Sunday, May 29, 2011

Peshawar, Pakistan

When I was little I would go over to my next door neighbors house to visit. She was an older lady who been a doctor at a time there were very few women doctors. I would sit on the floor and play with her little Scottish Terrier Alec, as she told me of her travels. She had traveled all over the world on steamer ships and across oceans to "exotic" places. At least it all sounded very exotic to me and that's probably when I got the bug. I dreamed of traveling the world too (and the more "exotic" the better!)

There is something about being in a place that is completely different than your own world, that is so exciting. The sounds, the smells, the sites ... all of your senses wake up to something new. In Peshawar , I woke up to hear the Islamic call to prayer, then the squeaking wheels of wooden cards and sounds of hooves on the road below in the early morning.

We stayed in an amazing little hotel called the Kahn Club. My sister and my room was on the top floor, up six flights on a steep winding and somewhat treacherous staircase. Our room had very high ceilings with those brass pendant lamps with tiny holes that, when you'd turn them on at night, the whole room turns into a beautiful kaleidoscope! The bedspreads were hand block-printed textiles when we were there. After searching all over google I found this photo of what must have been our room because of the high ceiling on the top floor. Click HERE to see it! Every room had a "jewel theme" ... the garnet room, the topaz room etc.

It was what I always dreamed of ... a far off land ... the smells of cumin and coriander in the markets and beautiful music coming through doorways out into the streets. It was amazing. I loved it!

Peshawar, Pakistan 1997
Scanned from prints from my old manual 35mm Minolta

Looking down from our hotel room at the Kahn Club ...

I love this photo below. It's out on the street but it reminds me of the fresh pomegranate and apple juices at the hotel. The restaurant had no chairs, but all floor cushions with low tables and served beautiful Afghan food including the most aMAZing sauteed eggplant with a yogurt coriander sauce. Heavenly. The restaurant was dimly lit, with high wood beamed ceilings and dark red brick walls with those same amazing brass fixtures that created beautiful patterns of light on the ceiling and walls.

I have old super VHSc tapes of the hotel and of Peshawar that I need to figure out how to put on the computer! Anyway ... more Pakistan to come!

I am off to finish my paper on the Italian Baroque in Rome and to study for my Italian Final on Thursday! Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend!

Blessings and light to you all!

Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming,
we lose the excitement of possibilities.
Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.

~Gloria Steinem


Theresa said...

Incredible. You tell the story so beautifully. And the food, makes me hungry hearing your descriptions.

PoetessWug said...

Such a nice view. Beautiful room too!...Thanks for sharing your corner of the world.

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

Stunning! Makes me want to go...I most certainly have the wanderlust also! I love travellers...they have a certain 'gestalt' that I know.


Craftsman of light said...

Amazing....i can almost smell the cumin and corriander.

Reading your words opens a new window to my eyes, i can see the pakistan i'd have loved to visit with beautiful majestic mountains and warm hearted people.

Your words equally bring light upon Pakistan that is shown with the smeared realities of violences.

i wish men could gather peace in their hearts and live as the gardians of Humanity and its environment.
As usual, i've enjoyed your narrations....just lovely as you!

KathyA said...

Good luck on both your paper and final.
I enjoyed the beautiful photos!

Karena said...

Lucinda what a glorious place to visit!! Wonderful prose and imagery!

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