Thursday, September 25, 2014

Entering Turkmenistan, a typical border crossing (07.09.2014)

On the Turkmen side the "border-crossing" fun started once more. As always entering with our own car was what caused the most work/trouble/annoyance.

Here how it worked:

  1. Enter the border post, get your passport details copied into some big book at hut A
  2. Deliver passport at counter B, wait
  3. Pay 11$ per person at counter C
  4. Deliver the receipt at counter B, wait
  5. Collect passport and head through security check as passenger or start the car procedure...
  6. Enter office D (wake the guy sleeping on three chairs by doing so), deliver passport and car documents. He fills out an important looking sheet of paper with two copies in a handwriting of a five year old, writing my name wrong o_O He stamps sheet.
  7. Head to office E with sheet to get something copied into a big book, guy stamps sheet
  8. Return to office D to get told your at the wrong place and you have to go to "bak" 
  9. Some confusion later (nobody speaks English) you realize they mean bank (office F) but the guy has its lunch break
  10. Office G, in charge of sanitation, is willing to do his work and stamps the sheet without having seen the car
  11. Wait till the guy from the bank has its lunch finished
  12. Having a genius idea and enter the other building to head to office C (which also handled payments) to pay, doesn't work
  13. Have an army dude question you what your doing here, try to explain your waiting for the bank dude. He signals one of its friends standing around, its the bank guy!
  14. Pay 111$ total for the car: 1$ vehicle disinfection (never happened), 30$ entry & passage, 40$ fuel compensation, 35$ insurance, 5$ processing fee and 2$ bank fee on top
  15. Take receipt to office H, more copying into other books, more stamps on sheet
  16. Head to customs, guy copies passport details into his big book, stamps sheet
  17. Some bored military dude lazily search the car till they find our water pipe. They explain to me I have to destroy it there on the spot o_O Do as I get told, a shame but we haven't planned to bring it back home anyway. Other military dude smells on our felt markers, wtf?! Nobody looks into our cooler!!! Never ever in all the border crossings!
  18. Drive away, a couple of kilometers, stop at hut I, they copy your passport details into another big book
  19. That's it! ;)

We had an official looking paper, with our route, five! stamps and many many signatures. Turned out to be quite handy for the many police controls to come...