Round the world,  Travel Hacks,  Turkmenistan,  Warm blanket of sarcasm

Kilometer 14 159: Turkmen visa, aka “and today’s winning numbers are…”

– Good morning Turkmenistan, can I have one visa to go?

– No visas today! Supplier didn’t show up!

As disappointed as he was unshaved, the Austrian guy distanced the counter window very much down in the mouth. It was only several days ago when the person in Tehran visa shop smiled politely and said that he was ordering his visa in Mashhad and it would be ready in ten working days. It wasn’t.

Inexplicably, Turkmenistan is one of the few countries which have made it their life mission not to let almost anyone in: every single nation passes through a visa sieve with very tiny holes. This sieve is ruled by complicated algorithms, harder to crack than the Enigma. The brightest minds of the world can’t reach a consensus: one group of scientists claims that the formula is: “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe”, while others present an equally interesting theory: “Hickory dickory dock”. The only hypothesis upon which the researchers seem to agree is that the applicant must be well-shaved, or else he will be found extremist, whether he looks like this:






or like this:


You didn’t know, poor Austrian guy! Piotrek knew, therefore, shaved more thoroughly than on his wedding day he approached the 20×20 cm sized counter window along with me in order to pretend that Turkmenistan doesn’t appeal to us at the slightest as a travelling destination. All we want is to transit to Uzbekistan as quickly as possible.

– Good morning Turkmenistan, can we have a visa?

– I have two, five-day long. 55$ each. On-site or take away?

– Take away will be fine, thank you. – I said with a poker face and only after disappearing behind the street corner I danced my wicked happy dance. Well, not so wicked. After all, women are not allowed to dance in Iran…



A fragment of Bob Sinclair’s song “Rock this party (Everybody dance now)” was used in the clip.

The pictures used in the post come from the following sources:–.jpg

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