Friday, January 19, 2007

Funky Town

Dear Knittah,

After our lovely, well-organized, efficient, and entirely punctual German experience, Eliza and I de-briefed and decided it was Time for Something Completely Different. So what the heck, why not Pakistan, asked we. Why not indeed, answered we. So off we went, went we. (I know, you get the idea.)

Ah, Islamabad. Where to begin. Well, Islamabad is a planned city built next door to Rawalpindi (or "Pindi" to those of us who know it so well...), the old British colonial capital. Pindi is sort of the bedroom community to Islamabad. Islamabad is planned on a grid (mostly), with many broad boulevards and grand aspects:

ISL govt buildings 3

isl pres palace

Those are photos of the boulevard (designed for parades with viewing stands built-in on either side) approaching a government palace (the Presidential palace, I believe) during rush hour. Pindi, by contrast, has a great deal more traffic and activity at a similar time of day:

ISL morning commute 3

ISL morning commute 4

ISL bus stop

I apologize that I'm not in more of the photos. Almost all of the photos are, by necessity, taken from a moving vehicle, and it proved challenging to bounce myself into position for the camera...

But here's a nice one of me out for dinner with the guys. We dined at a charming restaurant in downtown Islamabad--apparently the only restaurant in the city (country?) with a winelist (don't ask...):

fine ISL italian dining

Most restaurants and other major establishments tend to have guards outside. We parked our two Land Cruisers outside the restaurant under the guard's watchful (?)eyes. After dinner, we found some creative grafitti on the vehicles, including:

isl car grafitti

Which is a lovely sentiment. I think.

hugs for now, swatchy c


Anonymous said...

"AK Love"? Alaska? American Knitters?

Was that dust or smog in the traffic photos? Is there a lot of pollution. Would you say the city is clean, litter-wise. The plaza looked pretty nice, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Wow, it looks a lot like the streets of China!

I think this blog is SO COOL!