Sunday, July 5, 2009
people would ask me back home, “alex aren't you scared of terrorists?” and i would always say no, but i met one, it was no man, it was a road. the Karakorem Highway, calling it a highway is generous at best, its closer to a navigational hazard then anything. at first its a nice easy road that you can just drive but that is near islamabad. you see in america we have smooth stretching vistas of concrete that has been engineered so that the driver or rider feels the most minimal discomfort, this is not america, and this is not an american highway. we left at 3 am, at first it was no big deal i slept most of the way till breakfast. the breakfast was great. we went to what i can only describe as the mountain dew cafe, due to the fact that the entire front and side of the building had mountain dew logos painted all over it. our driver and our guide helped order the chai and food, it was wonderful i really enjoyed it we had naan and bratha, two types of flat bread, and dhal, which is a type of lentil. after breakfast we continued our journey. driving the KKH is something i will try to avoid and here is why, first we are stuffed into a tiny van that has been made to cary as many people as possible. what that means is its to small for me, the planes were more spacious. secondly the road itself is so riddled with pot holes and land slides that it feels like you are in a constant earth quake, i can not tell you how many times i hit my head on the wall or ceiling during our 19 hour journey north. the one thing that is good about the drive is the beauty of pakistan, the mountains and valleys and the indus river, my only regret was not being more awake for the ride. everything was fine till Kohistan. kohistan is a state here in Pakistan, it is traditionally a rather fundamental part of pakistan. I'm not sure how long we had been in kohistan, but its where we decided to have lunch, dark men with long beards and dark stern expressions surrounded us, the clearly out of place white people, i didn't eat, partly from feeling sick but also the heaviness. i felt it all around me, darkness pressing in an oppression that was trying to pull me down to the pit and never release me. we got back in the car and i asked for motion sickness medicine. and it hit me, I’m not sure what hit first the medicine or the enemy. my entire body began to tingle and feel fuzzy and then the oppression, the depression, the stress, the heaviness hit, but the thing that stuck out was the complete lack of hope. they have no hope, their is no savior in islam, even if you are the best person allah can still throw you into the fire. and then for the first time in ten years i began to cry, i wept for these people that had no idea about the overwhelming love of Jesus, they were going to die and go to hell because no one had told them yet. i wept and prayed and worshiped and my friends prayed for me. and then i fell asleep. after that i was in and out of conciseness till we arrived in gilgit.