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royally afraid

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Remember how excited I was to find out that Tajikistan was apparently dominated not by Coca-Cola and not by Pepsi, but by Royal Crown Cola? I’m of course a Dr. Pepper guy, but I always appreciate the struggle of the underdog, so I was happy to see that RC is apparently launching a campaign into […]


under mud

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The Caboose seemed to be in good shape, which meant that no repairs were necessary, which in turn meant that I had the day off. I decided to check out the 8th/9th century Samanid Mausoleum, one of the oldest monuments in Central Asia: It had allegedly survived the Mongol invasion because it had been buried […]


riding the elephant

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Had a great breakfast this morning: Then I got into a car that was going to take me to the border, to check on the Caboose. We didn’t go to the border right away though, because we first had to pick up some stuff from a garage: When we were done, the car looked like […]


farewell to all

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Sometimes it feels as if I’m traveling through all these places just to say good-bye to them. So I bid farewell to Tashkent today: I left it on a train in the evening. It was a good train, one of the new Afrosiob bullet trains that I had first been on several months ago. The […]


the oldest door and the fire

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I had an interview today with a charming local journalist called Olesya: We met for lunch, so I suggested we go to the place that made the best lagman in town. But of course this happened: It was closed. Of course it was closed. Abandoning the idea of having the best lagman in town, we […]


sizes of things

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When I woke up, the train was still rumbling along: The kids had been quiet for most of the night, so that was good. The hostel I usually stayed at in Tashkent didn’t have any rooms, so I did what I had been wanting to do since I came to Tashkent for the first time […]


funny looks

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Had a burger today: A bearded dude in a chic restaurant having a fancy burger. Hipster status achieved? Then I went to the train station: I was going to board the night train to Tashkent (the one that I had taken in the other direction two months earlier), but when I got there, a group […]


some nerdy stuff about maps

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I went to a food court today: The above picture looks more fancy than it really is. The food is simple and cheap. This is what I got: Then I did something I had been wanting to do for a long time – I updated the Google Earth file: It’s strange to think that this […]


popcorn and lollipops

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Walked around town and tried to buy a train ticket to Tashkent today. It took a while until I found the right ticket bureau. I’d tell you which one it was, but I forgot. Ha! Anyway, Almaty was nice in late summer: Once I had my ticket I went to a large shopping mall and […]


fear smothered in cake

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I wasn’t going to fly to Tashkent if I could avoid it. You might remember how I suddenly came to the realization that flying was bad for the environment a while ago. But I hated buses. So I decided to go to Almaty and take a train to Tashkent from there. Only first I went […]


independence day

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One of the most important things for me while I’m on the road is making sure my footage is secure. I try to do this by saving all of it on these 512GB SD-cards that I send home once they’re full: This is what I did today. Oh, and the friendly people at the dental […]


the filling

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I don’t even know if it’s called a “filling” or whatever. But something had been installed in one of my teeth a while ago by my dentist. And that something fell out last night when I was flossing. Fuggidifuck, I thought. So I picked up my Iranian visa, and then I went to the First […]


misogynist beats racist

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When I went and had breakfast this morning, I was surprised to see that the Mayweather-McGregor fight was on. Wasn’t it supposed to be a PPV thing? Well, here it was apparently on regular-ass tv. A couple of dudes were watching the fight: Later, some more dudes appeared, and we all found out that the […]


the v needs pickles

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It was the weekend, so I decided to take it easy and walk around town for a while. Bishkek, like many other places, seemed to look best in late summer, when it could show off its parks: It reminded me a lot of that time I had been here three years earlier, in the summer […]


Gotdog

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I went on my second visa run today. With both Uzbek and Turkmen visas in my passport, all I had to do was get an Iranian one, and I would be good to go. So I took a cab downtown, and then I started walking around: The Iranian Embassy had me go to some bank […]


visa bozo

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I wanted to get my Turkmen visa as soon as possible. So I got up early and flagged down a cab. Urmat, the driver, was a friendly guy who spoke good English. He took me to the Turkmen Embassy, but we arrived there an hour early (they opened at 10am). So we figured we might […]


out the door

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So I packed all my stuff together: Well, not all of it. I left some things in the room: a large towel, an inflatable mattress, a candle, a box of wash powder, a box of matches, the melon ball, a plastic cup, a 5-liter container of water. And then I was out the door: Into […]


Bye Issyk-Kul

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What a hangover… I was hardly able to move until late in the afternoon. Then I went out to say good-bye to the lake. I knew I was going to miss this place: I decided that eating was a good remedy against a hangover. So I went to the usual place and ordered the usual: […]


The Longest Party

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I felt good again. So I drank some more of my medicine: Just to be sure. And then I ventured out into the sun. This was when I found out that my usual way down to the beach was blocked: A construction site of sorts. Maybe a new sanatorium? I managed to find a way […]


PLESE!

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I had said everything I had wanted to say: Or at least I had tried: My application for an LOI, a Letter Of Invitation, from Turkmenistan was in the works, and all I could do at this point was hope that it would pass. Because no LOI meant no visa. Simple as that. I was […]