Practice English Speaking&Listening with: The Journey Along The Silk Road

Difficulty: 0

Extreme Climate Special

The Scorching Silk Road

Ken Ogata Traveling along the Silk Road Railway Land Bridge

Narration and Script Adaptation by Rodger Parsons

July, 199 1

Here we are...



February, 1997

Turfan Xinjiang UygurAutonomous Region

Ken Ogata

You said that the sheep was 100 Yuan (about 1 5 dollars)

No, it's 1 20 Yuan.

This is the best canola oil!

ls anybody sick?

This snake works for different illnesses.

Turfan raisins from the local harvest, approx. 10 cents.

Huo Yan Mountain

Urmuqi Xinjiang UygurAutonomous Region

l'd like to buy this.

What are you doing?

l am the station manager and l didn't give you permission to film here.

Are you still filming? Stop! Stop!

You do not have permission to get on this train!

Today has been the coldest day since we've been in China...

...yet l'm drenched in sweat.

Turfan, Urmuqi, Alashankou


l've seen a fence on the border of these countries many times.

Kazakhstan: Chinese Border

Druzhba (Kazakhstan)

Do you know anyone who has Yuens?

That was a reasonable rate.

Rail width in China is 1 435mm in Kazakhstan it's 1 524mm


This would have been unbearable in the summertime.

The Scorching Silk Road

l've been shaken around.

Tossed from side to side.

l kicked off my blanket and slept 1 2 hours.

Urmuqi, Druzhba, Almati

Almati (Kazakhastan)

Warm pirogues for sale!

Would you like hot tea and food?

How much would 380 be?

A little over five dollars.

A five dollar watch?

Can you set the date?

lt won't break, will it?

Gokturk Sculptures

Lake lssyk-Kul (Kyrgyzstan)

The Scorching Silk Road

Look at all these human bones!

Oh, this is definitely human.

This skull is frozen to the ground. lt won't budge.

Scythian Golden Armor (Kazakhastan Museum of Archaeology)

The strong members are shepherds, the weak members farm.

lt's been a long time!

You must be surprised by the sudden visit!

No, this is wonderful! We consider guests to be gods!

How old are you?

Mr. Urukari (7 3)

You're still vibrant!

He says he still has a lot of life left in him.

He's got a strong, loud voice.

Right now, he's fasting.

He said, ''You are not Muslim, so please eat and drink.''

lt's a beautiful place.

Come in the summertime.

Even though they were fasting, they still served us homemade bread.

He says you can sleep in his yurt.

He'll prepare for your visit.

He also has sheep.

He has sheep and meat...

lf you come, he will slaughter a young horse. He'll prepare a feast.

Almati, Lake lssyk-Kul, Tashkent

Tashkent (Uzbekistan)

Tashkent, Samarkand

Samarkand (Uzbekistan)

The burial vault, Shahi Zinda

Five pillars of lslam

Witnessing, Prayer, Charity, Fasting and the Pilgrimage to Mecca

The Scorching Silk Road

Gallyaaral (Uzbekistan)

l feel like l'm in jail.

Fafhard ( 1 7)

l hope you become a good teacher .

He says thank you.

He has a stern look on his face, but his handshake was firm.

l enjoyed that. Thank you.

Thank you.

Registan Central Square Samarkand

July, 1997

Lake lssyk-Kul (Kyrgyzstan)

Mr. Urukari

Maybe it's better to live a simple life.

lt's important to live with nature.

l'm taking a photo! Okay!

Bukhara (Uzbekistan)

Get this in for me!

This, too!

There's more room!

The train's moving! lt's dangerous! Get off!

Are those cherries?

What is this?


How much can you sell this for?

1 kg is worth 33 sum.

How many kg are in here?

1 kg goes for about 30 cents.

About 60 kg.

60 kg.

This is heavy!

What is it?

How much?

lt's yogurt. lt's good.

How much?

l hope l don't get sick.

ls it good?

Yes, it is.

Take my kid!

Get the luggage in first!

Where's my kid?

Back off, back off.

l won't take anyone who doesn't pay!

That's it!

l said l would pay! Why don't you take it?

See? l will pay you! So let me get a ride!

You! Get off!

What? l paid!

Don't be so cruel because l can't pay!

You must have a mother around my age. l'm sure!

Bukhara, Charjou

Charjou (Turkmenistan)

The Scorching Silk Road

Ashkabad (Turkmenistan)

lt's like l'm in the rain. l can't see.

He says it's Okay.

lt's Okay? l'm the one wearing it.

He says that the temperature in the hat stays at 35°C when it's 50°C outside

Want to buy it?


Did you buy them all?

lt's cheap. He bought a lot of them.

How much for everything?

He says he bought a female with a calf for 400 dollars.

He bought the camels for the milk... 400 dollars for a female camel and her calf.

They drink the milk when it's hot.

lt's used like medicine.

The camel milk, right?

How much for this?

Camel's Milk 1 cup 2 cents

The Akhal-Teke Horse

Blood-Sweating Horses

l can't believe it.


lt's 60°C.

Hot wind is blowing. 60°C.

This is the first time l've felt wind this hot.

l thought l was going to go crazy .

Nap during the scorching heat of the Silk Road.

Ashkabad Station

The Scorching Silk Road

Narration and Script Adaptation by Rodger Parsons

lranian side Serakhs

Mashhad (lran)

Turfan, Serakhs, Ashkabad, Mashhad, Tehran

lf this heat continues like this, well...

l think l'm going crazy.

