In to Pakistan
After our failure to cross the border we had to sleep at a motel near the border. With the help of Mr Singh, he got us a room for a decent price. Mr Singh had worked in Singapore for 7 years so he can speak Bahasa Malaysia quite fluently so communication was not a problem. He also brought us back to his house for some delicious home-cooked dinner and also to meet his family and we are very grateful for his hospitality. The next morning, after a few cups of tea on the house and picture-taking, we said our goodbyes to Mr Singh and proceeded to the border. It took us an hour and a half to settle immigration and custom procedures on both sides. We crossed into Pakistan at midday and from the border to Lahore it was an easy 30km ride. One thing I noticed after crossing into Pakistan, people on this side are friendlier. People just smile, nod or just wave to you. I guess they are just pleased to see tourists in their country, after the decline in tourism, no thanks to the western media portraying Pakistan to be a dangerous country.
So far our stay in Lahore has been very pleasant, thanks to the hospitality shown by Mr Sajjad Hussain, the manager of Lahore Backpackers. If you plan to come to Lahore, please do check out Lahore Backpackers. The rooms are clean and spacious.They also provide facilities like Internet/wifi, 24/7 hot shower, kitchen for cooking, and also a rooftop garden with TV room. Mr Sajjad is also a tour guide. He is very knowledgeable with all the historical sites and knows the ins and outs of Lahore. He is a very honest and friendly guy and is like a brother to me now.
So far I have only visited the Badshahi Mosque and the outside of Lahore Fort (there was an entry fee but didn’t feel like paying) I was also very lucky to visit Sajjad’s village where I met his uncle and other family members. Life in the village is very simple. Sajjad’s family rear livestock, like buffaloes and cows for their milk and also grow roses and other flowers to sell. He also brought me to his friend’s farm, where they grow guavas, wheat, parsnips and other vegetables. Sajjad also showed me something interesting. In the countryside, it seems that Cannabis grows wildly. When in the summer, I was told that the fields would be full of them and they grow up to 6-7 feet. But to the villagers they have no value as they cannot be sold, so they use it for medicinal purposes and also consume it in liquid form (by boiling it), something similar to’ daun ketum’. There are also people who take the opportunity to produce Hashish to sell, but that is illegal.
I had a slight flu a few days back and just recovered from it. I also had my tooth extracted today and will need to recover so that will take a few days. So far our stay here has been a wonderful experience and I hope it stays that way throughout Pakistan.