Kazakh yurt

Yurt. So much fun to say. Come on, try it. Yurt. Such a quickstep of a word. Yurt yurt yurt. Fun fun fun.

The bumpy road leading to the Heavenly Mountains are lined with yurts. The structures are the traditional home of nomads but on this road, the only herds the nomads are looking for are tourists.

Owners in this area rent out their yurts for visitors to camp in – or in our case, hop off a tour bus, pose for photos, then depart in a noisy whirlwind.

The show and tell included bowls of tea, a traditional show of nomadic hospitality. But this tea is made from half watery tea, half yak’s milk – and salt. It’s served before meals because it’s supposed to help digestion. Not sure how that works. The tea sure was salty.

125 Chinese pantsThe best part of the yurt visit was getting a closer look at little boys’ pants.

Our first few days in China, I thought I was seeing things when we walked or drove past people carrying children in their arms. I thought I saw kids’ bums hanging out of big holes in their pants. Turns out I did.

The kids have slits going from the front of their pants to the back – to facilitate relieving themselves. Seriously. I don’t know if you can buy these pants already ass-less or if it’s a DIY project, but this innovation must rank right up there with chopsticks and the Great Wall.

My sister swears she saw little girls in these pants too, but I never saw any. The only girls I saw were all in pretty dresses. With sequins. And ruffles.