Just returned from Pakistan last Saturday (15th Aug) after visiting for the first time in eight years. The last time I returned, a few days later 9/11 happened. I was there for three weeks in total, my wife and kids went two weeks earlier than me. The main purpose of our visit was to meet with family, particularly my wife’s family, since most of my close and immediate family are in the UK now except for a couple of aunts and a cousin who are there. Were I not married to a Pakistani woman I doubt that I would visit Pakistan very much. The visit was very important for my kids to reconnect a little with their heritage and their cousins and extended family as well as improve their spoken Urdu. My boys (14 and 11) had a mixed experience, they enjoyed it but had a lot of complaints, they missed the comforts of home, computers, PlayStation etc so it was good for them to be disconnected for a while. Similarly with me, as you will see from my notes, I have very mixed feelings about Pakistan. I took my Blackberry and iPhone with me and half-heartedly tried to get them connected but in the end thought that it would be best for me to have limited connectivity since I am constantly connected at home, and so I didn’t. I used my Blackberry to write my notes during the trip to capture my thoughts, conversations and general comments. I am going to be sharing these with you, if you find them interesting and useful then great, if not then please ignore them. I have not copy edited them much and they were tapped out on the Blackberry keyboard either on the day or a day or so after the events. Sometimes I wrote them in the car/van journeys that we had on bumpy windy roads, so please forgive any typos, grammar mistakes etc, please do feel free to point them out so I can correct them.
Here are some pictures from Madina I took. I had to take the photos with a high ISO setting (ISO1600) to avoid using the flash so the images are going to be a bit grainy. You can see my currently uploaded images on my Flickr site. Will be uploading more soon.