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Published: July 11th 2006
Pakistan Pop Culture
The Billboards in this part of the world are fantastic!
Crossing over the border was a less ardurous task than imagined and all went rather smoothly until a very commanding voice demanded we turn over our passports. Turning round we broke into smiles, it was Arnaud - and they were offering us another ride all the way to Lahore!
The ride down was even crazier than the drive the day before. Once we crossed over 'roads' disappeared and instead Arnaud had to negotiate dirt tracks that went up, down and roundabout... avoiding trucks, buses, bicycles and donkeys laden with all sorts of materials. The poverty was quite startling after the relative prosperity of the Indian Punjab, and all around it seemed dirty, dusty and chaotic.
As we neared the city the chaos continued and traffic came from all directions at mindblowing speeds. I am still not sure how they managed it, but the guys not only negotiated the streets without killing us or even denting the van, but they got us within a block of where we needed to go!!
Wandering round an hour or so we finally found a place with room and unfortunately had to geta room with aircon - the first time since our arrival
in Bangkok. At first we were disappointed, but with the humidity round here, we have to admit it is a nice treat, and definitely helps us to sleep at night.
We spent a couple of days exploring the city. The Badshahi mosque was beautiful - huge and inspiring in the sweltering heat - and the fort was fun to wander around despite being a bit run down and not quite as impressive as those in Rajasthan.
The streets however, were the highlight. Complete chaos was everywhere and crossing the road in jandals was a daring feat. The people too, seemed genuinely friendlier than those we had met in India and things were looking up. We ate all our meals at the small stands near our hotel - kebabs, rice, chai, roti - it was all cheap as anything and delicious!! If only we could have had a nice cold beer to wash it down with......
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