Minggu, 28 September 2014

Pakistan day 2: Against the all odds (part 1/2)

Karachi is inevitably HUGE.

Morning in Karachi

I woke up earlier and Muzzamil came into the room to check whether I was awake or not. I was ready to get shower and Muzzamil came into. He prepared and ensured the shower room was clear for me.
My Very first Paratha in Pakistan
We then had breakfast, my very breakfast in Pakistan. In Karachi, People are often eating out for breakfast. Just across then main road, there was a chaikhanna, a simple restaurant selling, undoubtedly, Chai, and paratha. Muzzamil treated me for this improper breakfast for me (I called it improper because I do not call these delicacies as main staple). We chose the seat next to Paratha frying pan. I just ordered chai and one paratha, but Muzzamil asked me to order fried eggs too but I refused. It was improper breakfast for me, but one paratha made my stomach all set (probably I was new here and needed to adapt) and Muzzamil ordered for 2 parathas.the chaikhanna was owned by Baloch people (people living the province of Balochistan, near I.R. Iran). Physically, they looked different with muzzamil. They looked fair like Hazara (like in the movie Kite Runner) but they do have beard like the rest of Pakistani. 

We had a nice paratha chai time, we talked about many things during chai-paratha time. It was random talk, so frankly I forgot what we had last time, but it was insightful indeed. We finished our meals in about 45minutes and Muzzamil paid for the bill. He knew that I had no cash so he owed me 900Rs for the rest of my day until I got cash in ATM. 

This Motorcycle is a must have in Pakistan. In Indonesia it is old-fashioned
We returned home and I was ready to explore the city of Karachi. Muzzamil came into room and borrowed me his kurta. He said to me that I would like a local (however it wouldn’t happen anyway). It was his purana kurta when he was young and skinny enough. However, I was not that bad with that kurta. Muzzamil prepared the magic map for me written by him. Yeah, he created simple tourist map for me to survive during my wandering in Karachi alone, also he told me the dos and don’ts. I was all set with my “armor” to roam the city and Muzzamil was off to work, before that he took me to main road to take a bus to go to downtown. He waved the right bus for me and it was fully loaded with people and their belongings, I forced myself to get in without thinking and yes I was inside and it was unbearably hot.
The small Chaikhanna for breakfast
Cups after the customers
Karachi is indeed Big City. This is the typical bus in Karachi, crowded and artistic

Bus Time
I was standing amongst the local inside the crappy bus. Fortunately my Kurta saved me from any stare from the passengers. The bus Money collector asked me for money, and I gave 20Rs and it was the flat fare. I couldn’t keep my eyes off to see what outside along the road and tried to remember all the locations and navigations written on Muzz’s Map. Halfway, I still couldn’t see what I imagined in the map. And I got seat this time after 15mins standing. 

The Clock Tower, British was here
Some people sitting around me looked at me suspiciously. I tried to not look at them in return. I kept my eyes on the bus door to make sure I wouldn’t get lost in huge Karachi. The bus passed the Saddar, he locatioan mapped by Muzzamil. I began to be excited to drop, however the bus kept running and I kept thinking where to stop. Then I saw Clock tower was nearby and many people stopped here. Although I knew I passed the stop that I was supposed, at least I knew the clock tower. I disembarked with other passengers safe and sound. As muzz and other friends in Karachi told me to not display any phone or valuable belongings, for me it was not that bad, it was okay.

Walking Under the heat
I was in Karachi’s Financial and Banking center area. Surprisingly, I couldn’t see the city alive yet although it was about 8am. Then I realized that life in Pakistan generally started later at 9am. The road was traffic-free, only few cars and rickshaws passing by. The pedestrians were few too. I was like the only pedestrian walking by.

One of Tall Buildings in Sadar
I started taking pictures of this area during morning, and I felt that this area was so peaceful not as bad as people said about. I was mesmerized by the buildings. I describe Karachi as a big city covered by the dust and doves. Karachi had plenty of corners and building full by Doves also the dust was so irresistible.

