04 March 2010 Travel

Pre-Trip

Part 1 of Dubai and Pakistan Trip Journal

21 December 2009

I’m home for Christmas and Dad and I have started planning in earnest for this trip to Pakistan. We found an online forum where people have uploaded lots of pictures and videos of everyday life in Pakistan. It was fascinating to look through the dozens of pages of pictures; I can’t wait to go!

I had to apply for a new passport for this trip; my current one expires soon. That was a struggle. I must have visited the passport office five times only to get my application denied each time for a different reason. First, my guarantor was too young (even though she’s 19?), then they couldn’t read my worn and tattered birth certificate so I had to get a new one of those as well. Anyway, it’s processing now so I should have a new passport by January 4th. Then I still have to get my Pakistani visa. It’s all quite exciting!

30 December 2009

Two days ago, a suicide bomber killed 43 people at a Shiite rally/religious procession in the heart of Karachi. We now know that the Taliban Movement of Pakistan has claimed responsibility for the attack, and plans to carry out more attacks in the next 10 days. The Shiites are commemorating Ashura.

So far, we have found security in the fact that none of the tribal fighting or terrorism has occurred in Karachi in the recent past. I guess we’ll have to be extra careful now.

1 January 2010

There was another bombing today. This time it killed 88 people in the NWFP, near the fighting going on in North and South Waziristan. Perhaps Obama’s increased attention towards terrorism in Pakistan has made the situation more tense.

5 February 2010

Took my second dose of Dukoral this morning. Protection against diarrhea and cholera in a fizzy, raspbeyy-flavoured drink… What’s not to love?

Also, our flight details are confirmed:

12 Feb 21:40 - depart YYZ
13 Feb 19:20 - arrive DXB
14 Feb 18:15 - depart DXB
14 Feb 21:10 - arrive KHI
20 Feb 12:10 - depart KHI
20 Feb 13:15 - arrive DXB
22 Feb 09:20 - depart DXB
22 Feb 14:50 - arrive YYZ

All flights are on Emirates. All times are local times.

(later) Another bombing in Karachi today. On another group of Shiite attendees to a religious festival. The Sunni extremists attacked a bus, then detonated a second bomb at the hospital where the victims from the first blast were being treated. I’m feeling a little nervous; it crossed my mind that maybe I should write a will before I leave. Hoo boy. Well, at least there aren’t any religious holidays that I know of going on during our stay.

Sam Nabi

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