Observations: 36,000 Feet Over Kazakhstan

At 36,000 feet, 2 hours from Lahore.  Severe clear skies and staring out window for the last hour as we’ve turned SE over Kazakhstan, then Uzbekistan, and then Kyrgyzstan. Nothing but rolling dunes and bone dry flatlands. I mean nothing: not a shack, not a vehicle, not one tree, not a sign of human civilization, just a surreal brownish-gray moonscape which reminds me of the history, tribalism, and isolation of the peoples of this elusive part of the world.
Finally: a settlement of one large building and 6-7 small ones, connected to who-knows-where via a razor thin road stretching forever southwest into the endless plains.  I wonder who lives there and why?  Military outpost?  Probably.  I wonder: are they looking up at the jet, themselves wondering:  “who goes there and why?”…