Месяц назад я побывал в одной из самых закрытых стран мира — Туркменистане. Репортажи оттуда вызвали небывалый отклик и стали самыми посещаемыми в моем блоге за последний год. Так как тема оказалась интересна не только русскоязычным читателям, но и иностранным, я перевел посты на английский язык. Ближайшую неделю буду публиковать английскую версию постов про Туркменистан. А вы распространяйте ;)
A month ago I arrived from Turkmenistan, after having spent there four days. Four unforgettable days! Turkmenistan is one of the hardest-to-reach countries in the world. Well, it's not that hard to get there physically, there are direct flights from Moscow with S7 and Turkmen airlines and tickets don't cost much either. It's just you won't get visas.
Very few visited Turkmenistan. Very few can get visas. There are almost no records about Turkmenistan on the internet. And the records that do exist are often biased. In order to get a coveted Turkmen visa travelers have to use various tricks. They receive an invitation from somebody, but then they become hospitality hostages of the inviting party and start writing laudatory articles. They emphatically praise the golden Turkmenbashi and his successor Berdimuhamedow; god knows whose gold shines brighter than that under the Turkmeni sun.
Luckily, I wasn't invited in the same way. I got my Turkmen visa by some miracle. Honestly, a journalist can never get a Turkmen visa. All demands have always been rejected. I can only thank the Turkmen “chekists” (Turkmen secret service) for their total incompetence and the Nowruz celebration, due to which they were all probably drunk enough to issue me a visa at the end of March. So my story about Turkmenistan will be honest, without all the usual golden crap about wisdom and glorification of Turkmen rulers and so on.
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