Well, it was not planned, and I did not
get to see that much on this stop-over. I will have to get back one
day. It started with a flight to
Malaysia, and a bump into the flight.
13. At 6am, I park my Land Rover and mud in a limousine parking lot, as I have agreed with Claus and Trine, that it should stay just outside the Arrivals Hall, when they get home in 12 hours. Unfortunately, it's been rebuilt since I've been here last, so the only "central" space is the limo P. But who will notis?
After the usual delays, we get in the air, just to head down into London. After a little more delay, it goes to Istanbul. Short stop, where we keep sitting in the plane, then it goes to Karachi in Pakistan, where for a brief moment, we think we will avoid delay.
A small bump turns out to be pretty fatal: A food truck crashes into the plane, and there is a crack in the wing. After a few hours, we are allowed to leave the plane and walk through the rough hands of immigration authorities.
14.Then we sit and wait for four hours
for them to find hotel rooms for us. Karachi is the government city
of Pakistan, not a tourist city.
The shopping streets are divided into
commodity groups, 2-3 streets deal with watches, others with fabrics
(for clothing, i.e.) some with European embroidered clothes, others
with the "national suit" (sjakai i chermisse).
This market is also divided into regions, each with its own product group. Some deal with live pigeons and chickens, others with sheep, cows and goats, some with birds (quails, budgies, parakeets and parrots, some of which are totally unknown to me). Of course, there is also a slaughterhouse where you can get your purchases slaughtered and parted.
At the end of this relatively clean market, there are some new halls with 6-8 meters high shelves, filled with all kinds of groceries. You feel like an unusually small miniature dwarf, in front of an 8-meter-high shelf, filled with 10-liter canned cans and 25-kilo bags of spaghetti and the like. Either this is the local Metro, or the locals are buying in large portions.
Everywhere, people are smiling and
comfortable, even when I explain to them that I only have 30 Danish
crowns and a useless Visa card.
After three hours of expedition among goats, street barbers and god knows what, I am back at Hotel Royal City. Outside are 10 severely dissatisfied fellow travellers, who do not think the hotel is good enough for them. The rooms contain four beds (but we are only booked two in each), toilet and shower. There is clean, but there is no Sheraton. After three hours of waiting in the sun, these people move to the city's only luxury hotel (peace be upon them).
I go into the reception to see if I can plate
them for a Coke. Fall into conversation with the guy behind the bar.
He has lived in England for 9 years (has an English mother), and
later worked for the English Ministry of Social Affairs for 2 years.
When we want more tea, move the furniture into
the shade or are missing something from the city, he just flips his
fingers and the order is executed.
We get back to the hotel while the bus
arrives. I run up to the room, pick up Fjällraven and get friendly
but definitely show up on the front seat of the bus. A poor Swede,
who thought he should sit next to me is disappointed, when the hotel
staff put my luggage on "his" seat and throw his up on the roof of
the bus, along with the others.
Will have to wait 4 hours for the new plane,
and then continue towards Penang, "only" just over 24 hours delayed.
Nevertheless, I (as the only one) have a good feeling of not wasting
time. OK; It might have been nice to have managed to brush my teeth
and take a bath. And of course, sleep a little, like the others