Natascha and Johannes were so kind to host me for a whole week, even they have a young son now, Florian, who needs lots of attention in his first years, and on top of it all they are organizing their move to Germany. I was a comfortable guest I hope and didnt need much, but still it is a lot to ask from people to take me on for a week. I cant thank them enough to give me a bed and food and inbetween an ear. It is maybe hard to imagine for people, who stay usually in one place and even when they go somewhere else everything is organized, how essencial it is to be able to to be in one place for a little while when everythig around you is in a constant change and unstable by nature.
I dont know where the week went, but latest tomorrow morning I have to take off. Yesterday I did a little video of the baby boy and burned a dvd for them as a memory. Maybe I catch him in a good mood today again when he is swimming and plays outside in the garden.
One thing is clear, without their patience I would not have been able to rest and get my mind sorted about the project. I made a decision which I have to stick to: Art first! Since I get up early every day I want to use the time to dance and work on my little piece which I can show everywhere. Just for an hour each day. The damn computer has to wait. The website has to wait. Even the bike and the riding has to wait.
Everything is unclear for the continuation of the tour, except that I have to be in Chennai around November and in Bangladesh in Dezember. Oterwise Almaty takes time to give me certain answers and the high costs of cargo to India might break the neck of the project financially. No concrete arrangements in Australia jet. They might all still be in vaccation or are overloaded with work. I have to concentrate on what I have and can do. Since I still wake up each morning again and there is another day, its the best to do what I know best: making a dance and not worrying about the results too much. A couple of movements are already done this smorning. Each day a little more and I will have a huge piece to show at the end. My memories of the tour so far are the inspirations: leaving home, taking off, freezing on the way to Estonia, Mart and all the other friends in Tallin, the piece we did there, the tears in Warzaw, the bus tour to the studio there, the good talk with Editha, the ride with Gerald in his Porsche to the university, the stay at Doris Place, Munich and Bavaria, the Alps, Stefano the shoemaker in Bologna and all the books of Daniele and Silvia, the crazy party of presents in Sofia, the used motorcycle tires in Odessa, a sudden Buddhist temple in Russia, taking a bath in the river Ural which seperates Europe from Asia, meeting Johan the biker in Buchara, so much more which is stored in my mind, and finally resting for a whole week in the beautiful garden of Natascha and Johannes. And of cause the landscapes which changed constantly, the kilometrs I rode, the joy and fear I had, the rivers and borders I crossed. Being lost and finding something.
Most important are the people I meet. For all of them is this dance I make.
How stupid to think I could get around the registrations in the country. A story starts which took me almost the whole day going from one place to another, forth and back, making more and more people aware that something is wrong with me.
The hotel I wanted to stay didnt take me because I had more then a week no official registration made, and when entering the country it took a little more then 36 hours before my first registration.
-I was invited by friendly people in their houses and slept also outside. I am riding motorcycle.-
Instead getting a room, the hotel send me with the bellboy to the official registration office to solve the problem, but there problems really started. Lots of police was hanging around and probably only with the help of the bellboy and a new friend I made there I got around paying a penalty of 2.000$. The new friend works a s a consultant for a company in legal cases and knew many officers in the building. Just to get out there was made possible only through tricks of my companions, e.g. faking a call to my embassy that I should come first there and then return.
All the time I had to cover also my frie nds which took me into their place for a long time. They could get into serious trouble, taking me on without the proper procedure. We thought with another stay in a hotel all should be fine.
Back to the hotel with the very helpful bellboy I had to wait what the hotel might do now. The answer was negative, they would not take me without missing registrations.
-Call your embassy! They have to help you.-
I knew that I did a mistake myself and in these cases the embassy is maybe just helping with infromation. Still I called for advice and admitted right away that it is my fault.
-At an airport you will not get out without paying and they might hold you for a couple of days. On the landway, maybe you can get through without too many problems. I will call you back when I know more about the exact penalty.- -Ok, I will try different things and will give you a note how it goes as well.-
Fair enough, I thought. But I remembered the stories I heard about the trouble people had before to get around penalties and trouble to get out of the country and thought: -How stupid am I, that excactly that happens what I was so clearly warned about?-
The new friend I met at the police station before, works for a company as a consultant and knew many of the officers there. He gave me a tip to try to get the missing ones for a fee in a small and cheap hotel, which I decided to do.
