Archive for the 'first days' Category

Days 285-292 – a week in life or a trainee in Pakistan :)

Now this is just to show what a person can do in Pakistan within one week… it was not my week, but I was there, so I can write about it :)

The girl is Anna a.k.a. Maya from Hungary… The tickets from Budapest to Karachi sounded expensive so she took a flight to India and from over there took a bus to Lahore – Pakistan, we picked her up right after crossing the Paki-India border…

Since her arrival till now she has:
- been to Shalimar Gardens
- been for a cinema show of a 3-hours long Punjabi movie called Gulabo (rosebud)
- took a ride on a rollercoaster for 0,5 USD
- felt sick because of all the spicy food
- bought her first Shalwar Kameez
- been to Badshahi Mosque, old city of Lahore and Food Street
- took with the MC a 23 hours long train ride from Lahore to Karachi
- got bitten by miriads of mosqitos and found the miracle of Repellent
- had the first day in company (Unilever) and was busy since first minute
- been to Mohatta Palace and the Beach park in Karachi
- organized an AIESEC+Hungary presentation for the company people
- on weekend suggested that we go to Thatta, so we did :)

…time limitations are only in Your head, maybe I should be little bit creative with my time too.

Day 023 – Collective property

As mentioned before, Pakistanis often think in a short term horizon and are not much into keeping the streets clean. The another reason for this is simple: the concept of Collective (public) property is unknown. What is not mine (I cant sell or buy) is not my business

But as soon as it concerns some food in the fridge the concept is very clear… What is in he fridge belongs to everybody. To a question: “Why have You eaten the cake?” I got an answer: “We have asked everybody who was present and it was nobodies, so we ate it.” At least it wasnt mine, but I took a bit, and it was really very good… :)

Btw, having a taste of Your food without asking is normal, just like dividing the sum of bill into equal parts among all (doesnt matter what You had). What is ours is also mine, isnt it…?

Day 008 – BIRDZ, Paki = AdWorld, Bata…

What about the birdz? Till now I have noticed three districts of Karachi: one of them is ruled by crowes (thats where we live), one by pigeons and one by falcons (where our office is). For a Slovak guy, for whom seeing a falcon was a symbol of nature or medieval hunts, seeing dozens of falcons right out of the window is still astonishing…
Our first meeting was like this: I went to the toilet (eegit, turkish style…) and had a look out of window… and there is a falcon watching me… so I take out the camera… very carefully aim and take the picture… just to find out that there is another five or six of them watching me :D Honestly, I have seen at least fifty of them sitting and flying around our office block.

An now to the ads… Do You know the song “Mad world” from Gary Jules? Well Pakistan is in a way maybe mad, but Karachi is for sure Ad… Advertisements are everywhere and the sizes are amazing (5×10 m in centre of city? no problem!). In a country where Coke costs 1/3 EUR per 1,5 l bottle (and You can literally buy it Everywhere) and Pizza Hut/McDonalds/Dunkin Donuts/Subway are as frequent as Grocery shops You can feel like biz rules the world…
Example. The dark picture is a monument next to road reminding on the principles of country (I think faith and order). The light spot is an Ad of a restaurant called “Tasty”. The restaurant can have ad ON (stickers on its base) and AROUND (city lights) the monument and for that keep the monument clean. It works, no grafitti, no dirt, fresh green around…

Just to add … On the way from airport (3 a.m.) we stopped by for some late-night snacks. I have tasted “Icecream with noodles” and “saltish pink tea with pistacia”… Not really my flavours.

Now a VERY weird thing I have bumped into today… One of the most favourite shoe brands of Pakistan is BATA! I found out this company is amazing! Check out www.bata.pk, but for Your info, there are towns called Batovany (Slovakia, renamed into Partizanske in 1949), Batawa (Toronto, Canada), Batanagar (Kolkata, India) and Bata Pura (Lahore, Karachi)…

Day 007 – trip to the BEACH

For those of You who didnt check the map, Pakistan has a sea shore. I have visited it and took a bath in Arabian sea and I think that that place was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.

