The next leg of the journey put me on a 40-year old Soviet Yakolev-40 aircraft operated by the national airline of this former Soviet Republic. A bus with wings. Has stairs under the tail you climb up to get into the plane. Russian stewardess and the biggest Asian I ever saw flying it. Koreans don’t get that big. Land in the dark, as usual, at a civil airport on the southern frontier. Very few lights on. Met by escorts from the company, put in a bus and driven through the darkness to a well lit area visible for miles on the horizon. That’s the US stronghold in Central Asia. Go through the outer security checkpoints, manned by indigenous personnel. The van driver says those troops get paid about $3.00 US a month and would hit you up for whatever they could any chance they got. Got to the inner ring of security. Concertina and Hesco barriers. Bored American MP’s searching our carry on bags. Taken to a plywood shed, told to sign a piece of paper, given a sleeping bag, led to a tent full of empty cots. This is where we’ll be until we get a ride south.