LOG ENTRY 16

Arriving to Lahore after a lush train ride just to end up in the police station and get rescued by a group of bankers from Citibank. 
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Approaching the Indus Valley
We are on the train for at least 6 hours now, the assistant of Mr Khan left somewhere and a new police officer took his place. This new guy, Detective Tariq is a three star captain and he claims that this is the highest rank a detective could get in Pakistan. It is worth to look into it dear reader. He is a very pleasant company thought, both of them speak very good English but since Mr Tariq arrived Mr Khan aren’t that talkative as before.

The night went well on the train, we had a many sudden stops in the middle of nowhere when soldiers jumped of the train and guarded it. We couldn’t figure out what was it all about. Around 8 pm I went out to have a cigarette and find myself together with a group of Afghani guys. They all looked very strong and some of them were taller than me. I’m 6’2 by the way so it was very unusual to see such a tall central Asian guy for me. They were just as surprised seeing me as I was but they gave me a not very friendly glance at first. They asked me whether I’m an American which I quickly denied since there is a war going on. I told them that I’m Hungarian but we also fought against the Soviets just like them, this really broke the ice and we shared some cigarette of unknown origin and content, given me by them.

When the sun came up the landscape changed and the water from the Indus River turned the dessert into a green and seemingly subtropical environment.

By the way, as of today in our second week we are already 2 months ahead of our schedule so we decided to slow down from now on, stop for taking pictures, save the pictures as we lost a loads on CD’s and head up north towards the Himalayas. 

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Lahore Railway Station
As we arrived to Lahore and thanked our train roommates for the pleasant company we left alone standing next to the train with our bikes still up on it. No ramp as usual and no one to help getting them off. The conductor is keep hurrying us so out of anger we attempt to take the bikes off. Luckily one well dressed guy came for our aid and the three of us managed to lift the bikes off from the train one by one. Not bad considering a fully “round the world” loaded V-strom could weight around 250-260 kilograms.

After we managed to get the bikes off from the train an army of railway workers turned up and told us to push the bikes into a store room. First we didn’t know why, all we understood is to “push, ush, there, push, push, hurry, hurry.”  It turned out that they want us to leave the bikes there for overnight and go to Wagga border, sort out the custom papers and come back for the bikes the next day. We thought no way. The storage room was more like a dump area where they kept all the left over trash, let alone the safety of the place. It looked like everyone has access to that store room so we put up a fight.

First we tried to deal with the railway police, no luck there, and then we tried the regular police next to the station, even less response from them. In a final attempt we called up the Hungarian embassy which was again turned out to be a waste of phone credit. We were about to give in and already thought about just staying with the bikes for the night when Dad had a great idea. Why don’t we ask the help of Ahmed?

Ahmed used to be my Mom’s boss at Citibank and they were pretty close. Mom always talked about him as one of her best bosses and he is happened to be Pakistani. Not just that he is local but her dad owns the very same railway company as we are having a problem with now.

After about 10 unsuccessful try, we finally managed to reach Mom and explain the problem we have. She said she will try to reach Ahmed and let’s see how it goes then the line disconnected.

We were sitting with this group of agitated railway workers who are obviously running into overtime with us as its already past 6 pm when a group of very well dressed bankers in cut suit turned up in probably the dirtiest place in Lahore. Eventually Mom managed to reach Ahmed who sent half of the management of the Lahore Citibank to our help. At this time Ahmed was the head of Citibank’s South Asian operation. The discussion from this point moved into the railway police station where we were offered tea and water which was a God given gift after hours struggling in the super hot storage room. Funny enough life just doesn’t stop because we and a group of bankers are there. The police kept bringing people in for what appeared to be questioning. One guy was obviously high on something, probably opium but the police kept interrogating him in a not very western way if you know what I mean. After they police got used to our presence they even made jokes with the poor guy, one gave me his automatic rifle and asked me to keep an eye on the motionless “suspect”. Luckily he didn’t get offended after I refused to hang on to the gun.

Until this point with my naïve teenage mind I always thought that bankers are good for nothing (I’m sorry for every banker who read this blog, I ended up pursuing a finance degree in the end too) but these guys sorted out everything so quickly. We still had to leave the bikes there but at this time half of the railways police officers were there to and they were instructed to guide our bikes in the night. We also got 2 police officers who took us to a nearby hotel for the night. The deal was that the next day we have to go back in the morning. One of us has to take a police officer to the border on the bike, check out the bikes at the border and we are good to go. Sounds like a deal for us. Considering that we got this far without the Carnet is already a small miracle. 

 


Comments

Lahore railway station is very old and people used to visit there for traveling purpose but now we don't see a very large number of people around there. And the reason is the invention of other transport and when we have so many other best options for travelling than why we need to go to the railway station. But Lahore's railway station is still very famous today.

Reply
05/12/2016 2:18am

In lahore, another struggle is in progress and in motion for the political forces. The opposition of the political parties are moving against the government. It is the threat as well as the incentive for government to work.

Reply
12/22/2017 4:20am

The root you selected for journey of the world passes from the Lahore which is a good thing for Pakistan because many of the people think that Pakistan is a poor country but it is not truth because i also visited Lahore. The people are very rich in hospitality and love to each other.

Reply



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    The Riders:

    Aurel Maracsko and his son Aurel Maracsko jr. 

    We are a father and son duo who loves riding motorcycles. Aurel Jr. or Tom is an enthusiast enduro rider and Aurel Sr. is more of the adventure rider. 

    Me, a combination of Tom Sawyer and the Little Prince, adventurer, dreamer and a crazily enthusiast rider. Jules Verne was the ultimate hero of my childhood, his foresight's of the future and exotic adventures fascinated me to a level which still influences me today. I believe the constant thirst for exploration and the need for learning is the key engine for every adult just as for every child.


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