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 prostitutes make when they want their clients to get it over with.
It was depressing.
I left the hotel and pulled the Caboose through some back alleys:
Then we crossed a river:
We ran into a super friendly dude who invited us to lunch:
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:
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:
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:
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:
One time there was a Soviet monument:
Another time there was a Kazakh monument:
And one time there was a simple love note on a wall:
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:
There was a German beer hall with an interesting mural:
And there were some old, grey roads:
One time I saw a car that looked like something The Donald might be driving:
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.