A Passionate Night

22 05 2009

I’m still in bed, and all I can think of is you, all I can think of is the last night and my desire to hold and crush you by my chest is overwhelming! You suddenly came to me in the heat of the night and what happened next I will remember for a long time, as long as the unforgettable sensations are still with me. You came out of nowhere with no fear and no shame and I found you touching my body… you felt my indifference and then you bit me with no mercy, making me go insane… we tossed all night like in some kind of a crazy game and you astound me with your passion and lust. I finally fell asleep almost at sun rise, I felt jaded and still I could feel you near me…

When I woke up, I looked after you but the only signs I could get from the last night are the bed sheets all around me and the scars covering my guilty body; tonight I am going to pretend to be asleep, and I’m going to wait for you to reappear… but this time  I will get you, you fucking ruthless mosquito!!!

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Power Off!

21 05 2009

Few days ago I was talking about the unpleasant heat in Karachi and how KESC – Karachi Electrical Supply Company is contributing to it by cutting the power several times a day. Meanwhile, the heat issue somehow faded as the temperatures in Karachi dropped with 5′-10′ Celsius making it easy to survive now. But KESC, which i think that really stands for Karachi Electricity Stinks like Crap”, manages to exceeds its past performances by cutting the power in a more drastic manner – yesterday, between 4 PM and 2 AM – we had only one hour and 1/2 of effective electricity.

For you to get a better understanding of the electricity issue in Karachi is very important to know that this huge town is consuming more electricity than KESC can produce and distribute. So, how does KESC solves the problem? The answer is simple: load-shedding. Now, what is load-shedding? I never heard about this term until I arrived in Pakistan so I think it deserves a little explanation:

According to wikianswers.com load shedding normally used in industrial, large commercial, and utility operations, is monitoring electric usage continuously (usually by automated instrumentation) and shutting down certain pre-arranged electric loads or devices if a certain upper threshold of electric usage is approached. In English, this means that the city of Karachi never has power across all areas of the city at the same time. Let’s say that Karachi is split into 20 areas – 15 of them would have electrical power right now and 5 won’t have electrical power right now – and these areas are rotated at a 1 hour interval approximately. Thus, it results in 4-5 power cuts per day/ one hour each.

Now, you can easily imagine that KESC is not the most popular company in Pakistan. This load shedding issue is pretty serious sometimes as it can result in violent protests around different parts of the city – spontaneous or not – that often have bad consequences over the public safety. Moreover, you would think that this energy issue would make people more aware of the problem, encouraging them to save electricity when it is not required, to close the fans when they are not needed, to shut off lights during day-time… well there’s a long way until that would happen, it’s a long way until people will realize that is easier to save power than to burn tires while protesting.

If you ever think to come to Pakistan, and I suggest you do, take this little problem into account and make sure that where you’re staying there is an auxiliary generator ;). If there’s none, don’t worry, at some point you will get used to this issue and you will find some other stuff to do in order for the time to pass (like joining a anti-KESC protest, for instance :P).

While writing this post I had to make an 1 hour break.. wanna guess why?





Hot… extremely hot!

16 05 2009

The title unfortunately refers to the Karachi weather in these last days, days of torture and pain, of sweat and sleep deprivation. When I arrived in Pakistan the transition was from 0′-10′ Celsius back in Romania to 25′-30′ Celsius and still I thought it was hot… I was wrong, way wrong. 30′ C is a reasonable temperature, even cozy compared to the genocide that is happening right now.

The temperature reaches 40′-45′ C on a daily basis, but still this is not all. Combine that temperature with an humidity index of 80% here in Karachi and it will result in a heat parameter of 50′-55′ Celsius – meaning that this is the actual temperature your body is feeling (Heat index). As you can see, since I started to experience such an extreme weather I  started to become more updated with Meteorology as a science, otherwise a mystery to me.

I have AC at work so the office is quite pleasant, it’s like heaven compared with the outside hell; at home my room is “equipped” with a ceiling fan which makes the living there somehow bearable but thanks to the KESC – Karachi Electrical Supply Corporation the power goes off 4 to 5 times a day (1 hour each time). This kind of unhealthy jokes coming from KESC transforms my room into a huge oven, wakes me up in the middle of the night and even gets people out of their houses into the streets, on the roofs so they can have a good sleep at night (the picture is pretty revealing for this issue) transforming the sidewalks into huge open-air dorms.
Hot… extremely hot. I don’t even want to get into the mosquitoes discussion.





Karachi Buses

15 05 2009

It would be a real shame to bring Karachi into discussion and not mention one of the things that makes it so fascinating: The Buses.

