a border run and a donkey vehicle

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I was in Kazakhstan on the 15-day visa-free program.

And my 15 days were about to run out.

So I hopped into a cab and went to the border at Grodikovo:

Luckily, it was very close to Taraz:

ride to the border

When I got there, everything went very smoothly:

border to Kyrgyzstan

In and out in just over an hour.

I went back downtown:


Walked around for a little while:


And I am not sure why, but Taraz didn’t really feel like a big place to me. Not even compared to the other places I had come through on my way here:


I asked this taxi driver to take me to a bazaar because I wanted to buy firecrackers (in case there were wolves):

taxi driver

He said there was no need to go to the bazaar, he had a bunch of firecrackers laying around.

So I bought them from him:


Nice Mickey Mouse firecrackers.

He gave me a serious look and told me not to be holding them in my hand when they went off.

Yes, I said, I’ll try to remember that.

And when I was just about to return to my room, these two dudes appeared on their donkey vehicle:

donkey vehicle

They seemed as if they were part of some steampunk filmset:

“Is there a sauna anywhere near here?” they asked me.

I didn’t know what to think.

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