In 2005, on my second trip to the far western city of Kashgar, I spotted this odd sight in my hotel lobby. There he was, the Great Helmsman himself, sitting behind a counter of trinkets. I’m still not sure if he was for sale, or if the proprietor of the little hotel shop thought his placement there would attract customers. Either way, I had a good chuckle.
More recently, he popped up in a field in Henan Province, where some local villagers decided to build a giant statue in the middle of a field.
image from NPR
Is it just me, or does that statue look like it’s made out of butter? Perhaps it’s really being built for the Minnesota State Fair!
In the end, however, the statue got too much press worldwide and embarrassed the local officials, so they ordered it taken down.
I was captivated by these bright blue doors in an otherwise drab neighborhood. As I took the picture two veiled women strolled by. It was only later that I noticed one of them was carrying a big knife!
I would not be able to take this photo today since the government has initiated an anti-terror campaign in Xinjiang whose measures include banning Muslim women from wearing veils.