Tue 20 aug 2013 Somewhere near Shubarkuduk, Kazakhstan

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August 20th 2013
Published: October 8th 2014
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Tue 20 aug 2013

After a good night rest somewhere near Shubarkuduk, I emerged from the local ГОСТИНИЦА, I crossed the road to the cafe for some food. I set my SatNav for Oktyabrsk, my next destination.

10 minutes later on the road, I saw a stranded motorist seeking help from other motorists but no one stopped to help. Before the start of my journey, I made a pledge to help someone on this trip if I can. Knowing that there was no AA or its Kazakh equivalent, this motorist is in real trouble, so I stopped to help. The man tried to explain to me that the engine has failed with no prospect of roadside repair. He asked for a tow to the nearest big city of Aktobe more than 100 miles away. I initially hesitated because of the distance involved and it would be quite a big detour for me. Since the ordinary Kazakh people have been friendly and hospitable to me I decided to help him. I had various types of tow rope in the back of the car. The purpose of these tow ropes was for someone to rescue my car in an emergency. Now the situation is the reverse.

Spent 10 or 15 minutes to clear the stuff from the back of my car, I could now reach for the tow rope. After tying the 2 cars together, I found out the broken down vehicle had a automatic gearbox, which meant it must be towed at speed below 30 mph or under 50 km per hour. The last thing I had to do was to establish some protocol like my hand signal for slowing down, etc. All this can be done without any language involved.

So from dawn to dusk, I was towing this vehicle on the A-27 / A340 and eventually we arrived outside a garage in Aktobe. He was very grateful and even offered to give me some Tenge, but I refused. Towing a car all day long was exhausting, so I stayed overnight in a hotel in Aktobe.

Next morning, I looked for a garage where I can get an oil change for the car. After searching in vain for this garage, I decided that I needed help, so I asked a local taxi driver for help. He took me on a 15 to 20 car ride to this garage workshop. I asked the owner for an oil change. I gave the owner the engine oil in a jerry can and an oil filter from my car, he asked one of the mechanic to do the work for about 2000 Tenge or £7 labour. The owner asked me where I was traveling to and I said I was traveling to the Chinese border in Kashgar. He said he was in the army and he was posted to the Chinese border once. A handshake and some money changed hands, I was back on the road to my next destination.


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