this is it from Pakistan

So, I'm back from Abbotabad. This trip I realized that I'm still quite fond of the town. A billboard on the way in advertises: "A town of schools and pines".

I took lunch on Friday with good friends at an old restaurant that continues to serve great northern Pakistani cuisine. I had chicken tikka, for the first time on this trip, together with another flatbread variety - rogani naan, thicker than ever with butter drizzled on top, lots of sesame seems. The air was grey and cool. The hills were green and close and coal smoke hung in the air. Leaves from stately trees carpet the vast grounds of the renowned Army Burn Hall School for Boys.

In the evening I met an old family friend. We walked in the chill night through twisting back lanes and suddenly, into the warmth of a cheery home with a gas heater burning and hot food waiting and Swedish peppering the air and conversation. Later we talked about Canada and what all this curfuffle is about regarding Quebec "as a nation within Canada" and then about how Swedes feel about how Fins feel about Sweden. Still later, I sat and chatted about holistic development, and then I turned off the heater in my room and lay under the covers in the dark listening to the night watchman whistle.

Back in Islamabad the clouds hang low. I meet a retired Brigadier (an old friend of old friends) for lunch. He has invited his nephew and we chat over decent food in a stodgy club.

Then I pack, say thanks to my hosts who are off for dinner, publish this post, turn off my computer, the last thing to pack and arrange a taxi for the morning.

Thanks for sticking with me thus far good readers.

More from Down Under.


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