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  • Writer's pictureVoita

Sad little truths

"I am so sorry, but this is a matter of internal security directives. I therefore cannot tell you why your card doesn't work in Pakistan"

To get a meaningful answer from Revolut support is akin to winning a lottery. In short, this great global bank works ... in developed countries. If you were to go, say, to Africa, you're better off packing few golden nuggets in your hand bag. I'm lucky though since I can use the card to pay in stores which accept cards.

sorry not much inspired in big cities ---

The nearest supermarket and cluster of cafes is 4 miles from the hotel.

Islamabad is one of the best mega cities to walk in. If you ignore the heavy blanket of smog - I can't even see the Margalla hills few miles away - and the necessity to every now and then wild cross a 6 lane highway. Nothing I couldn't do without thinking after a year of practice. It'll be interesting once I get back to Europe...

Each of the 'squares', however, is an oasis of peace, lined with plenty of (colourless) greenery, with pavements not occupied by peddlers and mad motorbike drivers. Perfect.


Imagine having an old acquaintance message you that they need, through few other mutual friends of yours, wire you money and collect cash from you. They appear from nowhere, heading somewhere, off into the mountains and beyond... and they need it asap for time is scarce and money in hot demand. Sometimes I think that knowing me poses a considerable threat to other people's decency of life.


Overall though it's depressing and pretty stressful. Not having access to cash, not knowing if the next day I need to flee the country to west or east... and all cards have been played and there's naught left to do but wait and see if I were dealt a decent hand.. or at least a couple of sixes.

It's not exactly the best mindset to be in for a creative content creation, or in general any productive effort.

It's exactly the moment when I'm glad that I don't smoke, otherwise I'd probably burn through several packs in the afternoon.

Instead I retreat to my own drug of choice - silly mobile games. Purely to turn off my mind, which like the clever dogs chases its own thoughts in an endless circle. In an attempt to keep away the slow erosion of mind and will to continue.


It's a sad story, the contemporary adventuring. Most of the time it's about paperwork duels with immigration or trying to keep banks away from siphoning away all the cash in my bank account. All the more power to large countries like Japan or the US, where everything needs to only be setup once. Crossing from country to country is like a repeated nightmare which you know is coming and which you can see happily baring teeth, waiting for you...


That's connected to another downside of travel; being stuck in cities (waiting for papers etc.) is boring.

I have travelling connected with nature. Stars above me, in which I can get lost in for infinite amounts of time. Roads and distances into which I can run without fear of ever reaching the end.

Cities are built for a social life; an evening in a jazz bar or theatre, afternoon on a climbing wall or at least in a library. Being stuck in limbo somewhere has me pinned to a hotel or idling in a cafe. I'd have more joy being home than wasting time and money away like this.

Ehsen, my local benefactor, is Mr. Doctor, no joke. He's a walking definition of a smart, hard-working person from whom many (such as myself) could learn good few lessons. Unfortunately for me that means that, outside of a packed schedule, he's also considered a government servant. And as such he cannot let me send him money as it could be interpreted as a bribe...

It doesn't apply for his friends. Except... they live up north, in Gilgit.

And so I'll be heading northwards tomorrow, only with credit card in me pocket and I'll either get the cash... or not. At least I have other friends there who'd feed and house me if necessary. Still, I have a 21st century adventure latched on me as I head to the most remote areas of Himalaya (Karakoram).

rations for 2 days. ready to go!

As soon as I'll be out of the capital, my SIM is gonna stop working. Means the next entry might be delayed a bit. I'll get the northern SIM asap to get you updated.

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