I haven’t had many opportunities to write recently due to the lack of internet access. It has shown just how dependent I am on the technology. In my defence, without internet, small scale writers such as I would not be able to contribute very much. The cost of constant phone calls and transport, which I do a lot of anyway, would alone be too much.
I’ve been here in Lahore since Monday now. The mood here is in marked contrast to Karachi – it is still a big city but far less populated. There is poverty, but far less overt. And there are plenty of lovely gardens and walkways. It is much hotter over here, though, and it’s been taking its toll on me a little. The friendly staff at the hotel where I’m staying must think I’m daft for walking around in the heat instead of roaming around in an air-conditioned car like other civilised people. But somehow I find you miss out on a lot if you don’t see a place face to face.
Having said that, the main mode of public travel here, apart from buses, is the rickshaw. I’ve hardly spotted any taxis. The rickshaw gives you the ability to see a lot of things close to the ground, smog and all. The Lahore rickshaws are slightly different to their Karachi brethren in that many have enclosed passenger areas. The first rickshaw I used on Tuesday even had metal doors with glass windows. The novelty of sitting in the rickshaw didn’t last long, however, because I soon discovered that the metal chassis was a veritable oven in the midday heat. I think I sweated more than I would’ve in a sauna! I arrived at an interview with a respected lawyer and President of the Pakistan Workers’ Party with trousers drenched in sweat. Thankfully, I don’t think he noticed that they were meant to be light, not dark brown.