Blogs from Pakistan, Asia - page 9

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Asia » Pakistan October 13th 2008

Sukkur was fun. We had armed guards following the bus and guarding the hotel and, after some people had had a few drinks, two or three people got their photos taken holding AK47s (can you imagine that happening back home!). One of the girls I was sitting with was half convinced that she saw a sniper on the roof next door. It turned out to be a man with a chair, but, as someone pointed out, the chair coud be so he could shoot us all in comfort. The second day was brilliant; we went to an old ruined city called Moenjodaro, which was apparently the birthplace of IndoEuropean languages. It was unimaginably hot, but still managd to interest us. The name translates as City of the Dead, so I'm guessing it was named after it ... read more

Asia » Pakistan October 13th 2008

Multan was not good. Not good at all. To be fair the hotel was amazing; they gave us some really nice drinks and flower garland necklaces as we got in, which everyone loved, but it was soon to go downhill. We were setting off for a football match against the local team and all excited when Kim, our tour leader came in and told us that the match had been cancelld by the cheif of police. It took us a while to realise she wasn't joking. With an escourt of more armed guards than there were people we set off to see the town's mosque and fort instead, which was not fun, because the guards literally shoved people out of the way in their town and their temple so we could look round. The worst part ... read more

Asia » Pakistan » Quetta October 12th 2008

We left a terrible guide in Pakistan (he rejected our tip in the hope of getting a bigger one and then took it back when he didn't) to meet two wonderful ones in Pakistan. Pakistan is amazing; we literally crossed the border, stripped off our mantors (I do NOT recomend wearing a t shirt under a mantor in the middle of the desert btw but at least we got out of them sooner), got onto two small and wonderfully air conditioned buses, met our two lovely guides Bilal and Amjad, stopped for samosas and soft drinks before we had gone five minutes and basically completely failed to get bored for the eleven hour drive. There was a slight downpoint when I woke up without realising I'd been asleep to find all the curtains closed (so that ... read more

Asia » Pakistan » Punjab » Lahore October 5th 2008

This time Iwould like to post only the route that I follow since Katmandu... read more

Asia » Pakistan » Punjab » Lahore October 2nd 2008

This tense was written on the board of the Regale internett Inn Hotel in Lahore two months ago. I'll come back in Pakistan for sure one day, especially in Rumbur valley.... read more
Passu
Chitral
Chitral tea shop

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Asia » Pakistan » Lahore August 28th 2008

Still in the throws of packing and sorting between this life and the next. Feel very odd. Good luck to those of you going back to Coundon!!! Just to let you know that hopefully this will be the beginning of an interesting blog! ... read more

Asia » Pakistan » North West Frontier Province » Peshawar August 13th 2008

19 August Amritsar, Punjab, India Except for arriving from and departing back to the United States, I usually do not take too many flights when traveling. Yes, I know they cut distances and save time. But I need to be lodged against a window and see what I would be missing, impossible at 35,000 feet. If a train goes, I’ll be on it. Otherwise I’ll settle for a bus, minivan, outside panel of a jeep, or bed of a pickup truck. Ameen asked me back in Gilgit where I would go after we parted company in Chitral. “Peshawar”, I said. “Are you sure you want to go there?” I was. “Yes.” I would be fielding that question very often. “How will you go?” “Well, from what I gather, it is a ten-hour ride with a change ... read more
Entanglement
A Peek Inside
Wrinkles of Desperation

Asia » Pakistan » Punjab » Lahore August 13th 2008

At first it is a contest of which side can be louder, prouder, and more patriotic. When it is all said and done, citizens of both nations crowd at the locked gates that separate them. They cheerfully and curiously speak to each other while clasping the painted bars, knowing full well it is the closest they will ever come to setting foot on what was once a singular India sixty years ago. After proceeding through broken-down metal detectors (or simply stepping to the side of them to get through), the Pakistanis segregate their public by gender. The men occupy one section of the curved grandstands to the left; the women go the other way. If there is any advantage at all to witnessing the border closing ceremony on the Pakistani side, it is the VIP seating ... read more
Cheerleaders
His Purpose in Life
Looking Across

Asia » Pakistan » North West Frontier Province » Chitral August 12th 2008

Simon still shows no sign of improvement. His complaints of the pain, fatigue, and discomfort are peppered with explosions of profanity as he rolls out of bed and practically hits the floor. During the night he made several visits to the toilet. His pants barely cling to his waist and he is pale in spite of the sun his skin has absorbed while trekking in the mountains. Ameen rolls up Simon’s red sleeping pad and began packing. Simon is not interested in breakfast but for some green tea and none of us is confident he’ll keep that down. He goes into the toilet, locks the door and before he moans and his insides detonate once again, I take Ameen into the garden. “We need to go right after breakfast.” “Yes, sir. But sir, if you don’t ... read more
Urinals at HDQ Hospital
I Gotta Go!
IV Drip Stand

Asia » Pakistan » North West Frontier Province » Chitral August 10th 2008

This place cannot be for real. It is not just another world, rather another galaxy. My initial fifteen minutes in Balanguru are of paralysis and disbelief. Balanguru is what it must be like to be knocked unconscious by an alien tractor beam and then relocated to their home solar system. Distance, introversion, and geographical inaccessibility have shielded the Kalash people from mainstream Pakistan for centuries. An agrarian and independent civilization, they have rejected Islam and maintain their long-standing practice of ancient paganism. Their customs are on display without the slightest hint of showmanship. Ameen and Simon unload the jeep at the guesthouse while I aimlessly roam downhill in the direction of the small bazaar. Simon is unaffected by the transition into this alternative world. I do not know if it is indifference or an inner trait ... read more
Corn Crops
Mortarless Conctruction
Swamped




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