Today decided to go back to Karimabad. During the stay in the Upper Hunza area, there is a very big problem: electricity. Due to failure of generator in Khyber, a village next to Pasu, the villages in Upper Hunza has to wait for its turn for electricity. One in 4 days the electricity comes to a village. I missed both in Sust and Chapursan. So that my memory cards are full, my batteries are finished, my harddisk couldnt start, completely I cant take any more photos. The main reason to leave is that actually I missed the food and hot in Karimabad.
Before starting, my Sust friend and I had breakfast together in Sust. Practising my Urdu, I was joking with them that I was very poor, but I could earn money when I didnt have enough, by sleeping with Pakistani men for 150 Rs (1 US$=60Rs). It was merely a joke. But apparently it was an offer for the restaurant owner. When my friends left for work, I was still having my breakfast. And the restaurant owner came, whispering to me in Urdu, offering me 250 Rs to sleep with him. I refused, the offer then became 300, 500, and 1000. He said that he had room.
“Dont worry, I know the jeep owner to go to Karimabad”
“No, I’m very poor, I am going to take truck (it’s free to hitchhike in Pakistan)”
“Dont worry. I will pay you 300. no, 1000, if you want”
It was hard to make him understand that I was just joking about sleeping with Pakistani men, as I dont know how to say “joke” in Urdu. I should learn this word later.
Then I started the hitchhiking to go to Karimabad. The bus from Sust to Karimabad is only 100 Rs, but I think it’s not so much fun. Today it’s very sunny, after the dark life in Chapursan it’s indeed a time to walk. But Karimabad is 90 kms away, I did underestimated by being very picky on vehicles which offered me lift.
3 kms away from Sust dry port, I was offered a lift by a luxurious volvo car. of course I didnt refuse. The driver and passengers are from Kholistan, and asked me to promise to meet them later there, as here is also earthquake area. But they didnt make their way to Pasu. It’s still 7 kms away from Khyber when I got off. And they said it should not be that far to Pasu. So I decided to walk. Later on I found that Pasu was still 20 kms away.
It was dark, as the area was between 2 mountains and sunshine couldnt reach the bottom of the valley. And it was windy. I was so thankful when I was lifted by a truck. The drivers, Pathans but coming from Sindh, going to Pindi. They were going to have lunch in Gulmit, 11 kms after Pasu. I was foolishly refused the offer to have lunch together in Gulmit, as I thought I would have my own in Pasu. I was in Pasu 2 years ago, so I wanted to revisit. But all hotels and restaurants were closed in Pasu, as now it’s the peak of off season (a very good phrase to describe).
From Pasu, I have to continue my journey again as I was terribly hungry but couldnt find food anywhere. There were some other poor musafirs (travellers, locals) who stucked in Pasu and waiting for lifts to the next village. About 2 kms away, climbing the hill, a truck suddenly stopped and offered me a ride. This is a very new truck, and runs very smoothly. The driver, thinking that I should be starving, suggested me to get off in Gulmit to have lunch. But Karimabad is only 40 minutes drive away from Gulmit, so I told him I would go all the way to Karimabad. The driver thought I should be starved, decided to buy me a biscuit.
I asked him not to pay for the biscuit. But he insisted to pay.
“Aap hamare mihman hai!” (“You are my guest!”)
What can we do with this Pakistani hospitality.
And as Bollywood style story, here I met Majeed again. He said that the owner of the biscuit store in Gulmit is his relative (I couldnt remember the exact connection though….)
And I arrived in Karimabad’s Haider Inn again. All other guests are gone. Not only that, the water is gone also. The river freezed that now all villages suffered from no water days. But luckily the electricity and internet is still here.