The second border crossing into Kazakhstan took place in the morning and this time we were told to stay put while the border officers came into the compartment with dogs, mirrors and other devices to look for drugs or other forms of contraband. A young woman brought a laptop that sat upon a scanner and quickly scanned our passports into it.
The officer asked both of us to look at him directly in the eye as he examined the photos on our passports. I almost broke out in laughter thinking of how ridiculous they looked in their fatigue uniforms and how I failed to be intimidated by their actions. We got the usual stares and questions about traveling alone while not speaking Russian.
There was nothing to look at from our window except for the occasional camel or cemeteries stuck in the middle of nowhere. Two women had come in the middle of the night and were occupying the berths next to the window opposite us. The younger one talked on her cell phone almost nonstop even though I kept glaring in her direction in clear annoyance.
Elvira came by to take our order for dinner and only lagman appealed to me. Willoughby had her cheese and apple dinner and we share the last of the baklava for dessert. I read my "Lacuna" book and Willoughby her Anna Karenina while trying to fend the heat building up in the small space.
The sun didn’t go down until nine and then when I tried to go to sleep, three children under ten decided it was time to play cops and robbers with a plastic gun. None of them were assigned to our compartment, but their parents allowed them to roam the length of the car.