I spent New Year’s Eve at the Regale Internet Inn, Lahore, where I stayed. They had a BBQ and a live Bhangra band played to an audience largely consisting of backpackers along with the odd local and expat living in Pakistan. All in all, I guess people of more than 20 natiionalities were present.
Pakistan’s culture and laws are very conservative and the sale of alcohol is highly restricted, only available to foreigners at specially-licensed five star hotels. Originally, I was happy to have an alcohol-free NYE, but on the day I changed my mind. On New Year’s Eve day I walked with three other foreigners from the hostel to the closest five star hotel. Around the side of the hotel we entered a room. Boxes and boxes of beer and spirits were piled up. The liquor is produced and sold by the State – a nice earner. The prices were very expensive for Pakistan but comparable to Turkish costs. I only drank a few beers. The verdict – drinkable, nothing special but 100 times better than Syrian Barada beer.
The previous 3 NYE’s I spent in the Mersin-Adana area of Turkey and this time I was very happy to be somewhere different. Pakistan is the 7th country I’ve seen the new year in. The other countries: Australia, USA, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Turkey.