I grabbed my stuff and went to the bus station. Having taken the marshrutka to the Kyrgyz border several times before, I knew my way around pretty well.
But I was surprised to find these posters advertising the border area of Khorgas (the one that I had previously crossed on my shitty little bicycle) as a visa-free shopping destination:
I remembered Khorgas well. There had not been very much traffic through the border.
Anyway, I hopped into one of the marshrutkas that were bound for Bishkek:
It was packed, as marshrutkas always are. It was bouncy and uncomfortable, as they always are. But one thing was different: I sat next to a stunningly beautiful young woman who liked to talk. She was a cabin attendant, and she had come home to visit her family.
It turned into a very pleasant ride through the rain:
We stopped at the Avrazia service area where I had spent a few nights last September:
And later I noticed a place where I had pitched my tent during a stormy night full of fear:
Nostalgia can be a very deceptive emotion.