Post details: Good Cop (Driving in Pakistan pt 2)

2006-05-02

//Permalink 01:36:07 pm, Categories: Pakistan, 1028 words  

Good Cop (Driving in Pakistan pt 2)

It was night when I rode into Sukkur. No - this is not the start of a cheezy western, it's the continuing accounts of my motorcyle riding in Pakistan.

Just before the sun sets, all the bugs come out. What do I know of what they do, eat? Mate? Hang around and get hammered while they wait to get smashed by oncoming motorcyclists?

[More:]

Travelling down the indus in Pakistan means that you will have some green surroundings for the most part and where there's water and vegetation - there is also a fair share of bugs. Most of these are of the tiny bananaflies type, and you'd be surprised to learn how many of these will (quickly) fit in your eyes (I think it helps that some are squashed on Impact, however you can also feel some live ones struggeling to get out of their new found mess). Anyway - I have a dark visir to protect my eyes from sunlight - at night I have to raise this one and that's when the massacre starts.

Bigger bugs will hit you and splatter. Luckily, I haven't had one that's really big in my face yet, but a couple have found their eternal rest on my jacket and believe me - they went out with a BANG! - they did not go quitetly into the night...

After a long days riding (and some fixing) - I hate when it drags into the night - but sometimes that just can't be avoided. My muscles are aching and with squinted eyes, I try to navigate in a strange city for which I have no map, all signs are in Urdu - with impatient traffic behind you hoking and hollering whenever you slow down. I follow the main flow of things, take a few wrong turns but finally find a hotel. The reception is at the forth floor, I can leave my bike parked outside but I have a tank bag that is not lockable - so I have to drag it with me. The receptionist looks at me (dirty as always). He says this. He says that. I can tell that they have rooms available, but he is saying: No - everything is full! What am I going to do, argue with him? I try another hotel, same story. I'm soo tired!

You will encounter this every now and then, In some places only a few hotels are licensed to take in forigners. It might be that the Pakistanis (indians, russians, chinese - whomever) - want to show off a different country to their tourists and not subject them to the standards that are suitable 'only' for their countrymen.

I was on my bike again - considering my options. It was night, this was the biggest town around - I really had no place else to go - too far and too late to drive somewhere else. Then two kids on a motorbike pull up. Hey how are you and all that can we help you? Yessir, take me to a hotel! They speed me through the streets of Sukkur, mind the speedbumps, the potholes and the mudpits - turn left and left and right - dimly litted streets, unlit streets, big roads and narrow roads - we finally enter a palace of a Hotel. Probably the finest in Pakistan with multicoloured lightbulbs, painted rocks, polished doorhandles and of course your sharply dressed bussboy who stands ready to open the car doors of arriving guests. He takes one look at me and my motorcyle and becomes unsure of himself. My Enfield is not a car, alas it has no door.. what to do? ..what to do?

I solve his problem. I'm covered in filth from riding all day and it takes me no more than a second to realize that I can not stay here. I feel like I'm gatecrashing - I'm definetly not invited to this fancy party. I tell the boys that this is nice, too nice - but we have to find something else. So we drive off again.

We get into town and we stop at a junction to ask a macho looking policeman for help. He's been directing traffic for an entire shift and is quite proud to finally get his hands on some real police buissniss. A crowd has gathered around my bike (as it always does), Mr Policeman steps up and takes command: You move! You move! and You guys move! Law and order here, make space for our Norwegian guest! He can not get a hotelroom, you say?? Well, we'll see about that! He leaves the pakistani traffic to sort out it's own problems while he eagerly speeds off to take care of mine.

He walks down the street to the nearest hotel, singborarded only in Urdu. He steps up to the counter and demands to see the owner - and so within minutes I am in the posession of a centrally located, reasonally priced hotel room - equipped with all your needs and need-nots. My motorbike is to be driven into the reception (up a flight of stairs! - a first time for me) - for safe parking. It takes up much of the space in the reception area, my bike has better accomodation than I do! I thankfully shake the hand of the police man, and he is glowing in his newly recieved attention.
Finally before we part he shouts to me in broken english under his mustache: So when do you go to Quetta tomorrow?
I say something about an early start and that I should be off around eight o'clock.. Thank you again, goodnight and goodbye!

So I wake up next morning. I eat some breakfast. Take my time - bike is in the reception still, I have not unpacked it so it is ready to go. I have awoken early, to get an earlier start for Quetta. I am just wondering how I am going to drive it out of there and down the stairs when I am approched by a tall man in a uniform. Are you ready to go NOW??! it is only 07:30! ...WE are not ready! I am a bit puzzled by this cryptic message, but it is soon followed by an explanation.

I'm getting police escort. My very own. Tu-lu-de-li-du!

Comments:

Comment from: Ib [Visitor] · http://www.ibsite.com
Heya Max,
Always fun to read your updates. Knitting with the map, I get a clear sense on the whereabouts as well. Will send you a draft soon.
Permalink 05/03/06 @ 18:18
Comment from: Espen [Visitor] · http://www.flickr.com/photos/espenlodden/
Laughing my ass off!!

One of your best so far :-)

Espen
Permalink 05/08/06 @ 15:43
Comment from: Sølve [Visitor]
Hirr hirr!

How did you do down the stairs?
Full throtle?
Permalink 06/01/06 @ 19:20
Comment from: Astrid [Visitor]
oi oi oi
skal si!
the royal rider max ;-)
Permalink 06/02/06 @ 22:52

Comments are closed for this post.

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