Crossing Turkmenistan on my way to Uzbekistan seems to me be easy in case I take transit visa. Application should be also more or less easy going in comparison with tourist visa, but the reality was little bit different. If I had known how I was wrong I would probably change my plans and go thought Afghanistan which is for me far more interesting. Turkmenistan border crossing became at the end pain in the ass.
If I skip time consuming visa application I would get to the Iran / Turkmenistan border where my first real experience with this country started. I had expected that it will take some time but what surprised me was behaving of officers at the border. First I had to wait till the time they have decided to talk with me. Later when they have asked me many questions I made mistake because I told them that I would like to on the way to Uzbekistan visit ancient Merv. Obviously they didn’t like it at all because I had transit visa and not tourist visa. After long talk what I can or can’t do in the country during my visa validity they have left me to wait in the room. At this time came most ridiculous stage of crossing border. Two young officers (I would say around 18 years old) started to pass me back and forth. One was walking in front of me second behind me. Each time guy to whom I didn’t payed attention hit my shoulder and start to shout at me that I should look straight in to his eyes because he is the boss… They slowly started to make me angry off but I manged to stay calm and sit in the corner of the room. So I could see who and when comes. From this point it became obviously boring for them so they end up only from time to time kick my shoes when they saw that I don’t care about what is going on around and rather close my eyes.
Anyway they have found new person to „care“ of. An Iranian truck driver came in and because his passport was in Farsi and English they told him to go back to Tehran and make new passport which will be in Russian. They told him that he isn’t allowed travel on his passport to Turkmenistan because they couldn’t read what is written in it.
As I mentioned above was that way treated more or less everybody that day. At the end they let me go in to the country after I passed around four officers standing in queue one by one who asked me where I am from, where I go and looked at my passport if all stamps are OK. Last thing which waited for me was detailed back pack check when I had to take off all my stuff and they carefully check what I carry. After that I was „free“ to go in to this „incredible“ country…