Karachi, Pakistan

  • Date
  • 29 December 2000

I’m keen on the bustle and madness of Karachi, but I deplore the pollution. Drove through traffic jam to Dhobi Ghat, where an almost daily, kilometer long laundry parade takes place along the banks of the dry river, but Eid festivities meant people didn’t wash today. River that fed this laundry dried up due to a dam built 30 years ago (according to a cabby), and now hoses bring water to the area. The grounds of Jinnah’s Mausoleum were packed with people; Pakistanis are very proud of Jinnah and repeatedly say, ‘If only he’d lived longer to make more of an impact on modern-day Pakistan’. When stopped on a side street for Jim to buy locks and film, I had my first groping experience standing by a spice cart with my back to the street. A scooter stopped behind me and a man grabbed my bottom and then sped off. Since I’m a ‘fast westerner’ in his mind, I’m sure he thinks he didn’t offend me!