Friday, 26 October 2007

Day 29 – Quetta

Sunday 14th October 2007

A free day beckons, no bus, a new country and a leisurely 10am breakfast of fried eggs on toast made up for the events of the night before. The hardcore crew I mentioned yesterday were still going and favoured whisky with breakfast instead of tea (I decided to abstain still later in the day)

A group of 5 of us decided to head out as we had heard rumours of an Internet café and a cash point and were keen to see if this was true. We drew a few stares on the way but made it the Internet café hassle free and checked emails and got a quick Facebook fix. An hour or so later, our Internet craving satisfied, we headed to the main street to look for this fabled cash point. Now today in Pakistan is the begging of Ede, the Muslim equivalent of Christmas and a 3 day celebration to mark the end of Ramadan. This meant that it was very busy on the street with cars, motorbikes, people and camels all out in force. While we had managed to escape relatively unnoticed till now we were in no way prepared for what was about to happen.

5 minutes later we had become the local attraction and had half the town following us down the street and then is got a bit ugly. The men started crowding round and pushing forward to grab at the girls, we were all getting pushed and shoved from every direction and just wanted to escape from this sea of people and return to our hotel, any ideas of getting cash were long since put to rest. Luckily for us a group of locals on motorbikes came to the rescue and cut us off from the main crowd allowing us to slip away to the safety of the hotel.

Once safely back at our hotel we enjoyed a much needed drink in the sunny garden area, relaxed, chatted, read news articles about the OzBus, laughed at how much drivel was in them and generally enjoyed ourselves. Dinner was planned for 7pm and an afternoon nap beckoned.

Waking up with a start at 7:15 it became apparent that the bus for dinner was long gone and three of us were more than likely going to miss out. Fortunately Pakistani hospitality is second to none and within 5 minutes of talking to the hotel staff and explaining what had happened the name of the restaurant was found out and the Quetta chief of police gave us a lift to make sure we did not miss out. He even insisted on driving us back to the hotel after dinner, where one of the police even passed round his gun (minus ammunition) so we could get a few photos with it.

By this stage only one of the all night drinkers from yesterday was still standing and he was starting to flag, After a quick drink myself it was off to bed to catch the end of ET on the telly (I did not cry, I don’t care what anyone tells you, I knew he wasn’t really dead, honest!) and then got some shut eye ready for a long drive tomorrow.

1 comment:

fuddes said...

Thanks for the spoiler alert about ET! God!