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Himalaya

Day 27: Lahore

Michael Palin - HimalayaThere is, sadly, no sign of the 128 gardeners recorded in an early description of the Shalimar Gardens. Instead there is a man cutting the grass with a small domestic lawnmower hauled by a water buffalo. Every now and then he brings the buffalo to a halt and empties the grass cuttings into the nearest ornamental lake, where they're devoured by large and slothful fish.

Eating being one of the preoccupations of Lahoris, I end the day in Food Street, on the recommendation of Asim and Azam, my friends from the train. I think they've slightly oversold the place. It's picturesque enough, with fresh-painted wooden verandahs and shiny, stuccoed balconies, but it's obviously designed for tourists and has that cheerful soulless glow of civic improvement. The food, especially the house speciality of Mutton Karahi, served in the wok it's cooked in, is good, strong and filling, but how I long for a beer to wash it down. The soda I'm allowed is just not the same.

The alcohol ban brings the conversation around to religion, and my assumption that because Asim and Azam are young 'modern' Pakistanis they would be less interested in matters of faith than their elders proves to be wrong.

Azam, the accountant, maintains that being a Muslim means that the Koran orders everything for him, offering guidance and instruction in every area of life.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Day 27: Lahore
  • Country/sea: Pakistan
  • Place: Lahore
  • Book page no: 59

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RELATED LINKS

  • Eating
  • Day 5 
  • Around the World in 80 Days
  • Day 3 
  • Full Circle
  • Day 6 
  • Pole to Pole

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