those who like golden things

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When I woke up, my head hurt.

There had been a lot of noise in the hotel during the night, and with “noise” I mean the kind of noise sex workers make when they want their clients to get it over with.

hotel corridor

It was depressing.

I left the hotel and pulled the Caboose through some back alleys:

back alley

Then we crossed a river:


We ran into a super friendly dude who invited us to lunch:

with dude

But I said no. Not because I didn’t want to have lunch with the guy. But because I figured that time was of the essence.

Then we ran into another dude who shoved a banknote into my hand, mumbled something and left:

dude who gives cash

I didn’t know what to do with that money.

After a while I walked past a mosque, stopped, took out the banknote, added a little bit of my own money to it, and donated it right there:


I felt better after that.

And now that I’ve done good and bragged about it, I feel good.

The road sucked though. There was construction virtually everywhere:

road construction

I walked until the early afternoon, then I had lunch in a very nice restaurant:


And when I was there, a dog came up to me, dragging an iron chain behind him:


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I got the chain off, gave him some of my Chinese luncheon meat, and then he happily ran off.

Shortly after that, a dude appeared and said a lot of things to the owners of the restaurant. He seemed angry to me, but I didn’t understand anything he said, because he was speaking in Kazakh.

Maybe it was his dog, I thought. Maybe I had made a mistake by releasing the dog from his chain?

But what if I had left him with the chain dragging from his neck?

I continued walking.

The sidewalk was pretty crappy:


But I kept on:


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One time there was a Soviet monument:

Soviet monument

Another time there was a Kazakh monument:

Kazakh monument

And one time there was a simple love note on a wall:

"HLK I Love You"

And then I arrived downtown. Shymkent felt a lot like Almaty or Bishkek in the way that it was a big city with some big fat building:

downtown Shymkent

There was a German beer hall with an interesting mural:

"Bier ist Kraft!"

And there were some old, grey roads:

old buildings

One time I saw a car that looked like something The Donald might be driving:

Trump's car

What was with this fetish for golden things? The election was near, and I felt worried as hell.

But then all one could do was wait and hope for the best.

I arrived at my hotel before it got dark.

And then did something I very rarely do:


I had a beer.

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