By chance in the lobby of such hotel was a german speaking lady with her swiss boyfriend, who helped to convince the hotel to help me. After an hour I had the four days in my passport and 170€ less in my pocket.
-Better get out of the city, thats the lowest risk, that they catch me and you. Also stay quiet and dont do anything that you get noticed by anyone.-, the receptionist said.
Just one problem: I thought I paid online alredy for that first hotel online, the rate was even ok, and since the lady there told me I could come back if I have the missing registrations. But when I returned there and gave my passport to the guy behind the desk, someone I didnt see before, he saw my name and called the manager.
-Just a minute!-
Four people came back, all of different ranks including the person right below the owner .
They of cause knew that the registrations I got now are fake and refused again to take me.
-Ok, I understand, but what do you think I should do now?-
-Try to stay at that hotel where you got these registrations. (Looking susspiciously with one eye half closed, with the other wide open to the new paperclips.) Since the police already knows about your case. We can not host you here anymore.-
-Hmm, I paid alredy for my room online and hoped I could come back here ... -
- No no, it was only an reservation online made, you dont have to pay.-
Obviously the receptionist before didnt know what she was saying when she told me I only can get the money back from the online company and that I can return when I show the missing registrations. Maybe it was a fatal mistake to return.
Since it is a big hotel they are checked dayly by the police who goes in and out. I saw even in smaller places that police drops by frequently and leaves with documents.
Already the frist time in the bigger hotel got noticed for sure by the ones which work not only for the hotel. Coming with a bike which is very conspicuous already, but then discussing with everybody my case draws even more attention. One guy came to me while I was waiting before, and introduced himself as a biker, but I saw he worked in the hotel as well, and I wasnt sure about him. I didnt see any other bike. A biker club? In a country where it is even forbidden to ride motorcycles in certain areas? Maybe he was real, maybe not. But even the hotel employees might just give another note to the police after they saw the fake registrations.
What to do? It is too late to make it to the border out of the country. Soon it would be dark and I dont want to to take more risks as the daylight riding already has. Ok, getting back to the cheaper hotel, but on the way there I tried another one, not really cheap, more the opposite, but if they take me I might get a inofficial status, but there the same questions came:
-Where did you stay in between? Why didnt you register right away when entering the country?-
I tell my story again: -I was staying in a small hostel behing the border, sometimes outside and was invited by friendly people I met on the road to stay at their place. So I forgot to register, because noone was taking it too serious with the registrations. Motorcycling is different than coming by plane.-
They liked me, I thought, and the three behind the desk asked the manager how to make it possible. The only real problem seemed to be now that I only registered on the fourth day after entering the country, the law is 36 hours.
When the manager was asked in the back room it came to me what the solution might be. I have to say I enterd the country late in the day and registered the first time on the fourth around noon. Then I am within the 36 hour limit.
Excacly that was asked from me:
-At what time did you enter and what time did you register?-
-Late afternoon and around noon.-
-Here is your key. Downstairs is the sauna, breakfast is on this floor and do you want fruits and red wine or fruit and white wine on your room?-
-Oh, I get a present?-
-It is normal.-
-Red wine then. Thank you!-
-Have a pleasent stay.-
This is the other side of the country as well, the nice one. You find always people who help you further and there seems to be always another possibility, at least when you are a foreignor from a country like Germany.
Tomorrow I better get out of the country. It could happen that at the border I get the same questions again, but I know what to say about the 36 hour law. Maybe I am lucky again, as I was at the borders so far and the guys are more interested in the machine, where I am from, where I go and how much the BMW costs, than on the official stuff.
Interestingly I was never really nervous during that day, just blamed myself for the stupidity.
Rain next morning and the hotel is too comfortable.
The only real risk now is, that someone in the police station or at the first big hotel which didnt take me follows the case or puts it in the control system and when my name pops up in the routine check of all hotels I am marked as illegal.
Are they so well organized? Somehow I doubt it. Looking at the way they organize the bureaucracy, it seems not very efficent. And all the single people working there seem to have their own systems and webs. But it doesnt necessarily mean that it doesnt work when the have a case on their desk.
Coinsidering all the pros and cons I decided to stay and make art.
