Baxter Bark Twice

Do as I say, never as I do

This is Pakistan, also

Posted by AllieB on February 22, 2011

I arrived home Sunday from my ten day trip to Pakistan which concluded with a quick stop in Dubai. I’m really quite exhausted and I may never board an airplane again. Per my last post, it was an awesome trip. I share with you below a few more details and some photogs.

  • Every day, at the border of Pakistan and India in a town called Wagah, there is a formal flag lowering ceremony full of pomp and circumstance. The relationship between the two countries has always been somewhat fragile, and this ceremony sort of celebrates the now “friendly rivalry” between them. It’s like a classier version of GA/FLA, almost, minus all the cocktails, jean shorts, and RV’s. Actually, nothing about the manifestation of the rivalry is similar, it’s more the long-standing history and the seriousness with which it is taken that resemble one another.

  • It’s not a myth – the baring of shoulders in a Muslim country is really not okay. We were at the airport leaving Pakistan and I had a really tough time at first – they searched my luggage twice, I kept wandering into the wrong lines and because of the language barrier they had to physically push/pull me to the correct place…Allie, no. But then, all of a sudden, I was just sailing thru: customs, baggage check at customs, boarding the plane – they even went so far as to open up new lines for me. I figured it was my friendly demeanor and ready smile that woo’ed them (it was 6am and my hair was still in the pony from the night previous, so I knew it wasn’t my appearance), but as we were walking down the gateway to board the plane, Cheryl our trip leader pointed out that my cardigan had slipped and my shoulder was showing. It was the US equivalent of a wet t-shirt contest, pretty much…how gauche.
  • Dubai was really cool. We were only there for the day, so I didn’t go out to the desert and missed out on seeing the Atlantis on the Palms – their man made island creations are super cool – but we still covered some ground. We went to the crazy mall that has both ice skating rink and aqaurium, and we saw the tallest building in the world. It really freaked me out, and I’m totally okay with the fact that tickets were sold out til Wednesday so we were unable go to the top. It was nice to be amongst Westerners again…as well as a traffic pattern that adheres to lanes and stop lights.

  • Travel time between ATL to Lahore is approximately 20 hours or so, not counting layovers. We went ATL – JFK – Dubai – Lahore; you can go direct from ATL to Dubai if you fly Delta, but it’s worth the JFK connection to fly Emirates. It is the best airline – booze is free, the blankets are actually blankets, and you can enjoy the in-flight entertainment options before and during take-off!  It was a very long trip, but the fact that I managed to fly for 40+ hours without anyone dying was a real bonus.

My two posts do not do the trip justice, but it’s very difficult to try to explain someplace that is so starkly different. We had hired photographers with us the entire time who also shot video, and it’s only thru a legitimate multi-media presentation that I think I could effectively communicate what it’s like over there. I don’t plan to do one of those, so these will have to suffice.

3 Responses to “This is Pakistan, also”

  1. A said

    you’re a professional globetrotter!

  2. Tina said

    How amazing?! I can’t wait to hear more about it.

  3. Back in black said

    I know your black and backless tops have missed you! So have we, welcome home! Cant wait to see full pictures.

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