Photo taken on the day I met Ramona Gastl and Jindric in the desert steppes of western Mongolia after I had been hitchhiking across Russia from Kazakhstan for weeks without a break, just recovering from food poisoning and overstaying both my Kazakh and Russian visa, having to sleep at one of the border posts on the floor of the police office with my sleeping bag, as well as a deserted cafe, beds in trucks, etc.. showering with buckets of water, eating what I could keep down from people I encountered.
We met after I’d been picked up by a military truck and dropped alone in the desert as the officers took a different route to the one I needed. After waiting some time, I eventually saw a car and called it down by running across the desert so he wouldn’t pass me. He stopped, I got in. We drove for 5 minutes before turning a corner to find Ramona and Jindric hitchhiking. After such a long and mad journey alone, I was happy to find company (who I could actually converse in English with). The car I was in stopped for them too, after I excitedly called out at the sight of them “puteshestvennik! puteshestvennik!” (meaning ‘traveler’), and we continued on together in the back of the pick up. As we got out of the car and waited another ride Ramona took this photo. The first portrait she took of me.