Archive for the 'Weird and random' Category

Day 292 – so how different is Pakistan?

Quote of the day…

a Pakistani asking a new trainee what is different in PK from home…

her answer is exactly what was my though:

“its hard to say, there is nothing that would be similar :)

Days 278-283 – National Strategic Conference 2008, Murree

Not sure if this will become a very short or very long post, it depends on what do I write about… I was on a conference… actually I organized it… what should I say…

I made a webpage for it here: www.aiesec.pk/nsc08

And have put some nice pictures here …I didnt make too many of general “people pictures” and actually have to put them online…

What should I write about the conference to give it sense for people who have not been there, consider it to be just an another conference or dont even care too much about AIESEC conferences?

Well, lets try it like this:

  • each Local Chapter came with between 2 and 6 different dances to mostly bollywood songs but also random 70s disco.
  • The conferences in Pakistan are officially decided to be without alcohol, but it was fully fine, because we had galons of Pakola and sheesha to socialize with.
  • The conference was on the hills in Murree and thus sometimes we had been quite freezing.
  • The hotel (Shangrilla) is a few star hotel that I would never be able to efford.
  • On the last night a bunch of guys have decided to follow the tradition that on last night there is no sleep, they have been hanging on the swings till morning.
  • The official night had more than 20 externals participating and was covered by Dawn TV.
  • The conference made a profit that will finance the LC for at least half a year.

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See the footage here on YouTube:

AIESEC Pakistan, NSC 08, Dawn TV footage

Day 268 – a moment on the train when I was happy

Just a random moment… took my block of paper (that I was supposed to use for conference sessions planning) and wrote down my thoughts….  and there they go:

Its because of moments like this I really like Pakistan. I will try to describe the situation. I am in a train, its already night, sitting at the window. Window is open, wind coming in, dark country dotted with lights and rumbligh of the train outside. And whats inside? In front of me, through the gap between seats I can see a small boy in brigh orange jumper trying to find something interesting to do. While his father is lying on the seat and just laughs at him. To my left is a man with white long beard – a man who would have problems to enter Your country because of how he looks like – teacher at a medical university, he is talking to my friend (pakistani) about school system in Pakistan and world – funny is that they speak English, so I can understand what they are saying (hellloo! two pakistanis are speaking English, they dont even know I am listening, its natural for them – native English). And behind me, through the seats gap I can hear two Pakistani women chatting in Urdu (about I have no idea what).

A small story from few minutes ago that might help You understand the openness of people here: if You are in the train, reading a book or newspaper and put it down, anybody around can just pick it up and start reading, he doesnt even feel like its needed to ask You for allowance – why would You now agree?

By the way, the man who picked up the book was the same one who is talking now about the school system. And to make the moment even more special – he was asked to make (run) the evening prayer. When You are traveling You are not obligated to pray – but if You want… So he is saying the prayer alound and few join in it in silence. He does it on the corridor of the train – only space possible – some people have to wait for them to finish before they can pass… nobody minds.

And to really get an insight into Pakistani people, right after the old man went to run the prayer, the friend of mine, who was talking to him, has turned to me with a big ironic/sarcastic smile and said “that was random!” – they are the most sarcastic people I have ever met. I actually do think they have been through so much shit that humour is a way out – and it really works, they go over problems and within days make fun of them.

Day 245 – a very positive shock from the Pakistani Police

Now most of You do not know that I was robbed in November while hiking… I dont want to write here the story, who is interested will ask me later. What is important is that me and one more guy and a girl have lost cell phones and a camera to these bastards. The guy was working for an embassy and the girl told her embassy about it too. The embassy guys made them go to police and report it… Not that any of us would give any hope into it…

The day after the reporting was quite absurd for the girl, because police made her go to show them the place and the police guys went for a raid… into the woods, 30 mins walking away from the exact spot… They came back after 15 minutes with a bunch of random guys and asked her if any of them were among those robbers… of course not :P   …but they busted them anyways…. because they have been having a drink and smoking pot… after that the made her do a identikit of the real robbers and give them the numbers of the lost phones and sent her home with comment that they will take care about it…

For three months the amount of results of the investigation was as expected – zero. But than the girl got a letter from police saying that “hectic investigations were underway”. Laughing stock it was.. Till a week after, when she was sent a message that she should come and identify the suspects…

I am not going to talk about how was it, I wasnt there, but if You want to know, read her own words on how did it go HERE.

The really absurd aspects of the whole case:
- one of the robbers during the robbery itself tried to persuade us that he is from police by showing a licence… a motorbike licence, sadly I didnt notice what was written on it
- police tried to find the guys by going to the forrest, day later and on wrong place
- random guys got busted during the forest raid for smoking pot
- the robbers have been idiots enough to keep the phones and even leave the SIMS on
- the police has been sending romantic SMSes to the numbers to attract the robbers attention
- the police arranged a date with one of the robbers and when he arrived he got busted
- the robbers will be charged around two years, what was commented by locals “dont worry, its food for free twice a day for two years”
- the police asked the embassy and the girls employer to make endorsements for them about how good their work is
- during the interrogation the occupation of the robbers changed from “painters“ to “thieves
- the police got those two to get two random phones to serve as replacement for those phones we have lost (as the third one they kept and used… idiots)
- a newspaper has published full names of both us- the victims and the robbers

Day 234 – my Hospital experience in Pakistan

Well, I have paid my debt – I have been to the hospital.

What I mean is that every foreigner goes to hospital here, 99 percent because “shit happens“, i.e. they get a slight food poisoning. I was heroically escaping this inglamorous state… In order to make an even bigger fool out of me by braking an ankle-bone by tripping on grass :P I am not going to explain how that happened, if You want to know, check the blog post about it

But what it gave me chance for was to visit hospitals both in Lahore and Karachi. And the result is not too surprising as a fact, but I still could not stop myself from feeling a little surprised. The general standard of the hospitals was on a European average. The Lahori hospital looked better than any state run hospital in Slovakia (well, both hospitals I was to vere private). The Karachi one looked like a typical small Slovak hospital (I avoided going to the most expensive one, this one was like middle class).

Lets set the difference clear – the Lahori doc charged 800 rupee (13 USD) for a check, the Karachi one charged 300 (5 USD).

Both doctors treating me were competent, the expensive one had fluent English, the other spoke more or less (enough for emergency but for a check I needed a Pakistani). I have not experienced any problems and actully their treating of me was exceptional (I am white You know), thus I was prescribed loads of painkillers (that were useless as it didnt hurt), been transported in a wheel chair and the Lahori doc even suggested a surgery to fix it asap…

I have absolutely no worries about medical treatment anymore… and if You want to comment that it was private hospitals – true. But if You can read this (have PC), You will have enough money to get a private treatment…

PS: soon I am going to a dentist, so look forward for some more medic news!

Day 233 (19.01.08)@4am – Real scare tonight!

life has strange ways…well, I was finally going to sleep, when I have heard an explosion, not too strong, but in the quiet state of the night city, quite audible. In the same second the lights went off

…I look out of the window and see big red flames maybe a kilometer or two away… they have been higher than the trees… and the whole city around (except of houses lighted by generators) has been dark

I took a pic, but it was really far away

Update from 20.01.08: I have browsed all the news possible and didnt find a single mentioning of the event anywhere… People are so used to black-outs here that if they didnt wake up at the sound or sirens (which I doubt), they didnt even notice. Lets hope it also means that nobody was harmed…