Two months ago, in July 2022, I went to Lahore, the second largest city in Pakistan, which is the 56th country I have visited.
I arrived at Lahore airport at 12:30 midnight, but the SPU was still on duty, escorting me all the way from the time I crossed the border, helping me buy a cell phone card, changing money, arranging a taxi to the hotel, and adding a WeChat message to let me report my safety, telling me that I could contact them at any time if I had any situation in Pakistan.
The SPU, a unit that used to protect the staff of foreign companies (mainly Chinese) with investments in aid projects in Pakistan, is now providing protection to all Chinese coming to Pakistan, regardless of whether they are tourists or businessmen on business, after the suicide bomb attack against Chinese at the Confucius Institute in Karachi on April 26 this year.
The SPU in Lahore is part of the Provincial Foreigners Security Cell in Punjab, Pakistan. A small office is located next to the arrival hall of the airport, with a Chinese flag prominently displayed outside the office and many photos of the SPU leadership and Chinese personnel on the walls inside.
Lahore-Delhi Gate, built during the Mughal Dynasty, is one of the six surviving historic gates of the walled city of Lahore. The children here grew up with camels, sheep, cows and horses.
Lahore Fort, built in 1021 during the Ghazni dynasty, was rebuilt as a military fortress in 1566 after the third Mughal emperor, Akbar the Great, moved the capital to Lahore, and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981.
As a Chinese, if you want to experience the experience of being surrounded by men asking for a photo everywhere you go, come to Pakistan, and if you want to experience the experience of being surrounded by women asking for a photo everywhere you go, go to Lebanon (mountainous region).
My Pakistani friend took me to a very high-end buffet in Lahore, where I could get in touch with the middle and upper class of Pakistan. My friend told me that the gap between the rich and the poor in Pakistan is very horrible, and corruption is very serious, and all the people who can come here to eat are rich.
Pakistani prices (Lahore prices in Pakistan is the highest grade, in no way losing to Karachi, Islamabad and Multan, the big cities, so it is very representative): 1. Uber taxi 9 km cheapest sudden car 389 Pakistani rupees ($ 1.8) 2. Pepsi, Sprite, mango juice 60 rupees a bottle ($ 0.28) 3. drinks can be sold half a bottle (others Drink) 4. lamb, chicken dinner in the hotel a 2000 ($ 9.6), roadside stalls 3, 400 ($ 1.5-2) can eat full 5. roadside drinks 100 ($ 0.49)
Pakistan's per capita monthly income of 80,000 rupees ($390), Pakistani banknotes are all the head of the father of the nation Jinnah, Jinnah in the hearts of the Pakistani people is far greater than Sun Wen, Ho Chi Minh, Kermak, Lee Kuan Yew, come here please do not make fun of their leader, the next scene will be very ugly.
Wagha, located in the eastern part of Lahore, borders Attari in the western part of Amritsar district in the Indian Punjab. Wagha originally belonged to India and was taken over by Pakistan after the Third Indo-Pakistani War in 1971. The flag lowering ceremony of the border between the two countries is world famous here, so I chartered a bus to Wagha on my third day in Lahore and visited the flag lowering ceremony on the Pakistani side.
The flag lowering ceremony doesn't officially start until 6pm, but the doors open at 4pm. There were a lot of people and it was a 1km walk and you had to go through three security checks.
After taking their seats, Pakistan and India first "fight songs", who is louder than the sound, the Indian side of the audience stage is obviously more luxurious than the Pakistani side. Soldiers on both sides of the show, than who kicked the legs high and imposing.
The Indian and Pakistani family, that confidence, arrogance, love to show the genes in the border flag lowering ceremony played the best, as the Chinese were told not to wear shorts to enter, temporary let the driver help me to buy a pair of pants, through the security check and into the field, the Chinese have the privilege to cut in line, and will be invited to take pictures with the border soldiers.
On the way to the venue and after the ceremony, I don't know how many times I was invited by Pakistanis to take photos. Although the outdoor heat of 35 degrees was really unbearable, the enthusiasm of Pakistanis was really irresistible (the most important thing is that although everyone was sweating, Pakistanis really don't have any body odor, otherwise I really don't have the patience to take photos with so many people).
Finally, to summarize the feeling of the trip to Pakistan.
1. the city is generally clean in South Asian countries, but it is only the tallest of the short, the old city is still very dirty. 2. the infrastructure is still backward, Lahore, the second largest city can hardly see a few tall buildings, each time a short 10 minutes and a few hours. 3.
2. infrastructure is still backward, Lahore, the second largest city can barely see a few tall buildings, every day there will be several power outages, each short 10 minutes, long several hours.
3. The gap between the rich and the poor is quite large, with the bottom of the society earning 30-40,000 Pakistani rupees ($145-197) per month and a net worker with 10 years of experience earning around 350,000 rupees ($1700).
4. after the new prime minister came to power, prices have skyrocketed across the country, oil prices have risen 250%, and people's livelihoods are very difficult. 5. Lahore is the most expensive city in Pakistan, and prices are fairly cheap for high-income tourists from developed countries, but suffocating for locals.
6. all poor women wear hijab, and about 20% of women who don't wear hijab are all in the middle and upper social classes.
7. The street stores are shabby, including the duty free store in Lahore International Airport, the second largest city in the country, where not only are the counters old, but the dust is evident in everything they sell.
8. Although the friendliness to Chinese is not as exaggerated as the rumor that it is "written in the constitution", Chinese are definitely the most popular foreigners here (except in Balochistan where there are terrorist activities), and the friendliness to Chinese in the 57 countries I have traveled so far (Eurasia, Africa, North America, Oceania) is definitely in the first echelon. 9. 9.
9. Pakistani car driver monthly income of about 60,000 rupees, to support a wife and four children, work for 20 years to save money to take his mother to Mecca, Medina Hajj in 18 years, to fulfill his lifelong wish and obligation as a Muslim, he is one of the few English-speaking Pakistanis, 3 days charter as long as 10,000 rupees, I feel that his service is good I finally gave him 20,000 rupees (98 U.S. dollars), when I received the money I could clearly feel that he was choking on his words.
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