Monday, 31 March 2008

Blog Interest and Serving a Purpose

What a week. Its flown by and I’ve missed out on the annual vintage car show and the Sindh show. Catch them again next year?
This week however has had a couple of high points. I’ve had 2 emails from people I’ve never met. These emails are directly as a result of my Blog.
The first email was from a guy in Faisalabad, who told me that on searching the Internet for “Thai’s in Karachi” my Blog got listed. He asked if I can help with finding a Thai English Translator. The Thai question came about following the posting I made about the Thai Kings Birthday last year. We’ve since been chatting on the phone and agreed to put on hold the Thai translation stuff pending Wanna’s return from Thailand. Could turn into something interesting.
The second email was from a Welsh chap in Belgium, asking for information on holidays in Karachi. There is limited information available either on line or in books, even the likes of the Lonely Planet Guide etc are very limited. To be honest Karachi in not on the top of most peoples ‘must visit’ cities. Pity really as it has a lot of interesting things to see, feel, smell, atmosphere and just to absorb it all is almost indescribable. As for this visit enquiry I responded straightaway with great enthusiasm. And in so doing I realized there were still a heap of things I need to see, and do, before I complete my stay. These include visits to several of the main mosques and temples, Jinnah’s two houses of note, a couple of museums and more of the country side including the river areas where they do the ‘dhobi’ washing. Plus I’m going to attending whatever events happen my way, not miss them like this week.
It’s amazingly satisfying for me, and I am surprised to find that my Blog is not only of interest to me and my immediate family, but, also apparently of some practice use. So thanks readers I've got that "feel good" factor today!

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Easter Sunday

Its that special time of the year for Church followed by eating East Eggs, often in the shape of Bunnies. (Why Bunnie shaped I have no idea).

Well for me Easter Sunday in Karachi it was a bit different. I started off by going to work! But on arrival I was presented with a Easter Cake. Lovely chocolate one and wished a very Happy Easter. I mentioned earlier in my last post how Good Friday was also Mohammad's Birthday. Well I shared my cake with 2 Muslims, Khalid and Raja and a Confusion, Mr Zhiming!! Multicultural or what?.. Wonderful way to live. Really good cake as well. Now I'm leaving early for Church.

Saturday, 22 March 2008 - awarded 1st in Google search results

I just got this email. You've read about me fishing here in Karachi. Well read below if interested in the sport. It's nice to see something I've been following, and involved with, actually getting some 'Google' recognition. That feels good. There's a link to the Association at the side of this page.
Dear members,

We feel proud to announce yet another PGFA’s success; all credit goes to the team of over thousand members of PGFA that we are now on top of all search results at Google when anybody search for fishing in Pakistan.

Google, also accepted us as a recognized Fishing Portal.

Thanks a million again for all your love and support

Ali Saeed

Friday, 21 March 2008

Religious Holidays

Today is Good Friday and it is also The Prophet Mohammeds Birthday. Lovey coincidence to have two such important events occuring on the same day.
Pity we do not have more coincidences like this. Sure to make the world a better place. It is also a public holiday here in Pakistan. That should generally mean no work and it's true. Our port was closed and so are all Government Offices and 99% of all the shops. Not much point in opening. The town is deserted. The generally bustelling Saddar Market is today empty. Along the way home hardly any cars. Empty everywhere. I wanted to go and do a bit of shopping but nowhere open. Seems everyone was up late last night. Me I'm going to also have an easy day.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Clifton 57th Annual Flower festival

It's that time of year again. Winter is over and the Summer is coming. And the Clifton flower festival is here again. This the 57th Annual show. Well, I went to the 56th and again to this last one. (see one of my earliest postings cira March 2007?) Both shows were interesting but sadly to be very honest nothing new in this one. Same stalls, in the same places, with the same flowers (some looked as if they were left over from last year). That's unkind but really not a very exciting show. I've included a picture of Wanna and cannot tell you who anyone else is but suspect they were also there last year!
I recall last year my being excited by it all. Possibly the reason being it was my first Clifton Flower show and I was new to Karachi, etc, etc. And I'll still go again next year (if I'm here?.....doubtful, but...) and as of now doubt it will be much better. If not I won't be going to the 59th 60th etc. So I'll spare you all that posting as well.
All that said, it is good to see everyone trying to get things done in positive way. It's easy for me to come along and criticize. Very easy.
So instead let me say, well done to the organizers and participants, and good luck with No 59 next year. May I suggest for next year you consider developing a new 'theme' or something different to 'jazz' it up a bit? Please just make sure it is different to this year.

Accidents do happen

Want to gather some mussels from the Defence area rocks early this morning. Hardly anyone about. Wide roads and few cars. But sadly we came across two cars that had obviously had a head on collision. How they even managed to collide is beyond me. In UK you would put it down to probably drink driving but here in Karachi I very much doubt it. It was however a sobering thought for the day. (Oh yes got a load of mussels for dinner tonight).

Monday, 3 March 2008

Sailing to Chuna island for the weekend

Friday morning Shahzad sent me a text message asking if I was interested in an overnight fishing/sailing trip. Silly question really "of course" was the returning text message! So that was agreed. "Great, We'll pick you up Saturday afternoon from your apartment".
We went in 2 boats. They are both MacGregor 26's and are well adapted for both power and sail. The idea was to get to Chuna Island about 39 Nautical Miles from the marina club. Shahzad organized for the boats to be sailed from the marina club to Hawks Bay (there was not enough time for us to sail the whole way in such light winds).
We all got on board at Hawks Bay. Loaded all our gear and had a comfortable evening/night on board. Setting off very early next morning. Beautiful weather. Only complaint there was no wind so we had to motor. You can see from the pictures how flat was the sea. We bought some fish of local fishermen at sea. And managed to film a quick video of a local fisherman netting a good catch.
Had super grilled barracuda, squid and a massive assortment of breads, cakes, sandwiches etc etc plus some real coffee. For those of you who have not experienced life at sea, a really good coffee is something not to be missed. Shhzad';s son Afnan caught a Parrot fish. We went in the kayaks, had a swim and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The water was clear and visibility over 5-10 meters. Lots of jelly fish as one of the young kids found out to her dismay!
Unfortunately like all good things it had to come to an end. Going back we returned in a speed boat. Belongs to Ifran who kindly took us all back to Hawks Bay and sadly reality. Hes the one with the shades. (I told him he was going to appear in this posting. He's also a keen diver. If I'm still here in September time I'm off wreck diving for sure.
We got finally home about 6pm on Sunday evening. Real fun and I know there is more to follow.

iapex Building and Materials Exhibition

We keep finding things to see and do in Karachi. Saturday morning and it was a trip with Khalid to the above mentioned exhibition. Small displays of concrete paving blocks and other construction items. About 60 stands. What was noticable was that there were 3 displays offering swimming pool plumbing and equipment. This is an interesting indication that the Karachi middle classes are looking to spend and indeed spend in new areas. I will be following this development closely.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Happy Birthday Mr Alan 14 and still going strong!!!.. Very good.

Hi, For those of you who don't already know yesterday was my birthday. Those of you who already knew, many thanks for all the good wishes. We went to dinner at Lal quila last night. We've been before and I've mentioned it here as well. Beautiful spot set in medieval surroundings.
We had a wonderful night. Copious amounts of food (think I had three helpings of everything!) and very good company. Khalid had even organised a birthday cake. Thought I was passed that! Then they gave me a silly hat to wear. Managed to pass it on to one of the many kids who seemed to be running round the place on a non stop mission of 'run till you drop'. Great evening. Now I have to wait another 4 years till I reach 15.

The secret to "Success" ..... is never, never, give up trying.