February 16, 2006
After the 6 hour gruelling bus journey from Lahore, I arrived in Pindi. Today met an expat, from Switzerland, have been in Pakistan for years and speaks brilliant Urdu. We were discussing about what we feels in Pakistan, as foreigners. And somehow we shared many similar opinions. Pakistan for me, in my first visit, was a perfect country with honest people everywhere (despite the sexual harassments) but after I speak Urdu and involved more in the conversation with the locals, I found more and more contradiction and hypocrycy.
When we were walking together on Muree Road to go home, he asked me whether I had an experience of someone driving car and stop to offer me free ride. I said except those Pathan truck drivers in Northern Areas, I didnt have this kind of experience. I am a boy anyway, I never expected a rich old man will stop his car to offer me free ride and another thing.
But just one minute after we talked about this, suddenly a very luxurious car following us, maybe seeing me with a bag. The car moved slowly, and slowly, and the driver, a man of 40 years old approximately, looks very rich, offered us (me or my friend, we were not sure, but the Swiss guy said he offered me) a ride. I just smiled. A Javanese way of refusal. But might be misunderstood by people from other culture. The car kept following me slowly, while both of us were walking on the padestrian path. The driver opened the window, and smiling to us. I waved my hand to refuse him politely. Cant imagine, a daddy offered me a ride, in the middle of night, in quiet Rawalpindi road.
We laughed about this experience. What a coincidence, just when we discussed about sugar daddies looking for guys from their luxurious cars, and it just happened to me on the same minute.
And a second after that I was surprised. Someone slapped me. Three bastards on motocycle just passed and one of them used the chance to slap my face (we were walking next to the road under a bridge) and the others were laughing loud. I was so angry but with Javanese background of culture, I kept calm and didnt shout. My friend sweared loudly on the street, while the guys in moto just laughed and ran away. Rawalpindi is not a safe city anymore as I imagined. But these bastards, presumably from jetset class, are young boys with nothing to do rather than slapping people on the street. They are not as effective as Indonesians, while in Surabaya guys on motocycle might snatch your bag. But this accident made me more careful, as street crimes do really exist in Pakistan.