This might actually be my shortest country visit by air ever (at least I hope so). I landed in Tajikistan with approximately an hour to clear immigration, get my bag, re-check my bag, go through security, and reboard the plane. It was not an easy feat, but somehow I did it! Upon arrival immigration was simple and did not take long. However, waiting for my luggage took a bit longer than I would have liked. Thankfully I was able to use the time to find my witnesses and have my picture taken.
I met a really cool woman from Germany who has traveled to so many countries. It was really cool to talk with her while waiting! Her bag arrived before mine and as she wished me luck I was really starting to worry. If I missed this flight it would cause loads of problems! About five minutes after most of the bags arrived mine finally showed up. I ran through customs, ran (thankfully just) around the corner to recheck my bag. I was obviously very late and the non English speaking gate agent just pointed to his watch. I left my luggage and hoped and prayed that it would make it through.
I had read horror stories about having to pay bribes when going through immigration and security at the Dushanbe airport but, thankfully, they don’t care for a bribe when you are about to miss your plane. So I had no problems whatsoever! As I was the only person going through security it was very quick and I made it to my gate about three minutes before boarding - so in plenty of time! I was amazed that I had made it. It was literally the exact same plane that I had just gotten off of (going to the exact same place I had just come from) so I’m sure that the flight attendants were a bit confused.
The flight back to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan was quick and painless and, the best news of all, my bag somehow made it! It truly was a miracle. It is silly how few flights there are in and out of these countries that make it to where I had to do such a quick turn around. I definitely didn’t enjoy it and only did it as it was my only option. I’m looking forward to not having to run through my next country in under an hour!
45 countries down, 152 to go.