Sunday, October 19, 2008

A 10 day trip and some thoughts

I just got back from a good trip to Pakistan. Hardest part was being away from the family for 10 days though Brodi ran the household with no problem.

Driving In Pakistan--It is fascinating. The roads are 3 lanes and they have 4 lanes of cars crowding in to fit along with a lane or two of bicycles, motorcycles, rickshaws and people and animals. It is highly entertaining and I have to say that Pakistanis may quite possibly be the best drivers in the world for merely staying out of accidents. You get to see very decorated trucks (the drivers add jewels, drawings and just about anything else on their truck so that it stands can see the picture on the left).

Easiest way to fly to Pakistan? Fly from NYC to Dubai and then to Pakistan or Houston to Dubai and then to Pakistan. The US flight to Dubai is 14 hours. It is brutal if the plane is crowded...merely terrible if the flight is empty. I did watch 3 movies, 4 tv episodes of Arrested Development and listened to 4 complete albums of music though. Emirates Airlines is very nice.

This is part of the time reviewing land and as you can tell, I am wearing the traditional Pakistani clothing. I was truly styling.

The picture on the right is a memorial tree planted in my name at our dairy. You know you have reached the big time when you get my own tree. I have asked for monthly pictures to make sure that nobody has killed it.

Power issues: The power goes out. A lot. A lot. I am talking about 10-15 times a day for 5-15 seconds at a time. You can be in a great hotel...a nice business office or wherever, the power goes out although a generator often kicks in shortly after.

You see the rich and you see the poor. As we drove along their freeway, you could see places that people called home and you could see the poverty (picture on the right shows some rundown homes along a busier freeway). The picture on the left is actually a masonry plant. They make bricks. You can see the chimney rise up and a few people work inside making bricks. All along the perimeter of this business is thousands of bricks. I can't imagine how hot it gets when they are making bricks and it is 120 degrees outside. Along a 60 mile road, I saw probably 3-4 of these places.

October is still hot. I played tennis with a local pro for an hour at 8am. It was 80 degrees and 70% humidity. I was not a pretty sight at the end of that workout.

The hotel that I stayed out is very nice. Great security. Very good food and always friendly. You tip everyone who helps you (though the tips can be minimal). They have television in the rooms with an HBO feed though it is like it goes through a cleanflicks program as questionable material is often cut out. They have a tennis court, swimming pool, mini track and some gardens on the grounds of the hotel. It is always a comfortable stay.

Brain Masala--I love Pakistani food (if you haven't had Pakistani food, think again--it is very similar to Indian food). I can eat it for nearly every meal even when I am not in Pakistan. With that said, I was not too excited to try Brain Masala. It is sheep/lamb brains and I can truly say--I probably won't be having it again. Think chicken tikka masala and take out the chicken and add brains (which tasted like scrambled eggs). Voila.

It is a remarkable country. I don't get over there enough but when I do, I always enjoy it. Brodi can't wait to get over that and I am excited for her to be there as well.

1 comment:

Shellie said...

you are very brave to eat Brain Marsala. I don't think I'll be able to travel to a lot of countries because of the fact that I am so picky and then I'd offend someone and get my head chopped off.