It was a fine day so Magnus and I took a walk up the road leading over to Swat¹. We crossed the river by a swing bridge and wandered up through the terraced farmland above the river, and sat and talked for a while to an old man who is probably telling us to get the fuck off his land!

On the way back to the bridge a young man who spoke reasonably good English invited us up to his house for chai, so we followed him up to a group of mud-brick buildings. We sat in his tiny dark guest room with him and some of his relatives, who all lived in the same collection of houses, while bright-eyed and grubby children cavorted and giggled outside the door. We answered the translated questions of his uncle’s and try to find out a bit about their lives, but most of it was lost in translation. After chai we took some photos of the young man and his family, promising to send him copies² then we descended through the neat, winter-bare terraces to the bridge and walked back to the hotel.

¹The isolated Swat Valley.

² In 1994, when we returned to the north of Pakistan, I took them a copy of the photograph we took that day.

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