Sunday, May 18, 2003

Pakistan: Islamabad: First Impressions

I got here on Friday, and the airport was a little crazy. My sponsor, Becky, was waiting there for me, though, and it was good to finally meet her in person.

Yesterday Becky and I went to the shopping areas, and it looks like jewelry and furniture are big favorites here. Oh, and carpets, carpets, carpets. Becky also introduced me to her tailor.

Some things here aren't quite so cheap as I was led to believe. Prices are generally low, though.

My house is not ready yet, so I am in a hotel for now. It is very nice. The decor is elaborate - lots of intricate woodwork, textiles, and marble.

The people at the hotel are great. Everywhere I go, there are like 5 people greeting me and offering assistance. Of course, the hotel is an artificial environment. The people in town are the same, though. Even in the smallest shops, there are 4 or 5 people trying to help, just like at the hotel.

On the streets, there is a bunch of honking, and traffic flows like a school of fish. Still driving here doesn't look too tricky, and I hope to purchase a car soon.

The food is tasty, but I am weary of parasites. At dinner the other night, my two guests were telling me all the things I could catch. It wasn't pretty.

All and all, though, the city is nice, my new colleagues are cool, and the Pakistanis are friendly and hospitable.