Saturday, July 23, 2011

Birthdays, Buses, and Bas

Yesterday was one of the student's birthday so we had a pizza party for lunch from Pizza Hut.  There are KFCs, Subway, Pizza Hut, and McDonald's everywhere but they all serve food with a Pakistani twist (i.e.-spicy).

We are coming into the end of the class so it has been busy, busy.  I'm still not absorbing enough Urdu, but whenever I want the class to be quiet I raise my voice and say "Bas!" which is "enough" in Urdu.  It is much quicker than saying "Listen up" or "Be quiet" in Urdu and always sets everyone off laughing because they know that I can't seem to get my tongue around the other phrases.

Going over materials. I love the couch in the middle of the room!
After class we headed to the Faiz Museum. Faiz was Salima's father and a very famous Urdu poet, journalist, and activist (I've mentioned him before).  Looks like they are going to do a movie on his life (which was pretty interesting). Several documentaries have already been made.

This is Faiz the museum-Small, but they had a good many important letters and original pieces of poetry written in his hand.

This is a typical outfit you see most men wearing.  the shirts have a breast pocket but also pockets sewn into the shirt sides to keep things in.  That way you aren't pulling your shirt up all the time.
I spend a good bit of time everyday going here or there and I never tire of the view from the car.  My regular driver (Sidiq) laughs at me a lot because he knows I am constantly taking pictures. Siddiq (like many other household workers) is from the Swat Valley.  Work there is scarce, so many of them come to the larger cities in hopes of a job.  The pay is not high, but household servants usually live with the family in servants quarters, have their food provided and most needs met.  Training household staff seems to be a major issue, so you want to treat your staff well so they will stay.  In a lot of households, you only have male servants because it is considered somewhat improper to leave a young female household servans alone with males unless their are several women there.

Going back to the road I've said before, you see everything. The buses are always crammed full of people and the decoration is amazing.In the more rural areas, people hang off the side and sit on top. My understanding is that they have special firms that specialize in decorating any type of moving vehicle.  You see big trucks, tractors, wagons, rickshaws-all decorated.  For some reason, I haven't see any cars decorated like this.

City Bus

This is the back of the bus--will you look at that design?

There are monuments everywhere, but because this is a Muslim country, the only statues of people are the few left from the colonial era.  Consequently, you get some really unique stuff.  Here are two I pass daily.
This is at one of the roundabouts all over the city.  Sooooo glad I don't have to drive in this.

I knew my Mom would get a kick out of this. She loves eagles and although I can't bring home this monster eagle for you Mom, the picture was made with you in mind!
The military is an ever present visual here, but I've been told not to take pictures, so I don't.  You can't take pictures of bridges either for (I am assuming) security reasons.

I'm afraid I am coming down with something as my throat and ears are hurting. Thank goodness my doctor gave me a round of antibiotics to take with me.  The idea of flying home with an earache doesn't sound wonderful. I felt crummy enough last night that I had dinner in my room.  Felt better after that, but still not feeling 100%.  I am taking my out of town students to the Lahore Fort today.  They are really excited and I know I will enjoy seeing it again. I've been three times now but it is so big-you really need a couple of trips to soak it all in.  Saku just called and they are on their way over in the van, so I need to run. Love to all!

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