But talking to the embassy I found out that tomorrow is the end of ramadan followed by the celebration day of and borders might be closed. That might mean to wait a night at the border with hundreds of others for the next morning, or staying close to the border again in a hotel. The best option might be then to try to get to Osh in Kirgistan in one day. The helpful man from the embassy also found out that the fee to pay is more like 200 dollars instead of 2000, but they would hold you for some days until you can leave until all paperwork is done. If I get a hard fellow at the border, I might have to get back to the capital. His own experience is, that at airports it would be troublesome for sure, on the landway through a border it usually is more relaxed. But I may have to reckon with a closed border on the following fesast day of the end of Rammadan.
Definitely I cant risk any other day without registration, so all possible scenarios go through my mind: The trick to argue that I registered within 36 hours within four days should work. Then I only have five days without, which I could argue with invitations of nice, hospital people on the road. Whoever gets suspicious will see that I have many of these little pieces of proof sticked to my visa by now. I see myself already laying my left hand on the chest, the right towards the sky, saying that even the hotel which is apparently owned by the presidents daughter, accepted my arguments and it is the end of ramadan, I met good people in the country, like everywhere in the world, so please let a traveler pass through to tell the world also good things about their country.
Ok, the little adventure is not ended jet, but wishful thinking sometimes helps ... .
That day I decided to stay and make art I wrote down the above and slept the whole day after breakfast, after lunch and through the afternoon until 7pm. It was not tiredness so much, it was the helpless situation of no certain anwers from venues, being unable to judge the legal situtation and having not the mind jet to see what I should work on. Sometimes sleep brings the answer. Taking oneself out of the earthy necessities brings the space for unnecessaryties like art.
While I tried to get myself into a moving mode in the evenig, I think about my previous stay in Tashkent: the surprise to work with minors, the heavily structured school paedagogy, my attempts to offer alternatives by letting them develop own movements, interpretations and variations of the learned ones.
I think also that this is probably the last time I visit this city without seeing the kids back asI ewas hoping so in the beginning.
Out of this conglomerat of thoughts and images I get the inspiration to let the music play I used for the piece with the kids, J.S.Bach, the Goldberg variations, one of the very few albums on my computer.
Without warm up all 32 titles of the record are improvised through, only interrupted to put up the camera in a perspective to show the street below and some of the dance in the reflecting window.
From the beginning on, I am in the reight mental independent state which the composition already elaborated and offers to us now with the recording. No images of what the body should form, even no concience of what concept of movements the body should work with, just movements within a space of independent relations, although they are all happening within something you can call one coherent structure if you like to make that interpretation. My dance becomes a good by to the city and the missed artistic encouters.
In the words of Glenn Gould, the famous interpreter of the Goldberg Variations, about that second recording he did in 1981 with much more space for what the composition offers to emerge of depth and sensation than his first, much "quicker" recording in 1955, and summarized by me, he says:
-Bach was not interested in the correct playing of his compositions, but that something is happening out of his compositions. You can do a lot of "piano playing", like in the 1955 interpretation, clinical, on e continuing tempo emphazising the structure and correct reproduction of what is the officially approved way to do it, not giving space for the involvement of the listener but impressing them with the ostentativly presented: listen, this is the perfect way, playing the meaning itself, listen, this is tradegy e.g.. On the other hand it is possible to use the structure for the variations how to interpret them flexible with rhythmical shifts whithin a structure to gain integrity and spiritual intensity.-
Analoque to these thoughts my motorcycle tour brings me into states of loosing and gaining structure around me and in my thinking. The perfect shifts for the mind to be in irregular motions. Unwanted and wanted independencies with structure force me to concentrate on the integrity, Glenn Gould was talking as well about, instead of fitting the demands of what is officially recognized and accepted as the correct display to use independency. The artworld around me seemed to know what freedom and art is, wanted me to repeat my elaborated way, demanded to satisfy what they understood now after years, what me and others worked out before.
As integrity I understand the multitude of creative relations of all elements in an artistic process, in which the artist is one very relevant one with his/her creative and therefor flexible relations to others and the chosen themes to work with. In the Goldberg variations of 1981 you can hear Glenn Goulds relation with the composition. He allows himself much more to be touched in his bones and from that endless bottom of the human range of understandable world he let emerge a result beyond this limited range. Therefor Bachs structures are not more than guide lines and not the art itself.
Between the fixpoints of orientation, on my travel or in any other artistic process, are the spaces of irregular tempi of shifting the habitual perception. The dayly sensation of completely being lost offers the unoccupied space to be creative, due to the fact that there are no standard procedures existing. You have to be creative between the differences.
