Airports and Neutral Land Hell (part 1)

The VISIT that failed : Flying from Kyrgyzstan to Armenia unsuccessfully.


My luck ran out. The two things I hate the most about travelling — visa issuing officials and airlines — conspired to pound me to near submission. A series of bad decisions led to my FIRST regret since leaving home in May and gave me one of the HARDEST lessons i’ve ever had to learn in life and humbled me. We spent three miserable nights in AIRPORTS, or what I call middle class purgatory, and wondered if we still have the will to continue travelling.

The prelude to a nightmare :

We decided that it could be fun and economical to spend half a night in Bishkek’s Manas airport before flying out on October 4.This is an alternative to a potentially risky taxi ride to the airport, 20 kms away, at 3 am, as we imagined the driver after a bottle or two of VODKA, which is quite normal in this city.
The airport was only a single smallish complex but had a few coffeeshops in which we sat.

Manas is not very busy and I am guessing less than 10 flights go in and out daily as the airport shuts from 6pm to 5 am everyday. We arrived at the airport at 6:30 pm and it was shady and deserted. It was not until 3 am when the airport came back to life again as passengers and their families flooded in to take the first two flights out.

One at 5:00 am was destined for ISTANBUL
The other at 5:40 am was destined for MOSCOW

We were unfortunately slated to board the latter flight. As I looked at my boarding pass that morning, I had a bad feeling.

It read : “041004” the date was printed on it and in cantonese, it reads:

“die sure die.”

Read on.