Back in Lahore, after a nerve-wracking bus ride down from Peshawar, we settled into the Salvation Army hospital and pretty much did nothing. Coincidentally, or London friend Anna’s boyfriend, Dermot, was there and we quickly made friends with him.
One night Dermot, Magnus, myself, and an Australian couple went to see Diehard to at the movies; another day, Magnus Linda and I spent an afternoon exploring the Lahore Mosque, the Lahore Fort, and the Old City. The mosque was a spectacular sight, it’s 580 square foot courtyard – large enough to hold 10,0000 worshipers – enclosed by high sandstone walls with a minaret at each corner. The mosque itself was capped by a huge white-tiled cupola. flanked by two smaller cupolas, one on each side. The floor of the mosque was paved with marble and the walls covered with ornate mosaics.
Although the Lahore Fort wasn’t much to see – just another crumbly old ruin – the old city was something else. Narrow, dark streets were jammed with a cacophony of sounds and sights. Abattoirs and bakeries sat side-by-side with tinsmiths and spice shops, and the streets themselves crammed with people, bikes motorcycles, and horse carts. We ate a small meal at a mussa kaffana [a small street restaurant] and it’s owner refused to take money for the food or the chai that we had with it.
Dermot and I went to a pool hall one night where we played 10 games of pool and tried to score some hash but didn’t have any luck. On our last night in Pakistan though, Dermot managed to buy some on the street and we all got stoned to pieces on it. Dermot’s catch-phrase as he rolled a joint was always “set phasers to stun” and his blunts certainly did the trick. In fact, we got too stoned and we all went from giggling wrecks to crash-burns in fairly short order!
The day we went to India, it rained…