New Year’s Eve, Lahore, Pakistan

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.

A British teacher, Australian Amy and the cook looking after the barbecue

Swiss Rene in the far corner promoting peace (he had previously travelled through Afghanistan and this was his first drink in a long time)

More revellers

The Serbian and French folks crashed before midnight

Grooving to the music

Japanese Kae smoking a cigarette infused with another substance

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