is no greater kick up the bum to improve than to see it for your self. So my resolution for the next few days is to learn some local language, and quickly.