After the good nights rest we were towed to a small town called Rahim Yar Khan through endless fields of cotton. I have finally seen the plant that grows my clothes, and now I understand why all the cotton in this country is incomparable to anything I’ve seen in Finland.
The local mechanic in Rahiem Yar Khan started work straight away. The temperature rose to an unbelievable 48°C as he disassembled to whole transmission unit and brought it to the local, specialised transmission mechanic. There in the midst of hundreds of gears, a 13 year old boy who was his fathers apprentice, took on the job of checking out our transmission.
This kid reminded me so much of myself when I was his age, always trying to get my hands on anything I could take apart to try and figure how it worked and how to fix it. His eyes glistened with intelligence, and I’m sure that with time, his knowledge and attitude will shape up to a great deal of wisdom. It is rare to see such a youngster, and know that he will be able to take care of himself throughout life, no questions asked.
Immediately after revealing the logo on the transmission box, the mechanics knew that spare parts were available in Pakistan. Unfortunately the spare parts bazaar of that small town did not have the pieces available.
The local man who was helping us by translating arranged us a truck so that we could get ourselves to Karachi, which is apparently Pakistans hub for everything. We were assured we would get the tuk tuk fixed there.
While we waited, our translator took us to his home where his mother made us some delicious food, and we had a chance to stay under the fan in the shade. Due to power shortages the fan was on for only a few minutes, but it was very enjoyable seeing the true side of rural Pakistan.
Once the truck was ready, we were pushed by a local rickshaw driver all the way to the trucking station where we loaded ourselves on. The tuk tuk was bondaged to the deck, and we were given the driver’s bed, which was a space of maybe 2 meters in length, 70 cm in height, and 60 cm in width. It would be our home for the next 17 hours.
During the night our little dollhouse shook for quite some time since the road was in many parts under construction. The roof hatch, which ingeniously had a fan on it, was idiotically designed to open towards the front. This meant that the hatch door guided all of the dirt from the air coming head on, and the fan sucked it in double time. Without the windows open we’d have died of heat exhaustion, and without our turbans we’d have died of sandstorm suffocation.
We realised that we would never have made it in the tuk tuk because the desert is no joke during summer.
Despite the rumbling we were so exhausted that we fell asleep only to be woken up for tea and food, every few hours throughout the night. We slept all together 15 hours during the ride, and it really was needed.
At 2 p.m, AQ, our local contact found us still asleep from our tiny home. We were finally in Karachi. All we had to do was figure out how to take the tuk tuk down from the truck. It was pushed up on landslide, but no one had given a thought to the unloading. We were in a city, in the middle of the street.
As we were wondering how on earth we’d get it down, Ali came to see us. Ali is probably the humblest and coolest guy there is, and he’s a friend of AQ’s. Ali just seems to be chilling all the time with his red sun glasses, but he get’s things done. He used his imagination and he hired a smaller truck where we managed to push the tuk tuk using wooden planks. The smaller truck was then driven next to a railway platform where the tuk tuk was pushed down all the way to street level.
That evening we took it easy. It was Sunday and we were stressed. Our Tuk Tuk was busted, our visas were running out, and we didn’t have enough money to get out of Pakistan. We we’re closing in on rock bottom.
All we could say was Ins’Allah.