|M&D pay a visit|
Mum and Dad’s visit didn’t start off too well. A sleepless night on the plane over followed by a sleepless night in a disgusting hotel in Islamabad, and two days of cancelled internal flights to the north due to the weather meant that they had to brave the 20hr sleepless journey over unmade roads to the North and Me!! :o)
3 days without sleep – I was imagining the sorry state they would arrive in. Miserable, tired, grumpy. They’re not 20 anymore – 3 nights without sleep isn’t easy. But Oh no!! They arrived looking fantastic (life without me has been good to them), full of love happiness and laughter. Raving about their adventures so far. Defying 50m cliff drops in the car, police escorts, coloured trucks full of blue eyed buffalo, making friends, women locked away in houses etc etc
They arrived and the hostel I was staying at was gripped by their presence. Mum and I took a short walk round town and I was like a parent on a childs first day at school – so so so proud to have my mum by my side in such strange surroundings. But we couldn’t stay, we were heading up North to the big mountains and the beautiful scenery.
After arriving at night, I woke early at first light and peaked out of the curtain. I’d been doing a no cloud and blue skys dance the day before and ‘YES’ it’d worked. Blue blue and more blue sky. Not a cloud in sight. Mum was next to wake and I made her pull the curtains ASAP revealing a glass wall looking out over the 7000+ peaks with the autumn reds, and golds all around the hotel. Awesome!!
After trekking, glaciers, lakes, a few mountains, defying death on a rickety old wooden suspension bridge, drinking tea surrounded by panoramic white peaks, views that blow your mind Mum and Dad were intoxicated with Pakistan and had intoxicated it’s people.
We found ourselves invited to a local home (one room – kitchen, bedroom, dining room, lounge all in one small concise package) – something not many people experience due to social restrictions. It started very politely sitting cross legged, talking of work and studies as our meal was cooked in front of us on a wood stove and then eaten off the floor with our hands. But it soon turned ‘Bent’. First the girl sang, then dad, then the mum danced and sang (only after the dad had been sent to the bizarre for something), then I sang, then we all sang, then we all danced. The finale was the dad, who’d finally relaxed, teaching my dad to dance Pakistani style. 4 children, 2 mums and I were in hysterics. Not coz dad was rubbish – he’s a groover – but because of the surrealism of the situation. 2 families, poles apart enjoying a night of culture and education together.
Then before we knew it, it was time to go – but not before the elections got a bit out of hand. Stones were thrown at our jeep onto the road and mass groups of men marched up and down the road in trucks or by foot with a huge police and artillery presence. The police threw us in a cell for our own safety (bringing us tea). M&D looked very much relaxed in the new surroundings – I’m sure there’s a lot they’re not telling me!!
They then took their flight to Islamabad – swerving round mountains and then generally brightening the days of anyone they met.