Ashgabat, the capitol of Turkmenistan is a weird weird place. There is only one television station and it broadcasts state propaganda. There are not much other than politicized, monolithic construction of the Soviet government and of President Niyazov, all are façade in white marble and gold. The hotel rooms are potentially bugged as are any of the restaurants foreigners frequent. There is only one ATM in the entire country and it only accepts Master Cards. This city is weird. I want to get out as soon as possible.

Lachlan (Team Polar Bear Posing as People), Peter and Darian (unsure of their team names) and I are now in a convoy to get out of Ashgabat and out of Turkmenistan.

After stocking up on supplies we pull off at our first opportunity once we exited the city perimeters and ate a canned goods lunch.

“I think the President of Turkmenistan is like the wizard.” Says Lachlan

“Where is the yellow brick road then?” asks Darian

“That is it right there.” Lachlan points to the highway, the only major road in all of Turkmenistan.

He points to me “and we have Dorothy, I’m the Tin Man and you two can figure out which one of you is the Scarecrow and which one is the Lion.”


In this rendition of The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow and the Lion are leaving Oz for the mystical land of Mongolia!

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