Tom had happy memories of his 1987 trip
to Kashgar, and one particular memory that stood out was meeting a man
who made and sold musical instruments along the craftsmen’s street
in the old city. He brought along some of the photos from that trip, and
Miss Wu instantly recognized the craftsman and knew exactly where his
We took a stroll down the street, stopping
to wave to some excited children on a balcony, and soon found the shop.
The owner, whose picture
Tom was carrying, wasn’t there, but his son – then a
boy of 19 and now a grown man with a 15-year old son of his own
– was delighted to greet us and thrilled to see Tom’s
photos. (We're working on getting them scanned so you can see them...)
He said that his father would be back
the next day, so we promised to return – but first we spent
time checking out the workshop.
We saw many instruments resembling those
in Mr. Shakeer’s Khotan shop, but also some ENORMOUS versions that
are apparently playable, but only for certain special occasions:
|We decided we would NOT
want to meet the snake that provided the skin for this monster!
|The back room workshop was busy ,
and it soon became clear why: during our 45 minute stay, at least
three groups of Japanese as well as Chinese tourists came to the shop
and made souvenir purchases.
|Miranda and Sami tried out a number
of drums, tambourines and string instruments before each choosing
a souvenir: a drum for Miranda and a hoshtar (with a cool black case)
for Sami 
|The next day, we returned to the shop
and Tom found his man. They had a cheerful reunion, chatting about
how much the city had changed, how successful the shop was, and how
fortunate he was to have his son succeed him in the business. They
all posed for an updated picture, and dreamed that one day our kids
and his grandkids would have another reunion in Kashgar’s old
for more adventures!