LOG ENTRY 19
Wagga – Lahore – Wagga
A long bus trip to the Pakistani Automobile Association just to find out that our effort to get the Carnet here is chanceless.
The bus ride to Lahore was about an hour. We wanted to get to the office as early as possible as we already had experience with the local bureaucracy and the last thing we wanted is to stuck there for the whole day. Traveling into one of the biggest city in Pakistan in the morning rush was an experience itself. We all used to crowded and smelly public transport in our countries, Lahore wasn’t much different, expect the heat and the smells were a bit stronger.
The office was downtown so we had to interchange once on the bus and then from the bus station we had to take a rickshaw that of course lost the way so an extra 15 minutes of walk came on top of our little journey. Still, we arrived there half an hour before opening. Surprisingly no one was there even when the big grey gates opened front of us. Looking smooth huh? Not so much inside thought, the staff were pretty friendly and helpful with very good spoken English which meant he could tell us in the shortest possible time that it is impossible to obtain the Carnet here as we are not Pakistani citizens. However, he said that if we can find a high ranking official who would guarantee that we take the bikes out of India they might let us in. Sounds like a good advice. We roamed around a bit in Lahore before returning to Wagga as there is no internet connection at the border and we really had to talk with Mom about what happened.
As I wrote in the earlier LOG ENTRY how the Carnet issue solved I won’t be writing endless lines about it. We talked to Mom and she was on it to find solution for the Carnet and also try to find a guarantor as it was recommended to us at the PAA.
Having Mom as a backup is probably the only reason we got this far but her help again is needed. It is incredible what she can organize and achieve in a very short period of time. Let it be organizing half of Citibank’s leadership in Lahore to help us in a shady storage room or in this case getting a letter from the Hungarian ambassador to India in which he guarantees that we will take our bikes out of India. Believe it or not she managed to organize this within a day and all we had to do is sit on our backside for four days to receive it.
Before heading back to Wagga we decided to go and look around –again- in Lahore. This time we walked around with less stressing and stuff, only a small bag with our most important papers. Lahore is a large, one of the largest city in Pakistan and in electronics wise it is much updated. We had seen mobile phones in rickshaw driver’s hand which was hardly out in Hungary yet. Surprisingly, whenever they hear that we are from Hungary they associate us with Nokia as most of the handhelds on the Pakistani market is manufactured in Hungary. In these occasions many of them actually flesh out their new 9110 communicator which was the top of the line mobile phone back in 2005.
Our way back to Wagga was much more pleasant than the way into Lahore in the morning. Hardly any traffic apart from the stray buffalos and we did the whole bus trip with interchange in a little more than half an hour. Crowd wasn’t bad at all and the weather got a little bit less humid which is easier to take even thought the temperature rose since the morning.
For dinner we ordered a full chicken in curry which we waited for about 4 hours to complete and it had 4 wings and 1 drum stick. Must have been a weird chicken.