Russia to Kazakhstan

We woke up in yet another field.  A lot of driving lay ahead with another push for yet another border.  The Russian/Kazakhstan.  We'd driven 3,548 miles since home and that was more-than-likely not even half way to our destination.  We were hoping for a quick border crossing but this wasn't to be.

The Russian/Kazakhstan border was undoubtedly the most miserable experience of the trip.  The guard had obviously been given something nice as a bribe by a previous team and kept pointing through the window into the back of the car saying "Gift!".  We needed everything we had and didn't have anything to give away as a gift.  He gave me a phone and said "Speak!".  I listened.  The phone was dead.  Was this some sort of crazy mind game?  My tired mind couldn't fathom out what was going on.  I held the phone to my ear and pretended to speak for a bit.  I gave the phone back and the guard went back to this "Gift!" spiel pushing his face right into mine.  I rummaged through the car and found a tin of mints with "Grumpy Git Mints" written on it.  Seemed suitable. "Valuable mints." I said and pushed them at him.  He waved us through.  Trust me as you read this that encounter lasted for a great deal longer than you're probably thinking.  Words cannot describe what a properly miserable experience the Kazakhstan border.

F**k the Kazakhstan border guards.