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brad’s Travel Diary

Monday, 22 Oct 2007

Location: from india, India

MapBetween the last diary entry and today's many things took place that, for now will remain as scribblings in my notepad. The discipline of updating my diary has fallen by the wayside, replaced by the regimen of regular yoga practice, a good book and Australia's televised cricket tour of India. One day, maybe i'll fill the gaps.
At present I'm in India, reflecting on the good times in Pakistan and disheartened that the only media coverage this beautiful country gets is negative. It's a blessing and a curse; negative news discourages the hoards along with the risk of cultural/environmental contamination leaving a pure uninhibited land for an intrepid few to enjoy, but the countries image is left in tatters along with hopes of foreign investment. Sure Karachi has its fare share of problems and is often the focus of minority extremists, however the north of Pakistan is geographically and politically removed from many of these issues. The only shockwaves felt in the north from the latest bombing would be from the loss of foreign tour groups who cancelled their plans upon reading a newspaper. During a conversation with the DC of Police in Gilgit he said to me "This place is safer than New York", and I agree. I've personally encountred more hostility in a local aussie pub that anywhere in Pakistan. It's a shame that tragedy sells newspapers and people feed on the dramatics of the world. Contrary to popular predictions I didn't die on this journey. Perhaps it is easier to base one's opinions soley from the pages of a tabloid, or it's comforting to sit in the morning sunshine sipping a coffee, nibbling on toast and reading about how crazy the world is, glad for the safety of home. What a strange way to seek security and gratitude in life.
So don't take my word on it. Come to northern Pakistan and see for yourself, it's stunning, come before it changes, and it will. Or don't, then it can be preserved for a little while longer and I can go trekking without running into someone from Victoria.

I'll present you with one last story for now from Pakistan, more for the comedy value than anything else..... enter the Khyber Pass