From the Archive: Border Crossing, China

The start of our border crossing into western China. © www.thomaspickard.com

The start of our border crossing into western China. © www.thomaspickard.com

Border crossings are a place where you are pretty much powerless. When you add in the military and firearms, you know that you are up against it and are really at the whim of the border guard on the day.

The man in this photo was our driver, taking myself and J from Sary Tash in Kyrgyzstan to the border post with China. Our driver is walking to the first checkpoint, which is still kilometres from the actual border crossing. Shortly after this photo was taken, our driver was told to get us out of his van and to turn around and head back to Sary Tash.

Just like that, we were without transport and no where near the border crossing. Wondering what we were going to do, the border guard stopped the next vehicle and told that driver that he was taking us to the border crossing proper. The driver didn’t protest. That is just how it is in this part of the world. We were just grateful we were still heading in the right direction.