[Sept.1996] I continue talking about Karimabad, the utopia in the northern Pakistan.
Apparently people around here call themselves the descendants of Alexander the Great and in fact many of them had blue eyes and pale coloured hair.
They called out “Hello” “How are you, sir?” every time we passed each other and we often shook our hands with them.
One of them was an old man who had even the red mustache.
Everyone was Muslim here, but the rules seemed not too harsh as women were not hiding their faces.
A group of female students came up to greet us and they let us take photos together.
But there was the tendency that women talked to women and men to men.
The higher area near the Baltit Fort was more like people’s living place than the lower area and I saw a man leading a herd of goats, women carrying big baskets on their backs and children walking barefoot.
In front of a corner shop, an old man was sewing something on a sewing machine.
Because my travelling companion wanted a pair of Shalwar (atypically wide trousers everyone around here were wearing), he asked him about it.
As a result, he bought some fabric at the shop next door and had it made.
The fabric whose colour he liked was not enough for Shalwar Kameez suit, so he decided to make just the Shalwar.
And apparently as this idea was too funny for the local men, they laughed a lot.
Then, a man called himself John approached us and invited us to his house.
We thought there must have been a catch, but followed him.
His house was the one in the photo in our guidebook and the woman in the photo was his mother.
We went into a simple square room taking off our shoes.
There were his parents and two children sitting on the floor there.
John’s father was apparently more than 90 years old and he used to be a soldier in the British force.
The two-year-old girl (whose name I have forgotten, but the meaning was ‘a good child’) was seriously beautiful.
After talking this and that, the catch appeared, which were the embroidered hats made by John’s wife and mother.
The hat was nice on the ‘Good Child’ but when I put it on, it was just ridiculous.
But I felt that I needed to buy something here to finish this visit peacefully, so I bought a small pouch for 200 rupees ( $1=37.53 rupees in those days).
Small stitches were applied on it, which was nice, so I thought it was worth it.
By the way, during our stay, the ‘Good Child’ was playing with a mirror and broke the handle of it.
Her father was angry and hit her.
She looked that she was about to start crying, but she did not.
She just looked very sad and quietly left the room.
That would be an impossible tolerance for Japanese 2-year-old.
Not only this girl, but generally speaking, the children here looked mature for their ages.
On the way back I noticed a couple of second hand Japanese cars.
In China, Japanese airport limousines and trucks of a Japanese transportation company were popular, but here the Japanese driving schools’ cars seemed common.