Tuesday, July 24, 2007


I was scanning the radio and I heard some really good techno so I turned it up a bit and the dj goes "put your hands up, put your hands up, put your hands up for DETROIT". There are so many things around this city that remind me of the US. This guy at the university had a Detroit Red Wings decal on his motorcycle, another guy selling paan was wearing a Michigan State University t-shirt. There are McDonalds and KFCs at every turn of the street.
There are awesome coffee shops all around but thankfully Starbucks hasn't (yet) take over this side of the world.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

See Pakistan

I really wish I had time to take a road trip from Karachi to Lahore, or better yet if the Blue Barrons made a trip to the Pakitan we could make it a 2 week cross country (literally) bike trip.

I think that is the best idea I have had in a long time


My friend and I made a list of things to do while I am here in Karachi and I am slowly checking them off.
I really wish I could post pictures with this blog. Today, I am going to try to get some of the negatives scanned.


I am becoming more of a Pakistani every day
Here is proof:

-I drink called PAKOLA for lunch
-I bargain like a CHAMP
-I speak in punjabi when I joke
-I don't even flinch when a bus 2 feet from hitting the car
-I cross busy roads like I have been doing it all my life

Friday, July 13, 2007

barbers in Pakistan

For the last couple of days I have had bad gastroenteritis because I thought I was hardcore enough to eat street food. I guess there is a little bit of "gora" in me. To freshen up a little bit I went to this hip barber shop. My beard was starting to get a little out of control and many people had recommended that I go there (hidden agenda, who knows?). The barber spent about 20 minutes perfecting my beard. After that, there was a chai break . . . of course!. Next, he started trimming my hair and as soon as he got done a cold glass of Mountain Dew apeared infront of me. I started getting up thinking this had to be it but he sat me back down. The barber gave me a facial and put on a mask. THEN, I got the most AMAZING head, neck, and back massage! Keep in mind, all I asked for was a beard trim but everything else was just part of the package.

So far, I think this has been the coolest thing I have discovered in Pakistan.

I am going back next week.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

This is a traffic jam

Notice; Cars, busses, motorcycles, rickshaws, bicycles, and pedestrians all roll together because lanes are for whussies.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

The best cup of chai

I am not a regular chai drinker; it seems that some people can't funtion without chai. I have to admit, in Pakistan it is hard to go a day without a cup. Everyone I meet offers me a chai, everytime I walk in someone's office their secretary brings chai. I recently met a really cool doctor; he and his secretary had a code word for chai. I didn't even have time to accept or refuse the offer and in a few minutes they was chai on the desk . . . "how much sugar do you take?"
Anyways, today was a beautiful day here in Karachi, the clouds have been saving us from the intense solar heat and we have had a non-stop breeze from the West. I woke up from a long nap and asked one of the people who work here for chai (dood patti style). I sat outside in the lawn sipped on this perfect cup. It is still breezy and that made for the best combination of hot and cold. Suddenly, all the parrots and crows stopped singing thir respective songs, the sun started setting, and as I was sipping the last few drops of chai the sound of adan started emanating from mosques around me; "allaaaaaah ho Akbar". I don't think I will forget that moment for a long time because it will define how much fun I had in Karachi on summer.

by E. Koohan Paik

Things like this make me want to be a liberal arts major.
"To replace an indigenous language with a colonial tongue immediately puts the native at a disadvantage. As the colonized mind realigns to the worldview and universe embodied in the new language, it begins to rationalize the world through colonial eyes. Soon, the colonized people see all things native as inferior, including themselves, so they acquiesce to assimilation and exploitation. The phenomenon is known as internalized oppression. Once the mental landscape has been conquered, the rest is easy."

VIA C. Ryan

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

street people

Yesterday, I saw two really cute old beggars. I got out of the car and sat on the curb with them and had a nice chat. I don't know what it is about some people that I can't help but wanting to learn everything them. I have made some life-long friends this way.
I had my SLR with me and I really wanted to take a portrait of them. Unfortunately, they apologized and asked me not to. I will probably never see them again but no one can stop me from snapping my built-in shutters.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Mountains beyond Mountains

I just finished reading a book; "Mountains Beyond Mountains" by Tracy Kidder. It is a great narrative of the life of Dr. Paul E. Farmer and his efforts to fight TB in the developing world. Coincidentally, yesterday I saw a NGO here in Karachi and they provide free care for people with TB and leprosy. I talked with a physician there for a long time about the services they provide and how they get by with such little funding. It is so refreshing to see such an organization in Karachi. The health care system for some of the lower class neighbourhoods is in bad shape. I wish I could have taken pictures but it would have been impossible do so while protecting the patients' privacy.
The physician was so happy to see someone back in Pakistan to do research. I recommended the book to him and I think everyone in the public health sector should read it.


time is flying by here