Blogs from Lahore, Pakistan, Asia

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Asia » Pakistan » Lahore July 30th 2018

Every evening since 1959 (except for a brief period when they were at war) India and Pakistan have undertaken a nightly border closing ceremony at the Wagah crossing. It has become infamous for being a strange spectacle of overt nationalism, and involving very tall men from the Border Security Force on the Indian side and the Pakistan Rangers on the other, doing some serious goose stepping. It was wickedly hot as we left the hotel and negotiated with an auto-rickshaw driver to take us on the 50 minutes journey. When we arrived at 3:30pm the queues were massive. Everything we’d read said there are thousands that attend on the India side but only hundreds on the Pakistani side. We’d gone on a Sunday, and this definitely wasn’t the case. We joined the women’s queue and made ... read more
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Asia » Pakistan » Lahore July 29th 2018

Lahore is the capital of Punjab state. Home to 11m people it’s Pakistan’s second largest city and its cultural hub. It's a vibrant place full of chaos and contrast, with squalor and splendour, wide green boulevards and chaotic small streets. The locals have a saying “If you haven’t seen Lahore you haven’t been born yet.” Legend has it that Prince Loh, son of the Hindu Lord Rama set up camp on the banks of the River Ravi and gave his name to the settlement. Historians estimate Lahore dates back at least 4,000 years. The Mughals made it an important city, but much of its beautiful architecture came at the end of the Mughal period. Since independence, Lahore has seen communal disturbances and has suffered a spate of bombings, the most recent being in February 2017, but ... read more
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Asia » Pakistan » Lahore July 28th 2018

Border crossing days aka clean top days (it always helps to look half presentable when asking to enter a country) are always a mix of excitement and nerves about the unknown. We love crossing borders, nothing beats walking into a new country with the locals. Despite having a lot in common, India and Pakistan’s relations have been difficult since partition. When the two divided they did so along religious lines; Hindus went to India and Muslims to Pakistan. It was one of the largest human migrations ever seen, and sparked riots and violence across the region. This was followed by the Kashmir conflict and numerous other military conflicts fought between the two. They still regularly take pot shots at each other over the border. Overall their relationship has been plagued by hostility and suspicion. Since their ... read more
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Asia » Pakistan » Lahore May 30th 2016

Allama Iqbal International Airport / Podniebne widoki zza okna.... read more

Asia » Pakistan » Lahore September 23rd 2014

One of big tourist interest is the border with India near Lahore, where the flag ceromony is a good spectator event, how these two super powers treat their neighbour. From 'Pindi to Lahore is a 300km run on GNR (great north road) or N5 dual carriageway, bikes banned from motorways in Pakistan. Was quite hot during day so could be an idea to travel in cooler evening. No police escorts required, 300km do in 4hrs, 4..8pm. Think Road Safety is a bit risky on this dual carriageway, numerous central crossings & few central barriers, with many unlit vehicles from small bikes with no lights, farm vehicles, & dogs move any way they like, finally black bison would be hard to see. Lower speed limit 90..100kph is sensible. But front tyre had a slow puncture, much more ... read more
Rashid and Joe in local outfit.
Rashid's family.
view from roof terrace.

Asia » Pakistan » Lahore August 22nd 2013

As I get excited for this memorable trip, I'm collecting gifts for the family. Amongst them, a few are particular for my doctor sister and her work. I had difficulty selecting the type of Vacuum she wanted for her collegue. Eventually we decided on a metal, in place of the plastic that she already had. I'm using this "trial run" as a prodromal exercise, for a lot more to come. My only concern is that trying to keep up with entries will take away alot of time, that otherwise could be spent enjoying late evening-nights exploring other aspects of travel and sight-seeing. I guess this could be similar to when we take pictures for viewing them later, but miss "memorizing" the scenes for that time. Though this texting is from a keyboard and a good exercise, ... read more
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Asia » Pakistan » Lahore June 2nd 2013

One technique the AIOU Computer Science department uses to transmit knowledge to the provinces is video conferencing. I decided to try it out Friday morning. I spoke in front of a small local audience and a large monitor that showed in one window an audience in D.G. Kahn and in another an audience in Umerkot, both distant dusty villages in the badlands of Pakistan. All three audiences seemed equally perplexed by my lecture on NetLogo, a computer language that models complex systems as virtual turtles swimming in a virtual pond. Fortunately, a van was waiting outside the door for my planned visit to Lahore, so I was able to make a quick escape before their perplexity turned to rage. Inside the van I was chagrined to see that my entourage had expanded to six, including my ... read more
Defiant Pakistani border guarf
Eeek! A roach
Do I have gum on my shoe?

Asia » Pakistan » Lahore December 30th 2011

It seems a long time ago since I last posted a blog entry; about my poor broken bike. Probably because it has been a long time! I’d like to say it was because I’ve been too busy, what with this world adventure travelling, but Tanja might disagree and say it’s because I’m lazy.Anyway, a lot to write about. Leaving Iran After getting the bike going again we waited in Kerman for Damon to arrive. Being a ‘local’ of sorts – he lives in Sydney but was born in New Zealand – he immediately became known as ‘Day-mo’. Although he has complained a little about this. But, hey if he doesn’t want to be Australian then he probably shouldn’t have become a citizen and got himself a passport. Damo it is. After Damo arri... read more
The box of tricks
Bam fortress
Early start from Bam

Asia » Pakistan » Lahore March 3rd 2011

I actually saw the airing of Nat Geo, Don’t tell my mother: Delhi, the other day here in Pakistan and chuckled to myself. How fitting now, as I walk over the border from India into Pakistan, little brother in tow, mother intentionally uninformed. I would venture to say that given current geopolitics and furthermore the ongoing ex-Blackwater CIA-spy Raymond Davis case currently in Lahore, Pakistan is probably in the top 3 most dangerous countries for Americans to travel to. Well… surprise, Mom!Postcard is in the mail – get excited! … Lahore, the capital of the Pakistani state Punjab which holds more than half the country’s population, is also known as Pakistan’s cultural capital and as a city of poets. Sitting just 30km from the Wagah border and historically set along strategic trade routes between the subcontinent ... read more
islamic art
anarkali bazaar at night
me and the bro

Asia » Pakistan » Lahore January 16th 2011

Pakistan Zindabad!! Long live Pakistan!! The first words I learned in Urdu upon crossing the border at Wagah. "Asallam alaikum and welcome to Pakistan! You are a very brave man. You aren't scared?" a smiling man greeted me as I walked my first few steps on Pakistani soil. "I'm here right? Not scared, just excited to be here" I replied back. I was ready for whatever Pakistan had in store for me, which ended up being more exciting experiences than I could ever imagine. The bus dropped me off somewhere in Lahore's noisy, chaotic downtown after asking several locals and finally finding sometime that could speak a bit of English help translate, I had a cab driver drop me off at Regale Chowk, where unknowingly I would spend the next ten days. Although I had no ... read more
Praying at Thar Thar Thar Bhar Mosque in Front of a Camera For a Pakistani Documentary
Festival
Pray for the Camera




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