Those of You who have started to imagine a white beach in style of The Beach. Where its only You, the blue sea with mild waves and the lovely hot chick You have seen today morning… Forget about it. She will never date You :D

No, the point is that the beach was amazingly beautiful, but still dirty, the waves were great, but so strong that they threw You on the ground (and threatened to take You to open sea), we had our own huge beach house, but it was falling apart, the breeze made You feel like flying, but was smashing the glass in windows…

It was some twenty people present, and I was all the time doing only two beautiful things: stand at the beach and watch the sea and feel the wind and talk to people about their country. What are the things that I got from the discussions You will find out in the next Journal post, what I have seen I will try to tell You via the photos and comments below…

Already the way to the beach was fascinating. You can see a shot of the Zamzama street (a street told to be “fancy” and “best place in Karachi”) and close shots of the trucks and buses and rikshas that are symbols of Pakistan.

It was the first time I have actually seen Slums, the poor areas. I can tell You that they look like Boollywood stage… You have these houses of weird styles of architecture glued together like the swallows nest and in front of them these beautifully painted and decorated trucks. A lot of people sleep on the street or on the trucks, because they have no other place left. Also a thing that is very interesting is that its not possible to find a single place without and advertisement of a mobile phone company (they have I think 4) and the more poor area, the more ads You see…

I am also adding a picture of a woman in Burka (all body cover), picture of a sign saying “Dont take pictures” and an interesting example of the fact that people here tend not to pack out furniture or cars, why? Because they will get dusty and dirty, so why not keep them clean as long as possible? :)

And now there is finally the amazing beach with mangrow trees on left, beach houses in middle and sea on right. As soon as we came, people started to enjoy the sea, first just watching, than dipping the toes and than a few people finished up having a bath… I went voluntarily, the picture is showing Sohaib (my MC coleague) just before he drowned his mobile phone :D And lastly its one of local entrepreneurs who offer You for cheap money to give You a horse ride.

And lastly this is the thing that amazed me the most. Next to our house, there was a total ruin, in fact only leftovers of a building, right next to it was a half destroyed house and right behind it was a brand new house… Whole life circle in one view. But remember, sea always wins… The bags are not trash (as I originally thought) but bags of sand that should slow down the process of decay of the house. Finally a picture of a sunset above a mosque is added and I am wishing You good night for today…

I wish all You my friends would be here and enjoy with me… But i swear that I will bring some of You here..

Day 006 – my photos storage, Joanna leaving, video about Pakistan, phone, market shopping, few thoughts

Hi, this will be a short post with some updates…

First, as You might have noticed the pictures I have uploaded are here: www.picasaweb.google.com/klepo.pakistan .

Second. Today was the “say Goodbye to Joanna” evening. Joanna is my predecessor and is leaving on Thursday to be the president of AIESEC Sweden. What we did? Smoked some lemon shisha, ate some (very) spicy chicken and went for a mango-milk-shake (strange tastes day)…

(third and fourth are outdated so were deleted)

Fifth. We did some shopping today. Sum up:
- get out of Zamzama and get everything cheaper by 1/3
- You can buy books (english) from up to 30 rupees (15 SKK, 0.5 EUR). I bought three.
- Its best not to know where does the meat come from…

Sixth. These are some random thoughts of Pakistan that I wrote to a friend, maybe there are worth posting… if not , just dont read them…:

…there are some small things that I really enjoy and its hard to take a picture of them, like a toilet being cleaner than those in Romania, a guard going around the house during the night and blowing a whistle to make people know he is not asleep (and scare away the thieves?), lots of crows and eagles and seagulls in air, air that sometimes stinks like trabant has just passed around, a poster of a girl with naked tummy in a shopwindow and a walking-by girl completely covered except of the eyes, a woman covered like this with a mobile phone in her hand, an older woman driving a new class mercedes coupee, the point that people wash hands AFTER eating and not before (food is being eaten bare hands), the shop where the guy doesnt really speak good english but is selling any branded (Unilever, Procter and gamble, maggi, kraft, coca-cola) stuff You can imagine in a shop 3 x 4 meters, the fact that we dont have running water most of the time (we have buckets as reservoars), that the best place to work here is the rooftop at 3 am (when it is only 30°C) and much more stuff… I also HAVE to get out of the city. The thing is that Karachi is supposed to be biz center, Lahore culture center and Islamabad Goverment center each with a totally different style…