We Went to... Pakistan pt.2!

Updated: Dec 12, 2019

Here in Pakistan too, we met one of our great friends! Hussain! He is a very good friend of ours, we’ve spent somewhat a day with him in Lahore, Pakistan. He showed us around and what’s funny is that he gets to experience driving a right-handed car in the right lane for the first time. He was actually very proud of it, he also took us to eat dinner with him and trying their traditional classic snack! It’s called a Gulgappa (Click here if you want to know more about it). We also get to walk around really great mosques, we also went to the largest spice market in South East Asia! As you can tell, the smell was really strong!


Then this one time we were in Islamabad, my dad just had his Friday prayer in the Embassy of Indonesia. We decided to visit them too and they greet us with a very warm welcome. When we had lunch outside, there were two Indonesian students studying in Pakistan. They said that they were surprised to see our car outside and decided to come and meet us! They were two lovely students, as they came over we’ve decided to invite them to eat with us! We share the experiences we had for the last 46 days in this journey. For the gazillion time! I have said this so many times, this is what my family and I love about this trip, to make new friends and family. We’re able to help one another which was one of my favorite times!


We also visited a city called, Naran! Naran is basically the Switzerland of Pakistan. I am in love with their landscapes, with an amazing view and guess what’s more amazing! There are… SNOWS! Well technically since it’s still summer, it's not really snowing, but there are leftovers of snow since last winter. It was literally 10 degrees celsius in Naran! Can’t you believe it! It was cold but it wasn’t very cold, I was using one layer of a turtle neck and it wasn’t that cold. What I love about this city is that there is a river down the hill… but it wasn’t any kind of river, those are the glaciers from the snow! Isn’t that amazing?! It was green and blue, you can definitely see it very clearly. Imagine how snow in the winter will look like?





Sadly, we only get to stay for only two nights because we arrived at night… but we get to stay for our best two days and one night there. After we played with some snow (it was because Zach is in love with Snows) when we were on our way back to our hotel… we’ve decided to take pictures with the landscape near the river. But as we get down there, we’ve spotted these little kids that live here! In the mountains, there were a bunch of them and they started shaking hands with my grandmother. They were so little and cute, the girls… they have beautiful blue eyes. Sadly, their face was a little dirty. But as always, when Gemma meets a bunch of children she loves them very much. So then, Gemma decided to give them candies! They were fighting for candies, they didn’t know how to take turns so then I decided to show them by making a line. It’s funny, how they’re able to follow, but then it didn’t last very long. But at least I’ve tried :)






I decided to shake hands with them and their hands were very cold, their clothes were also dirty but these clothes are like their cultural traditional clothes. They also have never seen a chair before, isn’t that odd? My dad took a folding chair that we can bring it everywhere and he took it out for Gemma to sit down. But then, they were fascinated by such a thing. Gemma decided to offer it to them, they were fighting just to sit down on that chair. Then my sister also took out her skateboard because she wanted to try on her tricks, as you can tell they were so fascinated with it! They were looking at my sister doing these tricks that look like she’s only jumping on it. They were very shy, but then my sister allowed them to take turns. They were really happy even though they were only jumping on my sister’s skateboard, they have never seen a touch screen phone or a gadget. They were also very fascinated by seeing their pictures being taken before. Let me be honest, it was one of my greatest experience being there and spending time with all of them.





We visited a city called, Multan! Multan is famous or usually called “The Mango City”. So everywhere you go, there are a bunch of Mangos everywhere and also watch out when it is Mango Season! You’re going to get 10x the amount that you usually get when you’re in a normal season in Pakistan. But to compare with what’s happening back home, you can get about 200x of the amount you usually get in the grocery store, getting Mangos. We also met one of our greatest friends in Multan, his name is Mr. Ilyas. He gave us about 2 big boxes of Mangos! There are a dozen of them, we couldn’t thank him any better. It was really a hard decision because if we bring all of the mangos with us, it will be very heavy for Bejo due to the Mangos that were given.


Therefore, we also went to the Mango Festival! It was very interesting how they can mix different kinds of Mangos. One of them, they decided to mix one Mango with dates, so the Mango was very small and it wasn’t a green color. Therefore, they mixed a bunch of things to the mangos! It was really fascinating, we also get to have dinner with Mr. Ilyas and his sons! The most remarkable time is when we were told to do shooting for local TV news! It was for 3 TV News… Wonder how the experience went? Stay tuned for the book!


