25. & 26.3.
Km counter: 37674 today: 993 sum: 2558
Monday morning I go to get passport pictures and my payment for Iran visa done. I am ready by 11 so I take a taxi to take me to the entrance of the embassy district. I get searched several times, have to leave my cellphone and everything but money and papers there and then take a shuttle bus to the embassy. There I hand my papers to a guy who tells me to come back in 3 hours so I take a shuttle back to the entrance, a taxi back to the camping ground and relax for half an hour before I have to take a taxi to the entrance…… Fortunately all is well so I am back at the camping area starting suryananada at around 4 o clock. I will try to catch up with Abu and two Austrian guys who are one day ahead so I have a lot of motivation for driving.
A lot of traffic brakes me when leaving the city but then there is an amazing highway that I use for about nearly 100km. Then I leave the highway short before sunset to take a shortcut south. I am not quite sure about this as the police checkpoints of the highway are annoying and take time even though I started ignoring their attempts to stop me. At night they will be probably worse and I plan to drive thru the night. Surprisingly police goes to sleep short after the sun and is not to be seen until late morning. I pass a few hills at dusk.
The electricity problem still exists so I connect the batteries to have music when driving. A little after midnight the light switch is finished. For a moment I am afraid I have to stop but when playing around at the fuses the light turns on again. I take some wire, switch on the light and arrive at Multan at around 8.30 in the morning. I need cash so I wait for the money changer (only available in big cities) and then hit the road again to reach Sukkur in Sindh. I slept there at the police station the year before and the guys there where little annoying but under the score pretty helpful. On the way there I enjoy the hospitality at many toll stations in Punjab again. “Ciao” the guys say, – go. And many times I do so without paying the toll. When I arrive in Sukkur it is Tuesday evening. I have been driving for more than 26 hours and done nearly 1000km by now. And I am done too. As soon as I find the police station with a little help of some locals I get some food and go to sleep.
Km today: 0
I wake up because of the heat in the car. Soon the “tourist officer in charge” comes to help me with everything I need – he even offers me hashish (!) telling me that is his duty being responsible for the tourist. Nothing of what he offers is of any need but half an hour later we are at a mechanic who repairs the light switch and refills the second battery – water was low! I hope the problem is solved now and as someone offered me to repair the damage from the accident with the bus in india I take the offer. All is repaired for less than 10 euro! During waiting for the electricity I unpack my guitar and start making some music. Within seconds I am surrounded by people and within minutes I am stopped by the police. Working area – no possible here.
I beg a little and in the evening we go to an amusement park with a nice little restaurant where I can make a little concert. Its really hot here and I need a shower which I get at the barber shop. Cold shower is just fine at beyond 35° in a very humid surrounding. I enter the recommended barber shop and find out the showers need a shower first. No problem they clean one for me so I can enjoy! In the evening we go out to make music in the park – not without heavily armed escort of course. When I start playing I see lightning in the background and when I starts raining two hours later people are not leaving before I finish the last song in the pouring rain. After rain is too much I hand out many business cards to people who want to see my homepage.
When we take a rickshaw to a restaurant from the amusement park it rains heavily. “Nice weather” the officer says, “fuck off”, I think and agree. Having told me all day it is his duty to stay with me and protect me (yeah u did I had the feeling I cannot even piss without protection) he tells me now he is looking forward to some “refreshments” and opens his hand. I don’t understand, look at him and ask myself what he wants… And then he honestly asks me for Alcohol, porn, drugs or money! I am really shocked as I had the feeling he is a good guy all day being just a little too nice (annoyingly nice). Now I find out he did this to get “refreshments” after. I bargain a few minutes and give him 500 rupees not without telling him how disappointed I am. A police officer in Pakistan begging for Alcohol, porn, drugs and money whereas the first three things are completely illegal in Pakistan! I tell him I will leave at five am and I don’t want to see any escort before Quetta. He looks at the floor, agrees and wishes me a good night.