We all tend to look for safety for good reasons in dayly life. One underminig way to travel through art is to be safe all the way and give it the ostentatious appearance of the theme: freedom, new, adventurous, young, conceptual, intelligent, participational, political, and whatever theme might be satisfying to the perception of the audience and presenters right now, but not bringing them any further than the already expected result. Like a guided adventure tour through the jungle while being the cause of its dissapearing by being on the winning side of an unbalanced economic system, or a bus tour through the ghettos of a third world country seeing the misery through the shut window, only establishing the difference and be given the possibility to feel pityful, but satisfying only the own situation to be better off in Europe. A self-deceptive game is played in the mind which still wants the thrill, but not being in the danger zone, which is only dangerous from the distance. Once being there, really being there means exchanging there, in the being lost and being with the people, it is not dangerous anymore at all and has creative effect on both sides. To be placed in the audience seating is exactly this safe position to look at the world and being somehow touched but only for an hour and get back home.
So, even I might crash in India, might be bankrupt after Bangladesch, might not even make it over there, or the presenters in Almaty and elswhere never respond. Maybe that kind of art is never understood by the presenters, because it is not suitable in its core for theaters, since it focusses on the reciprocal encounter between people and not on the representation. Maybe I never get the honor for the reciprocal approach in art and others pick it up to formulate it theatrically as it happened before. At least it provokes again some thinking by the spectator as a result. Nevertheless, the tour and its form is part of an artistic process which has to be done now.
The more east I go, the more attention the bike draws. Cars take risky manouvers on the road to stay next to me, asking where I am from, thumbs are lifted up, friendly faces and and faces of of people who might think I came from another star. In one car someone has a german passport and waves it to me after they saw my licenceplate. The border of the Tashkent region is marked with another major checkpoint where man and machine have to register again. Anyway it was time for a stop and I know the procedere. Copies of all relevant paper need to be taken and I have to wait a little while, this time in the building of the captain, who can overlook all tarffic and his men at the junction. I am more then relaxed, hand them the documents showing I know what is ging to happena nd sit down. Questions about the family and the tour, my work etc. are exchanged in a very limited russian/english mix. Everybody is friendly to the tourists like me, and the bike helps, because all guys are fascinated by the technique, and if they are not, they pretend to show their manlike interest. So the boss and me sit relaxed, wait for a while, inbetween he shouts some instructions through the window and tea is served which I enjoy very much. Reciprocical respect is shown between the boss and me. My thank you for the tea is honest and the boss enjoys that as well.
When talking about my next destination Kirgistan I am surprised he is not giving any negative comment like every other Uzbek I met so far. The reader should know that once a while conflicts are argued out by gun at the border of those countries and a huge ethnical conflict with many deaths in Kirgistan let flee thousands odf Uzbeks out of the near Kirgistan region just a few years ago.
He gives me tips for the fuel situation in the coming Fergana valley region I have to cross. In his opinion there is not much bensin, as they call it here. I should gas up close by. I explain him my trick with the extra canister to take fuel out of the bike tank, fill it in the canister to be able to fill the tank again. Like that I get my fuel for longer streches together, since the stations refuse to fill canisters. He likes my "cleverness" and together we calculate the kilometers I will make probably into Osh, Kirgistan, where is no problem with fuel, he says.
He is also the first police officer who tells me on my question how fast is the speed limit on the roads. He draws houses which I dont recognise first, only kilometrs away I get it that he meant in the towns and cities the limit is 70km/h and outside 90km/h.
One remarque I have to make. The five dollar note I put with my documents for the case I have to bribe was too visible from the beginning on I handed the papers, though I didnt want and needed to show the money. But he and his lower ranked man saw it and I think I have noticed a certain interest and thinking what they might be able to invent to get it. Also in one communication amongst them, while we waited for the copies, I heard the word "dollar". Nothing of that was necessary, I got my papers back in order and anyway the boss is a new friend.
Some kilometers of nothing but fields with all kinds of vegetables end into another checkpoint where they write down all relevant numbers of my documents. While this happens I notice that the officer gets bribed by a driver who obviously had some kind of problem. Politely I look into the other direction when some Sum are changing the owner through the little window. Again a drink is offered, this time Coca Cola, which everybody drinks from the same bowl.
I notice also that this checkpint marks the coming borderline with Tadjikistan with gunned soldiers. Well, at each airport in Europe you have them walking around once a while as well.