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Then a couple of weeks later we arrived in this city called Quetta, from there we have to cross a bunch more cities to get to Iran! From Quetta, since that city is known for a conflicted city… such as when you look left and right from both sides are literally gigantic sand mountains. There were several little tornados and it turns out that it is very normal here. Therefore, the government of Pakistan required tourists to get escorted with an Anti-Terrorist & Police from one place to the other, because it is their responsibility to keep us safe too. Actually, the receptionist in Naran has been really concerned about us going there without an escort. Therefore, we manage to get to be free without getting escorted until Sukkur morning. Then from there, we get escorted until Iran.


Let me be honest, being escorted with Anti-Terrorists & Police isn’t the best. You know, most of the time you feel very safe! But sometimes when you want to go somewhere, they have to accompany you. Sometimes you’ll feel like cool, I know! But sometimes it gets irritating, so since we don’t want to bother them and accompany is everywhere we go, this one time we decided to stay in the hotel because we’re also waiting for our NOC paper. A NOC paper stands for, No Objection Certificate. It’s a legal document, issued by an organization, institute or an individual to say that they have no objection to the mentioned details in the document. Therefore, this is for our car, Bejo. To go to the NOC building, we have to get escorted too… but this time it was very hilarious.


Since the police decided that having us riding Bejo, it’s too eye-catching for other people. It will get a lot of attention from a bunch of people, which they suggest not going there with our car. So then they suggest we go to the NOC building with a Tuk-Tuk, Tuk-Tuk is somewhat a “Bajaj” (that’s what we called it back home). So then we rode two Tuk-Tuk to the NOC building and being escorted by 8 anti-terror force. What’s frightening is that they were holding their guns upwards, but let me be honest... It was a fun ride! I mean who knows when am I going back to Pakistan, in Quetta and going to the NOC building with two Tuk-Tuks. Therefore, being escorted by 8 anti-terror force with 4 motorcycles and holding their guns up in the air. I mean this could be my first and last, I have no idea when am I going back there, I would really love to do that again.


In the city, Quetta. At this one night, we were staying at this hotel Bloom Star. Therefore, all overlanders have to stay there. Never really understood why, and let me be honest. None of us enjoys the hotel, it was opened, there is no wifi connection, there is no Air Conditioner, there is no good bed, and it was very hot. It was very hard to stay there comfortably, a bunch of overlanders didn’t enjoy the hotel but we have no choice. Therefore, at this one night… we were eating some of the Mangos that we got from Multan, we heard a bunch of motorcycles outside… meaning those are escorts, but escorts wouldn’t come here without any overlanders… meaning there's an overlander! My Dad and Zach went downstairs, meanwhile I, my mom, gemma and my sister. We saw it from the balcony, it turns out the overlanders are using motorcycles.


When my dad got downstairs, you wouldn’t believe where they’re from! They’re from Malaysia and there are 7 of them! They’re heading to Hajj, their trip is called Ride to Hajj. Meeting someone new, not our family, in 47 or more days, not Pakistani, and can speak the same language but different accents. It felt so amazing! We were able to communicate with someone out of our family members in Indonesian is wonderful, we were also able to relate to one another, the feeling where you felt “It’s not just me!”, that’s how we felt and it was a blessing. Everyone is happy, including Gemma! But do you know what’s fascinating? They’re going on the same path as us!

From the first time, we’re in Pakistan, there are a bunch of people worried that we’re in Pakistan. They said a lot of things about guns everywhere, to be careful about conflicted areas, and many more. In Pakistan, it is very different from other countries (as you can tell). Hence, when you go to Pakistan you have to be aware that… Yes! You’ll see people holding guns everywhere. But not everyone is going to hold one and allowed to, the people who're holding their guns are usually securities or guards guarding the hotel and many more. The only people that are allowed to hold guns have these certificate for owning one, therefore they’re using it for a good cause. At first, I wasn’t used to seeing people holding guns everywhere, but now I’ve gotten used to it :)


Pakistan is full of smiles, laughter, and happiness. Pakistan is a beautiful country inside and out, people have said the wrong things about them. I’m sure the people who’ve been to Pakistan wouldn’t say bad things about them because they’ve experienced it there and meet the greatest people there :) Pakistan should deserve more attention from the world but to the good and not the bad. The people of Pakistan, they’ve been one of the most amazing people that I've met with kind hearts, good minds, and has a beautiful home.






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- Alhea Houtman