When I moved to Pakistan several years ago, I had to make many adjustments. It wasn’t always smooth sailing, but it was always interesting. Once, I wrote (on my other blog) about a Kodak moment I’d missed – I had seen a team of mules moving placidly single file on a busy road. A teenaged boy sat on the last mule. He didn’t have to guide or steer the mule as it seemed to just go along with the lead one. It was a good thing as he had his mind and hands busy with other things – like text-messaging on his cell phone! :)
That, I suppose, sums up one of the nicest things about Pakistan – that the old manages to endure alongside the new.
There are people working jobs that I’d never seen in my native Singapore. There are florists who boldly set up shop by taking up one of the lanes on the road… have you folks in Islamabad seen the fellow on the way to F7? How on earth does he get away with it?! Then there are street vendors whose wagons carry bins of wood on fire so they can roast and pop corn. I also saw a man whose bicycle was rigged such that the rear wheel powered a grindstone – he sharpened knives and scissors for a living.
This man I photographed shines shoes – I was almost embarrassed to hand over my decrepit shoes as they are scuffed beyond belief, but I do like supporting the little guys over the big companies. He did a wonderful job making my dingy shoes good as new.