Well, okay, l'm not going that crazy.

Everything l've eaten has been good. l'm thankful for that.



See, these designs were simplified...

Well, l'm from Japan.

...and they traveled to Japan. Even now we use...

As you can see...

...these patterns.

The complex patterns that you've created were simplified as they traveled east.

l had no idea that the patterns traveled all the way to Japan.

The Scorching Silk Road

Tower of Silence Yazd, lran


lt's so hot everyday.

l've lost so many things on this trip along the way.

Now, even my hat's gone.

Funeral Area

l might not be able to climb this.

Zoroastrian Village Mobarakeh

l'm going in.

1 2 Years old.

1 2 years old?

What do you do every day? Mehrumashi Amman ( 1 2)

l read, study, swim and play basketball.

This is interesting.

There's a green garden on that plot.

lt looks like they have a tiller .

Tonight's a full moon.

lt looks like l'm in a different dimension.

What is this?

When it's hot, wave it like this...

l'm sorry. lt's for cleaning.

Yeah, it's really dusty. You use it like this, right?

Do you know about Japan?

l know that it's a name of a country, but that's about it.

People's voices sound like music to my ears.

Arles Hottadhi ( 16)

The white handprints are the symbol of a sacred site.

Yazd, Tehran, lsfahan

Big Ararat / Small Ararat

The Scorching Silk Road

He says he's going to ask.

Let's go.

Daut Pirati ( 11 )

Are you off from school?

Mandatory schooling ends at 5th grade, so he's done.

He's finished with school.

What do you do every day?

He takes care of the livestock.

What's in your bag?

He has bread.


He can't go back home until it's dark. So, it's his meal until then.

That's my village.

He says that's his home.

Kabakoy Village (Turkey)

Does she go to school?

Daut's sister, Hatitia (8)

They don't have any teachers.

Kids start school when they're 7, but 8 year olds can't go, either.

No teachers?

Hatitia can't go to school. So she only speaks Kurdish.

A teacher came to school, but he left without saying anything.

How do they study?

They don't study anymore. Daut's older brother, Mendes( 1 3)

They need to know how to read and write as an adult.

They said it's important, but...

Since they have no teachers, they have to wait.

They said one's coming in the winter.

They say that they can see the border and that the lranian army is there.

That's lran?

lranian Military Facility

He says that he's interested in Japan and he would like to visit.

Well, l'm very interested in the Kurds.

The Kurds want their own country, their own independence, right?

They say that they're Turkish, and they're okay like this.

They say that they'll be punished for saying things like that.

Oh l see. l get it.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

He says that once he's done with work, he'd like to go back to school.

l'd like to be a doctor.

That's great!

What is that?

lt's cheese.

Cheese. Well, Daut...

This is something l had the hotel prepare for me.

Would you like some?

He says thank you.

This is for you...

Uh, can l have some of your food?

How is it?

He says it's good.

This bread is tough.

ln my village, the spring water is so clear and plentiful... (Kurdish folk song)

The Scorching Silk Road

Ankara Castle (Turkey)

Can you see at all?

He was born blind.

He's been blind since he was born!

How much?

300,000 Turkish Lira.

10 Lemons 300,000 Turkish Lira (about $3)


Here's 250,000 and 50,000...

Here is 50,000.

Okay, here is 300,000.

l can tell how much a bill is worth by feel.

He puts different bills in different pockets.

lt's heavy! Really heavy!

Ankara Station

June, 1997 Nagano Prefecture, Japan

Ueda Silkworm Breeding Committee

This is the Japanese male. This is the Chinese female.

Chinese Shougetsu / Japanese Shunrei


Bursa (Turkey)

Koza Han (House of the Silk Trade)

Bas Relief based on a silk string

Akchalar Village

The Scorching Silk Road

Ankara, Bursa, lstanbul

You never know where you could get hurt.

Bandages for sale!

At the department store, an extension cord will cost you 300,000 liras.

l will sell this extension cord with 3 outlets for 250,000 liras!

You're Japanese? Sorry, but these weren't made in Japan.

First come, first served. Quantity's limited!

lstanbul Haydarpasa Train Station on the Asian side

l can smell the ocean!

l feel like all l've been doing is wandering around deserts, plains and mountains.

The ocean!

lt's raining in lstanbul!

This is the first time it's rained during my entire trip.

What a blessing.

Shintaro Katsu told me that my acting in Japanese dramas was good enough... l didn't need to do any Western stuff.

l told him l wanted to do something different.

''There is no need for that.''

That's what he told me.

l left Japan and walked around, riding on trains.

Maybe this is the ''something different'' that l wanted to do.

Sometimes, the small paths in the garden seem a lot more interesting...

...than the big main streets.

l've never crossed so many borders between winter and summer before.

l spent 90% of my time crossing borders.

l hear that in the 21 st century , a train will connect Beijing to lstanbul.

Each country has their own situation.

Rail widths are different between countries.

l don't think it's going to be easy to connect Beijing to lstanbul and...

...lstanbul to Europe.

Sometimes, it's -30°C.

Sometimes, it's 60°C.

l really learned that human beings can be resilient, graceful, and tough.

They live in impoverished conditions on barren lands.

However, a young man with a gleam in his eye dreaming about becoming a doctor...

...taught me that humans have hope but need to also have courage to dream.

l met a lot of people.

Many people supported me along the way .

The Silk Road has touched me deeply, and has given me great joy.

lt was a great journey .

lstanbul Sirkeci Station, European side

The Description of The Journey Along The Silk Road