Our host took us on a grand tour of Karachi, which included a bazar that wasn’t all that different from the bazar in Kabul or Mazar, no surprise of course, since much of what is being sold in Afghanistan comes from Pakistan or China.

Shopkeepers were only mildly inclined to negotiate, which was surprising given that the place is not exactly overrun by tourists. My colleague bought some silver and we all bought tiny decorated leather mules (think Aladdin) for small relatives. I bought Faro a model of a Pakistani oil tanker, decorated just like the real thing we see everywhere on the roads. They used to ply the Afghan highways when we travelled there in the late 70s but many have disappeared and now I know where they went. They are all here.

I am sure I will have to hide the oil tanker until he is 3, no doubt painted with lead paint and the many dangly decorations that can easily be bitten off. And the little mules look very uncomfortable, so both will be out on a shelf, decorative items.

We visited the popular beach where families gather to wade into the ocean, make sand castles, look for shells and pick nick just like they would elsewhere in the world. The only thing that made this Pakistan were the outfits, the decorated camels, the decorated buses and trucks, the dancing monkeys and snake charmers. The sand sculpture of a well apportioned mermaid was the only thing that seemed a little out of place.

We ended our tour with a kebab, raita and lassi lunch at BBQ Tonight. When we discovered BBQ tonight in Kabul we didn’t know it was an unauthorized version of a chain that extends all the way to Nairobi. Kabul was not on the display of BBQ Tonight restaurants that flanked its entrance. But the food was in the same league, excellent. Our host counseled against getting the Afghan part of the menu, “everything is cooked in lamb fat!” Oh how true I knew that to be!







1 Response to “Jailbreak”

  1. 1 Vriesend October 27, 2013 at 5:00 am

    Congratulations with Sita’s birthday!

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October 2013
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