The road through the mountains along this border now is a welcome change to the long straight streches I did through Kazakstan and Uzbekistan, but not as spectacular as what I know already. Very few places to stop to make photos and care is to be taken for the insane driving, even each direction has two lanes. You have to pass some tunnels, again guarded by soldiers which nod and smile at me.
Since the tirechange in Odessa, the front wheel looses air and once a while I have to pump it up. Now through the mountains the alarm function of the tire pressure indicates again way too low pressure. It has to wait until I am in the valley where I stop at a open reastaurant and the faces of eating people, it is lunchtime, show me again that they have not often seen something like me and noone is showing the openness I am used to. Sometrhing must be wrong with that region, but the reply my gesture of Salemaleikum and at least nod back. Luckily the waitress is more professional and is able to give me waht I need, tea and food. She looks much more asian as the others and might have some more international abilities that the others who look very occupied with something serious and secret all the time. The following tire pumping with the small compressor draws again the crowd and noew they are asking the usual questions. By now I show everybody my dislike of the question of the mototrcycles price. If I could speak their language better, I could explain them how impolite this is.
Everwhere I stopped on the way to Andijan either a family or a whole crowd got curious. Some of them speek some or good german. Noone can read maps. And noone knows about the road from Qoon to Andijan, or doesnt want to know. I am send first to Namangan which is further north as I need to go and the road seems suddenly worse. Not trusting it I stop again and try to make my mind up from the map, thinking that the map might be wrong in this case. One speaks good german to me, but can not help me further because another guy starts an argument with him, which I couldnt understand what it was really about. They even get rough, bumping each other around, and because 20 touching hands are on my bike and the big food seller lady doesnt stop to show me she wants to ride my bike and shakes even now the handle a bit too rough for my taste, I understand its time to take off. Is it the last day of Ramadan and all are out of mind already or is this the normal state? I cant tell for sure, but something is in the air which doesnt make me too confident for what might still come today.
Like usually I let a kid press the startbotton, honk the horn and away.
Still uncertain of the road I stop and use the compass. At least the direction is right. Two cars stop during these five minutes. The first is the german speaking guy who was fighting at my previous stop and asked if everything is ok. -Yes, yes, all ok, just orientating.- The second had something to do with Germany which I didnt understand, his girlfriend had to communicate with me. In an overexited state, close to being out of his mind he was fascinated of the bike and having met me. Another sign of everybody is getting crazy this last day and the coming feast?
Finally I reach Namangan where I didnt want to go in the first place. Slightly lost I stop at a police control to ask for direction. He turns out to be very helpful and changes his look from austere to a smile after a while. Although he cannot do his job fully while talking to the foreigner, he takes enough time until I understand and puts me in almost on the right road. Following the signs now to Andijan I end up at a closed passage, filled up with passengers on both sides waiting for a minibus to be filled enough with passengers on both sides of the barricade. I get send back and ask again at a gas station. There is a guy who really knows where to go, he might have been the owner, since he seemed very respected by the kids and others around him. A very traditional guy from the look and a good man, I could tell from the first moment. Someone who takes the short encouter serious and knows about the dimension of giving the the moment a positive direction.
A driver from another car, full with people offers to show me the way, great. Straight, first light left, third left and straight to the T-crossing, there left and all the way straight to Andijan. While I follow, the kids in the backseat look constanly if I am still behind and give the news to the driver. I follow until he stops before the T-crossing. Shaking hands now and before he tells me that we will go for some more kilometrs together, the crowd of five kids, one more beautiful and happy than the other, and his wife come out and satisfy their curiosity. The quick: where from and where to makes them even more exited about the stranger. The girls have henna painted hands in orange colour and nice dresses on, probably they are on a trip to another part of the family for the coming feast. The driver probably can support the festive mood with his golden front teath he likes to show like many other who can afford it.
In a huge roundabout we part. Now that I ride past the car I see the full content. Another woman in the front with a kid, in the back one mother with four others.
Waiving to the happy kids leaves me with good feeling as well.
One more observation on that way were the many overloaded cars with a whole set of furniture on the roof. A whole set, not just one bed or cupboard. I have to ask still for an expalnation for this, but there must be a good stry behind the furniture transport. In total, it takes sometimes triple width of the car and even overtake other slower vehicles, so that one time, I needed to duck almost under the wide load, seeing the doubtful expression of the driver, if I would manage. Luckily there way enough leeway next to the indicated road with some asphalt on it. Good training for India?
