Pakistan First Impression: Off on the Wrong Foot

Being on business travel has many advantages. It gives one the opportunity to visit different countries, experience different cultures, and not necessarily areas where one would have planned to visit.

The trip to Pakistan was courtesy of Emirates Airlines, and as such, we would like to extend a warm welcome and thank you to the Emirates Crew of flight EK 602, especially Laura (from Liverpool where they DO NOT sound like anyone else!), who went out of her way to make a stranger on a plane full of strangers travelling to a strange land feel at home (possibly due to my sticking out as a non-local).

Upon touching down at Karachi International Airport, the proceedings for customs and immigration were by far the fastest I had ever experienced, taking a total of a whopping 15 minutes from touch-down to exit.

(not my own photo)

Upon exiting the airport, my eyes quickly scanned the sea of people and signs before me, and as always, my name was butchered beyond recognition to a mere morsel of what it should be, honestly Sheraton, how difficult is it to copy-paste a name from an email?

Mr. Ayam Naseer is thoroughly unimpressed

(Kindly pardon the lack of clarity of the above photo as I appear to have forgotten the cam-cable back at the hotel and had to rely on capturing an image via my mobile of the display on the cam, low-tech but quite ingenious wouldn’t you say?)

It is here where I committed my first faux-pas, for the driver of the shuttle had placed me in the back seat, and not wanting to seem rude, I requested mid-trip to move to the seat beside him (also to get a better vantage point for photo-taking). As he ushered me forward I was surprised that no sooner had I moved into the seat that we were stopped by a burly, angry looking police-man.

The driver was fined and his licence was taken.

All my fault.

I told the man I would gladly pay the fine for him, as it was my fault. It was the least I could do and I pray the procedure of reclaiming his licence does not be too tedious.

Check in at the hotel went smoothly, the bell-boy was nice and offered to break some of my larger denomination currencies down for me, the room had all amenities available from a boiler to a bathrobe, a fruit basket and several bottles of water.

Taking a quick dip in the pool was the finale for my first night in Karachi.

Stay tuned for more adventures, hopefully ones with out gun violence.

Sheraton Karachi Hotel

view from the Hotel Room – nifty little note on the balcony door saying it is to remain closed at all times, and you have to make a special request to open it

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

September 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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