Monday, 11 August 2008

The Mythical Stamp

Another "magical" moment today as we spent 9 hours 14 minutes and 48 seconds (PJ's internal body clock is said to be more accurate than the latest atomic technology) at the police station trying to become legal again. Yes, we didn't tell anyone but we screwed up our legal situation once again. This time we had the immigration cards but we needed to register them within 5 days of entry and guess what... So big fuss at the police station of Taraz, a normaly quiet little town east of Almaty. It was a long day, the police needed a certified translator which was found in the nearby english school. Got 6 forms filled up, two warnings issued and then waited and waited for the mythical stamp to appear from somewhere. I'm glad to report that I did fall asleep in the process and that Paul is now quite far down his book. I'm also glad to report that the 6 cops that where in the room with us did the same. But the stamp materialized itself just before the closure of the Police station at 19:00 and everybody went home, thrilled that another day full of excitement went by. We are now officially legal. Officially legal but still in Taraz which puts a dent in our tight schedule.

So tonight, in order to celebrate, we went into a bit of a folly and ate Turkish doner kebab and pide. The tears where very close to be shed as this is the first time in 6 days that we actually know what we ate (roughly). Our other attempts at eating Kazakh, generally the result of random finger pointing at obscure menus, were all classified as failures (pasta in a ball of hot water, two salads for mains, ketchup and mayonnaise bonanza) apart from the one time when we crashed a local wedding party and got some delicious dumplings and a superb soup for free.

The adventure continues. The plan for the next few days is to try to get out of the country via the south east mountains and then back up to Astana. We will hide in the forest or desert (harder) for most of the time so there might be a bit of a blackout.

Assalam aleykum


Anonymous said...

Mon "cher" tampon a bien occupé la police de Taraz .(ou Djamboul si j'ai bien compris). On va dire que le coté positif de la chose vous a permis de reposer votre dos.
Y a t il une raison stratégique qui explique le fait que vous soyez dans le grand sud du pays ? ou étais ce prévu ?
On vous embrasse et on vous souhaite plein de bons moments pour la suite du voyage.
Papa maman

Anonymous said...

Salut Cédric et Paul,
Décidément, vous n'auriez pas fait de bons fonctionnaires dans un bureau administratif, il faut savoir prendre son temps pour délivrer des papiers, et au moins 2 à 3 heures pour choisir le bon tampon. Ce n'est pas votre cas et c'est tant mieux. Cédric, c'est promis, à ton retour ton tonton te fera une ÉNORME RACLETTE (3kg de pomme de terre et 4kg de fromage)que pour toi, comme ça, tu sauras ce que tu manges.
A part ça, bonne route ou plutôt bonne piste et surtout restez toujours prudents.
Jean-Luc, Françoise et Plume

Cedric said...

Salut a tous et merci pour les commentaires. Nous sommes dans le sud du pays car il y a plein de choses a voir. les paysages sont magnifiques. Nous sommes passes du desert a la montagne. On se croierait dans un Far-West. Super couche de soleil ce soir. Nous avons egalement fait route avec une autre equipe du Rally. Bisous

Anonymous said...

Hello Paul and Cedric! I have been following your adventure since I saw you and your car in Helsinki on the road going towards East-Finland on the 30th of July. (I am the woman who saluted you with my thumbs up in a BMW registered in Spain) I could not believe my eyes as I read in your car you are going to Mongolia in it!!!
Now I start worrying: nothing from you in five days! Fortunately your location has changed! Good luck for the rest of the journey - I`m sending you good energy from Finland!