Six months ago, my family were in Pakistan. I was here in Malaysia alone. It felt like it, no matter what people say. I’d go to Pakistan once a year and see my family again, so you can imagine how excited I’d feel when the year was coming to an end.
Now everyone’s migrated back to Tanah Melayu (adore that name). I don’t travel overseas at the end of the year anymore. I don’t get excited to buy coats anymore. I can’t say bye-bye to everyone with a pretend sad-like face anymore.
So you can see, I miss going to Pakistan. If you’re going skeptical now, saying I can’t possibly miss that place, it’s like walking on mine land, there are no malls, everyone wears a uniform, fine. I’ll show you why.
In December, it’s winter in Pakistan. Winter? (Skeptical look) Yes, winter. Because Pakistan is a four season country and not a hot barren land you thought it was. I don’t blame you because I was the same.
If you think this is Canada, then you’ve never been to Pakistan before. I know, like DUH. Every winter, we’d all climb up the hill to enjoy the snow and freezer weather. Pakistanis tell us Malaysians that we’re so weird because they’d climb up the mountain during summer to escape the heat, but stay on ground level during winter to keep warm. We Malaysians climb up hill to get ourselves frozen. Do you know what jakun means though? Malaysia is friggin boring hot and humid all year, we can’t dream of having snow in a million years! That’s why we brave the slippery road to the top of the mountains during winter. Ah well, Pakistanis are jakun with the sea, so we’re even.
Two adorable Punjabi boys. One thing I notice about the PKs is that they are terribly camera-ready. I just had to point to my camera and they’d stand side by side and smile. ughh I love the mountain people!!
Behold, backdrop is the Himalayan mountains. If you notice the ridges on the mountain, those are the scars from the previous earthquake. Remember the big earthquake that hit Kashmir in 2005? This was one of the places affected by it. The view was so breathtaking, you just had to be there to experience it.
Here’s prove that I was indeed on the mountain, instead of taking pics from the bottom. Check out the sign which says Rawalpindi – 102 km down. Fact time: It took almost one day to climb up to Muzaffarabat, with stops in between. Most of it due to the fact that the road was Fraser’s Hill style all the way, plus at the top it was slippery. Thank the ice and snow. My youngest brother threw up twice on the way up.
The Punjabis like to hitch a ride. Though I’m not sure the reason behind their love of standing outside instead of riding the car like a normal person.
This is another example of their eccentricity. Somehow, they’d find a place to step on and hold on to eventhough I can see none… Kinda amazing.
These are the faces of the happy campers after finally reaching Muzaffarabat. The guy on my right is our guide/driver/translator. If you wanna climb up the mountains, it’s a smart idea to rent a 4x4.
Up there, it’s a lively city. Call me weird but it’s like discovering a lost city because it was all steep and narrow and little people along the way that you doubt that there’ll be any population at the top. Then, BAM!!!!!! People, tuk tuks, bikes, jeeps, buildings, electrical lines, trees and eateries. There you are.
Sumore pictures of the scenic undiscovered PK: ( I call it undiscovered because I never saw any travel stories on PK, especially on Discovery Travel and such. Guess they were too afraid to get up there. I swear if the white people would just put on a fake beard and moustache, they’d blend right in. Of course provided they don’t have blond hair or they’d have blown the cover.)
Look at this picture. Can you guess what happened?
Big mountain cat. Amazing they can stand very cold temperatures. They make me feel so ashamed with my fat shiny wind-breaker.
Sunset on the mountains.
A freaking river at the bottom of the mountain. SOooOOOOoooo gorgeous. Unlike any river I’ve seen. It’s very wide and loong. What a way to describe huh? It’s also calm, brown, and slow.
Making snow angels. How cliche.
I was wearing two layers of pants. The mountain people were wearing breathable cotton. I was wearing 3 layers of clothing, the mountain people were wearing breathable cotton draped with pashmina.
The two sleeping buritos. My brothers. It was ccccccold okay at night. The heater had one flame, which flickers on and off throughout the night. It was equivalent to sleeping in the freezer with one candle to warm you up.
That morning we polluted the environment.
Youngest brother with Altaf, our loyal driver/bodyguard.
End of trip. Next time I’ll show you around in my house there!