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I left early in the morning, and when I did, I saw a sparrow’s nest that the people here were keeping next to a window:

sparrow nest

I had noticed the bird in the corridor the night before, but I had thought nothing of it. Now I knew that the bird somehow belonged here.

Walking was tough but good. The weather was excellent – not too cold, not too hot – and I was accompanied by the mountains in the distance:


Sometimes I saw yurts:


Sometimes I saw graves:


Sometimes I saw Chinese shipping containers:


It seems as though many people here use these containers to build all kinds of stuff out of them. If you look closely, even the oven that I got my nan-bread out of was somehow attached to a container:

nang bread

There were some villages on the way. They were tiny though:


Sometimes a random cow would be peeking at me from somewhere:


Yet some of the villages had little shops where I could get water. I could have also purchased fashion articles though:

clothes shop

One time I got stopped by these two gentlemen:

gentlemen in Avat

They patiently chatted with me for a while, knowing that my Russian abilities were very limited. Then we decided to take pictures. “Look,” they said, “tell them we are from Avat.”

Which I just did.

Here are some thoughts from the road:


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I arrived in the city of Zharkent in the afternoon. I knew it was a city because everybody had been telling me that it was, and also because some of the buildings there had not just one floor but SEVERAL floors:

Sharkent, the city

But there was another hint – it was here in Zharkent that I saw my very first traffic light in Kazakhstan:

first traffic light in Kazakhstan

It was a nice light, and all drivers that I saw seemed to be willing to obey it. I stood there for a while, and then I decided to call this particular traffic light “Francis”.

A good name for a good light.

  • Ida

    Chris, ich habe keine Ahnung ob du dich noch an mich erinnerst.
    Wir haben uns an der Uni München kennengelernt, über GWAR philosophiert und uns irgendwann im Herbst 2009 in “Schangse” zum Essen getroffen. Wir waren in einem Geschäft, in dem der Verkäufer sich nicht getraut hat mit mir zu sprechen und deshalb mit dir über mich geredet hat 😀 und dann hast du einen fake Terrakottasoldaten an der Eingangstür imitiert (du hast aber schöner posiert als er) und wir haben ein Foto zusammen gemacht.
    Seitdem haben wir uns, glaube ich, nicht mehr gesehen.
    Ich hab gar nicht mitbekommen, dass du wieder läufst. Wünsche dir 一路平安 und viele schöne Erlebnisse!
    Dein Buch habe ich übrigens endlich mal gelesen. Es ist super! 🙂
    Liebe Grüße,


  • Carrie

    Nice, mellow tone of writing and it reads well. Good job. Good luck on the way. X


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