Monday, 5 March 2007

A week in Karachi

God this week has gone quickly!

Only yesterday it seemed like Monday and today it’s Saturday. Must be getting old quicker that I thought. And now it’s arrived. The big day when I move from the hotel to the Condo.

The day started at the Hotel. Once breakfast was over I had to get into action. Ok up and out!! Packed my gear, one last check of the cupboards, bathroom and of course the hotel fridge!! Nothing left behind so off I go. Reception organize a porter. My stuff appears down to the lobby and believe it or not, at the same time my driver appears out of thin air ready with the car. Good omen me thinks. Off we go.

Amazing so far all has gone according to my time table. Having departed the hotel at 9.30 am we (me and my driver!) arrived as agreed at the Condo at 10.30. Oh yes, I did a quick stop at the supermarket to buy some bread and bits. Interesting all the staff are male. Only females in the shop are shopping!!! Shops here seem to have everything even non-alcoholic beer!!!!! I’ve left that firmly on the shelf. No way I’m buying that stuff. If you ask me it’s a daft idea to be selling pretend beer especially when alcohol is banned!!! Completely stupid, I mean if you don't drink the stuff why pretend you do!!!!!!

On arrival at the Condo I’m greeted by my Land Lady who is still sorting out her final bits and pieces. Fussing about to complete the paint job etc. (Hope it is quick as I want her out ASAP. I did tell her she could stay on a few days to get things finalized, just hope that is taking a few days and not weeks. Could be difficult if more than a couple of days).

Her first question of the day “How are you and would I like a cup of Tea, I’ve got one ready?”. “Fine thanks. Of course, I love my cuppa!!!!”. Off she goes and within seconds reappeared with a steaming hot cup of Liptons.

But just as I’m about to sit down and enjoy my tea my mobile rings. It’s the Internet provider. “Can we come round this morning and sort out your new connection?”. Ok I need to check where is the existing cable coming in. I knew there was one because the Land Lady had told me so. Not in the lounge so I checked the bedrooms and finally located it in a corner of the back bedroom. Good. Done, I’ll be ready for Mr Internet when he turns up. Now to back to my tea.

Just sat down again and there’s another knock on the door. Up we get, tea will have wait. Open the door and there standing before me is Mr Internet himself, complete with briefcase and forms. After a quick introduction we agreed on a service package. Fastest connection he could offer was 200kps unlimited usage for 1,850 PKR per month. (that’s about 30US$ to you!!!). “But sorry we can’t connect you till Monday’. Seems the finance department has to set up my account before hardware can be authorized. ‘OK, thanks see you Monday’.

Now for my tea. As I’m about to sit down the door bell rings again. Open the door and there standing before me is Mr Estate Agent, he is also complete with briefcase and forms!! Well finished with him and yes, you’ve guessed it, my tea is cold! Time for a new pot. Not to be. I’m informed its lunch time!! The morning has just flown by. Is this old age again or my being busy.

Well after all this weekend I’ll take a quick look round the place to see what is the general layout and locality. I know I’ve seen it before but again now I see it in a slightly different way, perhaps in the knowing that I will be here for 12-15 months. The front balcony overlooks the sea and main beach road. I

can faintly see in the distance the crowds of people walking along the beach and there are horses and camels available for rides.

We've even got our own communal garden. To the back of the condo there are more condos and a lot of open spaces. Also directly behind the condo is the School of Architecture set in a lovely old sandstone building. I’m told it was build somewhere else in the Sindh province and recently was dismantled and re-erected in its current location. Might one of these days go and see if I can get a look round it. Its proportions are quire magnificent and the sand stone texture fits in so well.

The interior of the condo is spacious and you can get some idea what it’s like from the photos below.

So that’s it, done, I’ve done the internet, done the estate agent, done the unpacking, done lunch and now its time for that elusive Tea. Only thing left to do this evening. Sort out which one of the 99 TV channels I’m gong to watch! Think I’ll make that decision while drinking my Tea. On second thoughts perhaps I should have bought that non alcoholic beer after all

Bye for now.

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