I read that Andijan was detroyed by an earthquake early in the last century, so I am not surprised that I only see new buildings and a hotel, with a furniture department on street level. Before checking in, I just wanted to take a minute for myself, but immediatly a car stops and the occupying surrounding happens. This time the price of the bike is first question and I ask the price of the car of that person.
-8.000$.- -So is the bike.- He is disappointed, but believes the lie. The bike is new more than16.000$, used as it is now maybe 13.000, in € 14.000 and now maybe 11.000.
More and more people come, all a bit in a state and I am not in the mood anymore to be exposed like that. They all ask questions which partly are answered by the first guy who stopped.When he touched my starnge suit, I think he explained the meaning of my heavy protection which they never saw in their life and couldnt understand the starnge dress up.
Time to leave, and the deskman of the hotel speas in an Bavarian accent in German to me. All his answers are calm and positive, with the typical Bavarian well grounded certainty that everything is ok like you are in Bavaria and eat sausage made by the local butcher. It is just out of question that anything could be strange. He learned it during an internship there for his agricultural study. The other desk man studied German itself. All fine here, it seems. They dont even take a look on my previous registrations, every hotel in Tashkent was so alerted about. The hotel turns out to be in fact a buisiness center, just a part is a hotel. It is completly empty, except for one other guest who is from Russia, because of the Ramadan ending.
Ok, shower, eating, a beer which I had to walk for some hundred meters to an unluminated shop in the evening, and soon, shifting all open problems to the next day, I fell asleep on the couch in the cold stream of the ventilation and made it hardly into the real bed in the middle of the night.
Breakfast I took alone, noone els was there, not even the Russian. Noone can tell me if the border will be open today or not. And since it is a government issue, noone likes to talk about it in detail. All I dont want is waiting 24 hours at a closed border or returning, because without notice the government decides again to shut it without a serious reason, like it happend often before, specially on this feast day. So I decide to stay one more night, hopefully last one in Uzbekistan to sort out the management for the coming tour and write this down. The vacuum in the hotel helps.
Almost no roadsigns indicate the way to Osh, you have to ask several times. One last checkpoint is passed, meanwhile I have routine with the officers and use these stops as my break. There it is, the border, finally. All the way I was a bit nervous if it works out, though I didnt have to fear much. Making everybody scared and unorientated seems to be part of the strategy to controle the people with all the checkpoints and tough regulations, if the mind is occupied by that they dont dare to thing much further, and it even affected me.
Surprisingly there is no long line of cars as it was at all other borders so far. I am waved through he first gate immediatly and one officer comes to me and explains the procedure where and when to go. He takes my declaration I filled out when I enterd Uzbekistan and I have to fill out a new one. I think: -Aha, thats the trick, they want to see if I spend money or if I gained money, for sure they will pick on any difference of the two declarations.-
Then he guides me to the front of waiting woman at the passport control. All of them express their discontent with a choral sound which makes me turning around apologising to the crowd. One lady in front of all of them speaks in English: - They do it to get a bribe.- -Yes, I know, but they dont get one at the end from me.-, I whisper back. -Sorry, again.- -Well, we got used to it. Europeans get in front because they are something better and can pay for it.- -I dont pay!-
Ashamed by this priviledge I think about getting to the end of the line. But I was told to go in front by the officer, and at a border I do what they tell me. They think that there will be some dollars in the documents sooner or later, but I am positive to play it to an end.
Again I receive priviledge treatment at the next check and the next and the next, and even when the control finally the luggage they are more then easy in searching for something and I only have to open one pannier. Now I am done and no dollar changed hands. There is nothing anymore they can do on me and they were not interested in the registrations at all. -Good by!-
What a relieve to be out of the police state. Please dont get a wrong impression of the country and please make a differnce between people and the politics. The people dont deserve any negative stamp. It is more the constant controle of public live, once you are sitting down with one all is fine.
The Kyrgystan side was even easier, except the boss of the guards had to show his authority to the others and sat down on my bike without asking and even tried to start it! Lots of stripes or not, there is an edge, one shout of -NO!- and he was off. I satisfy their interest by explaining the electronic correlation of sidestand, gear indication and statbotton. And also my mistrust in electronics which explains the pulled clutch even the neutral gear is shown. But no extra documents are needed, they just take the data of the bike and me in the computer and I got in front again, excusing to everybody, getting my stamp.