My first mission was to find International chain Bank, and I found it IN Standard Chartered in Saddar. The ATM was escorted by security guard. He paid me a smile as he knew that I was foreigner and we played quiz as he guessed my country of origin was from China or Korea or Japan (again). I told him I was from Indonesia and he just smiled back to me. I withdrew 20,000Rs for the rest of my life in Pakistan.

I continued walking roaming Saddar and tried to navigate myself following the maps. I realized my weakness here that I was not that good in navigating through maps. I just walked and walked and walked under the heat and I didn’t find any place I wanted to see. The heat stroked me more hotly now. I couldn’t stand more and I bought a cold coca cola to beat the sweat. Actually I brought mineral water with me but it was heated by the sun so I just threw it in trash bin. I decided to see the Atrium Mall. I tried to follow the map again and I passed the same road again, what a waste! I sort of lost my energy due to sweats flowing out from my skin. Then I asked traffic police to show me the Atrium Mall, and it was very near and I just walked in opposite direction. I was so happy to see the place I knew in Karachi (actually I had no any idea about other places in Karachi as I didn’t research about the city). I passed the market and I needed Local sim card. So I saw one of telephone provider shop and I proceeded in. it was AC room and I felt like I didn’t want to leave this office. Few minutes later my turn is to the teller. I told him my request but he couldn’t help as he told me to get sim card for foreigner only available in Center office, not branch. I left the office disappointedly. I walked and walked again. My mission now changed, I needed to get SIM Card as soon as possible. 

Morning is the most peaceful time here. Birds, human, and modernity live peacefully
I kept on walking through busy traditional market. People seemed to be scared with long beard and strong look. I knew that it might be not good for me to walk in that area, suddenly an old man walking from front came to me and grabbed my chin saying something urdu. I was so shocked and immediately responded by defensing myself and run away from that place. It seemed to not attract people and nobody cared or reacted about this. 

I run away from that point until I found plenty of Rickshaws waiting for costumers. I decided to take a rickshaw to go somewhere safer than this. Actually I had no idea the place in Karachi and it was not possible for me to go back to Muzz’s House as it was very far. In that time, I remembered about place called Clifton because I that area Mobilink (another Pakistan leading cell phone operator) had the center office. Okay I told him to go to Clifton (which I was no idea where it was and how far from Atrium Mall). He asked which part of Clifton to me, and I frankly had no idea where to stop, the I just said to him to drop me to Clifton as I would guide and navigate him. 
When Karachiites start working, Road becomes packed and stuffed

My first Rickshaw in Pakistan taking me to Clifton
“400 Rupees!” Asked the Rickshaw driver
“No, it is very near, 200 Rupees?” I told him I knew the place confidently
“It is far bhai ! okay, 300 Rupees special. ” He tried to lose
I was still thinking that was too much, so I just said “250 Rupees ji?”
“Okay, chalo!” He asked me to get in the rickshaw and shook his head.
I started leaving the area to place I didn’t know. I took several pictures while inside the rickshaw. The life in Karachi wasn’t easy I realized. People were living in street underneath the heat and dust, pollution, and the noisy city.

Rickshaw was getting nearer to Clifton after about 20 minutes, he asked me whether to go through underpass or not.

“Just go through underpass!” I said and pointed to the underpass. 

City of Birds, KARACHI
Actually I was very afraid and worried. Then we were somewhere in housing area. Damn, it was housing area and no office here. I asked the driver to keep on driving and he told me it was Clifton already and he asked me which part of it he should drop me. 

“Just go straight, and then turn left!” I said. Frankly I couldn’t think of anything.
Then I asked the driver to stop nearby intersection. I surrendered him 250Rs.

to be continued

an Residential Apartment in Karachi.
First Walking through busy Karachi

2 komentar:

  1. I am Indonesian lived in India and has India permanent resident. My dream is to visit Azad kashmir and karakoram highway of course, but Visa......... Cry :(
    well, I love all your story about Pakistan.

    1. hi mbak, where in India do you live?

      yes, I heardthat iwas almost impossible to get Pakistani Visa in India. Why dont you try back to Jakarta and apply for one?

      I have not yet been in AZK (and India's Kashmir too), i would love to visit this paradise-on-earth soon Inshallah.