Besides the numerous beggars, my experiences with Pakistani people were excellent. The average person in the street was very friendly, particularly in reaction to a positive comment about the country. Some people insisted I take a photo of them even when I wasn’t planning to.
As you can see, the photos below consist almost solely men or boys. There are a couple of reasons for this: a) males were far more visible in the street and, b) in Pakistan it is considered rude to take photos of women unknown to the photographer.
A drinks server at Hani and Mehwish’s first wedding reception
Guards at Mazar-e-Quaid, Jinnah’s Mausoleum, Karachi
Attendees at a Qawwali Sufi music concert, Lahore
A wise man (on the right) and his attendant at the Sufi concert, Lahore
The Gypsies in the centre of the photo are both outcasts and somewhat mythical. They were also at the Sufi dancing later that night.
I bought a mobile SIM card from these guys in Lahore. To obtain the card all I had to do was pay 150 rupees (about US$2.50). There were no forms to fill or identification to show. The card even came with 180 rupees worth of credit!
Their telephone service and photocopying shop is located in a lift (elevator) that has not operated for 20 years.
This man and the baby girl were on a street in the hospital district of central Lahore
In the labrinth that is Lahore’s Old City
A craftsman chiselling a piece of timber in the old city
Japanese backpacker Kae taking a photo of a boy in the old city. The sheep were to be slaughtered as part of the upcoming Eid ul-Azha (Feast of Sacrifice).
A street seller, Lahore. I considered buying one of the hats he is wearing. I wish I did.
A worker at the Regale Internet Inn, Lahore. He came from Chitral(?) and was very friendly, offering me cups of tea in return for fruit and nuts.
Like Istanbul is for Turkey, Karachi is the financial, transport and trade capital, and a former administrative capital of Pakistan. However, unlike Istanbul, Karachi is not Pakistan’s tourist capital (that is Lahore).
Hani’s family company is involved in trade via Karachi’s two main ports.
Karachi is a vast, sprawling city. The weather was mild during the day and occasionally chilly at night. Many coconut palms displayed their fruits and eagles plied the air.
Surprisingly, on 2 or 3 different occasions I saw transvestites street walking in the evening.
Pakistan IS a cricketing nation. In fact, Cricket is one of the main uniting factors in the country. There were many visible signs of the game – from boys playing in the street to credit card endorsements and television programmes fronted by former players (Rameez Raja).
Cricket was a very safe topic of conversation with just about everyone there and I received several comments on the then current Ashes series between Australia and England.
Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to have a game whilst I was there.
The Ashes could be viewed in Pakistan via the Indian ESPN television channel. I only saw 10 or 15 minutes of coverage, although that was 10 or 15 minutes more than the total shown in Turkey.
In the Lahore park across the road there are several games of cricket going on at the same time. I don’t think the eagle is taking any notice, though.
Following is one of my favourite set of photos:
Another random game of street cricket in Lahore
He and 3 of his mates are playing cricket…
…next to the huge and ancient Badshahi Mosque. What a cool place to have a hit! Is it 6 and out when the ball goes over the wall? Could they even hit it over?
Different breads and kebabs at BBQ Tonight. Although the kebabs look very similar to Turkish kebabs, the taste varies.
A full Karachi meal with 3 or 4 different meat dishes
Biryani, lamb and bread at the second wedding reception
Sweets, including trifle, at the second wedding reception. I don’t ever recall eating trifle in Turkey and seeing it here was a pleasant surprise.
A fruit and vegetable stall at the main Karachi Bazaar
Sweets, lentils and vegetable pasta on the Airblue flight from Karachi to Lahore
Chestnuts bought from the Lahore street. The chestnuts are eaten cold with salt sprinkled on them. This was the first time I’d eaten this species. On the Lahore street I drank fresh sugarcane juice, also infused with salt.
A Lahore sweet shop in the old city
Pawpaw, custard apple and chico, three fruits not found in Turkey. The custard apple in particular tasted delicious.
Efes non-alcoholic beer. I found this in a Karachi supermarket and have also seen it in Iran, but not in Turkey where it is produced.
After hours of agonising I’ve finally organised my Pakistan trip photos and I’m about to upload the best of them. As there are too many photos to upload in one or a few articles I have incorporate them into themes. There may also be a few videos. Keep your eyes peeled…
I also have many other post-Pakistan trip things to write about should I find the time.