The Karachi buses look like nothing you have seen before: colorful, hot, noisy, crowded, unsafe, adventurous, fast, undisciplined, fascinating, you name it.

The first things that will struck you are probably the colors and the decorations on the bus. I mean they look like a  Public Transportation Christmas Tree or like an advertising bus for the Amusement Park. The more colors or ornaments a bus has the more respect the driver that is taking care of it gets. It’s a matter of pride and of social status among the bus drivers club. The same thing applies for the truck-drivers as well for instance.

You should know about this buses that they are split into 2 parts: men and women, they don’t stop to pick you up – they just slow down a bit, they are almost all the time over-crowded with people – inside and out (the photo is pretty relevant) and they also have an important contribution to the chaotic traffic in Karachi sometimes.

But… there is a big “but” here… don’t even think about visiting Karachi and not having at least one bus ride. It is amazing, it is a wonderful opportunity to take a good glimpse at Pakistani society in general as they cut the city across – residential areas, city center, slums, markets, etc. You get the chance of interacting with random Pakistani  fascinated by the presence of a foreigner riding their bus, of enjoying some extra loud local music up to the point you won’t be able not even to hear your own thoughts. Plus, it’s like a cheap roller-coaster adventure.

You may think that you won’t come out of it alive as they travel very fast considering the technical condition of the thing. In fact, I heard that the bus drivers are more often referred to as Bus Pilots instead of Bus drivers as their buses are almost taking off.

busMy Bus trip around Karachi was one of the highlights, I think, of my staying here as it happened in my second day and it really helped me in shaping an image of how Pakistan is like and how my internship could be around these places. It was amazing… 3 hours of intense bus-riding.

You can find the album of the trip here on my Facebook profile ;).





Why I like Pakistani food

13 05 2009

There are many things that you could enjoy for the first time in your life here in Pakistan but I think one of your first shocking experiences would have to be the food, the very specific Pakistani dishes.

First of all, for everybody to understand, the term shocking is not that randomly picked as we’re talking about some very unusual (for me and for some of us at least) spicy dishes. The first two or three bites might not be that pleasant in the beginning…. but afterwards believe me, a storm of different and well picked tastes will unleash in your mouth.

I’m not a specialist when it comes to cooking, I’m not even a specialist when it comes to talking about food but I think I could be a specialist when it comes to enjoying a great meal. What makes Pakistani cuisine so special? Well, I don’t know for sure, but I think that in a plate of  Chicken Karahi for instance, you would find some of the history of this region, some of the characteristics of the people cooking it or even a short description of your experience in Pakistan: first you get the shock of the spice but then you can let your senses having the real feast out of it.

Now, the thing is that the transition from your normal daily menu to Pakistani food might be at some point painful (stomach issues – not that bad after all – more time to read the press), but as I was told, everybody should experience this and as soon as you get sick the better  – afterwards you are free to enjoy at free will whatever you like (almost!).

Some of my favourites: Chicken Tikka, Chicken (Beef) Karahi, Biryani, Tandoori, Nihari, Handi Chicken, Pakora, etc

Instead of bread you can have one of the many varieties of naan, a type of  round flat-bread made of white flour, and of course, I almost forgot, make sure you try instead of Coke or Pepsi the Pakistani Cola – Pakola.

After eating some of these wonders you can relax or enjoy yourself with a shisha 😉





Day off

12 05 2009

Since I arrived in Pakistan and I started working for Glaxo (around the 20th of March) I got somewhere around 4 days off from work (National day of Pakistan, Easter Days, 1st of May). Today is the fifth. Due to some events happening in Karachi, or at least some events that there were thought to happen I am pretty much obliged not to leave the house which can be regarded as crappy or as a good thing.

Since today I decided to take only the good things out of  everything happening around me (it’s a todays’ resolution only) I’m trying to spot the benefits out of this situation:

  • I can get more familiar with my apartment
  • I woke up at 1.30′ PM
  • I get to stay out from the almost killing sun outside
  • I’m wearing shorts
  • My hair is a mess but I don’t care
  • If  I would have a beer I would have no problems drinking it since I’m not at work
  • There is almost no Smoking Policy at home (I said almost because even I have some kind of policies against me killing myself)
  • I get to think of  some deep issues of my life such as “What’s the speed of the fan rotating?” or “Is that fan really safe? What if it fells?” – I conclude that it is safe thanks to my todays’ resolution.
  • At home it’s ok to get bored unlike work. And the cure is not Solitaire only.
  • I can swear If  I feel like it

Bottom line is that there are some good things coming up out if this situation but at the same time I  think that staying at home because of some nasty events in town it’s probably one of the last reasons I would wanna have a day off  from work.