It is intimidating to land at a military air base. Isn’t the picture of Almaty Airport amazing? Oh, it looks like a black box? Well, as we were landing, it was made clear that no photography is allowed so that is about as much as I can legally show you (and I was not about to push that one!). The military atmosphere imposed a sense of gravity to the deplaning and customs processes.
Once passports are processed, you procure your luggage and face the receiving line of budding entrepreneurs who all offer you a “taxi” (which could mean you are driven halfway to somewhere and then stopped and told, “I will take you the rest of the way if you pay me ‘x’’.) We were especially grateful to the East-West Institute and Almas who met us at the airport for the welcome and reliable transportation.