WELCOME TO PAKISTAN: GET USED TO GUN SHOTS AND ESCORTS
We are entering Pakistan and the world is changing; First check point (checking our passports) buildings don’t have any windows and doors. Our way is starting for Quetta; Police is telling us that within one day we must arrive in Quetta!?! 680km, 2 caravans (Berthold and Angelika and us) and one motorbike (Stefan) - how should that work? First stop, our escort is going in front of us and sits down, until he starts to shit I am not realising what he is doing. First day with 10 check points and 10 hours driving we are only reaching Dalbandin (just190 km from the border). Dalbandin hotel (don’t think about normal hotel environment, think only they have roof and windows) has electricity from 18:00 to 00:30 but they have perfect internet connection. All evening I am talking with my sister but suddenly we are hearing gun shots and without thinking I am telling her. Unfortunately after that for 3 days we didn’t have any connection. I hope my sister didn’t get crazy.
We have one more companion at our convoy; Said who is a Pakistani from the UK and working there as a lawyer. From time to time he is coming to Pakistan to visit his family. So I am starting again my questions. Yesterday's gun shots were soo normal. Everybody has a gun in Pakistan, when you hear some noise next to your house at night you are taking your gun and shoot in the air. So this is probably what we heard yesterday. Buying guns is soooo easy!! Go to the market, pay and take your gun. When you killed someone law is asking for the death penalty but the victim's family can forgive you and ask some money from you.
Everybody is playing cricket and you can see a lot of men walking hand in hand. Of course being gay is forbidden this is just normal for them to walk around hand in hand like they are kissing each other when they meet. Pictures are sooo important to them. Every corner they are saying "please take my picture". But again it is hard to take pictures of women. When you try with a smile they are hiding themselves. They love to take pictures with me or with Angelika because they can not get any picture with another woman in their country.
On the second day on our way through Pakistan we entered the real dessert. Behind our convoy happened a big dust devil, it was amazing for me. Back to our journey: on the second day our motorbike rope broke and we fixed it within 1 hour, Berthold and Angelika had a flat tire and changing it again took 30 minutes so we couldn’t arrive in Quetta again. 160km before Quetta we stayed in Nushki. When we arrived we met some guys who talked English very well. When they saw our caravans on the street they simply left their job and came to talk with us. They are asking first what is your religion? Christian and muslim you don’t have any other option. So I am muslim Ulfi christian and if we can get married or not is the talk of town for the next hour with Ulfi staying in the middle of them with a surprised face.
Said, our half Pakistani friend left us and started hitchhiking to Quetta. First checkpoint saying no but when they see his Pakistani ID they are saying you can go! I am asking “Said, are you not afraid?” he is saying “I don’t care". Lastly we arrive in Quetta. The bazar was amazing. Our motorbike friend Stefan was saying I was smiling like full helmet frame, we were too. How many people can sit on top of a bus?, butchers, fishermen, sugar cane sticks, crowds and everybody screaming "take my picture".... it was only 2 hours at the bazar but it made us really tired. Okay we arrived in Quetta but no place accepted us. Lastly our escort brought us to some military area. NOC certification and 2 days stay in the military area - are we seeing Pakistan? I am not sure. I saw some of it from my seat of Rouly. All the time we were together with escort and it was fully forbidden to do anything even we couldn’t do shopping. When Ulfi brought a shopping list to the police he said they were using the heater in their office, outside it is 25°C; that is cold temperature for them; Heyy I am normal here ;).
Escorted life is not finished in Quetta. They would like to bring us until the border (after Lahore). Our drivers are starting to give errors because since 6 days from morning to night they are only driving. At some point in time Berthold tried to escape the escort but they never left us. Stefan was more lucky about it. The escort couldn’t drive that fast and close to Lahore he is taking his freedom and just speeds away. Before Lahore we were staying in Multan because Berthold got sick. After that Ulfi also starting saying he has headache like hell. After a few days we met one more couple who passed Pakistan and they had similar problems, seems Pakistan has one kind of virus ;-). Actually mostly they are very dirty. Air is so dirty too, especially around Lahore. Everywhere are flies and these flies don’t even die using our insecticide. Escorts are mostly so kind and friendly. They are saying to us Pakistan is so safe when they are talking about this mostly they are sitting next to us with their Kalashnikov. Pakistan food: if you go to a luxury restaurant (thank you Multan police escort!!) food is amazing: Pakistani vegi and lamb with sauce are amazingly delicious. Being 12 days in Pakistan: escorts, police stations and some impressions of the environment.