I forgot that Pakistan 🇵🇰 is insane.
That’s my bad.
I was quickly reminded upon arrival. Imagine your worst passport entry possible and then consider the Pakistani version. Sure, they put signs up saying like “Pakistan residents in this line.” “Foreign passport holders in this line.” “Please stand behind the yellow line until you are called…” THAT ONE is a certified joke, in particular.
Everyone’s YELLING. All of the staff. Like they haven’t created the mayhem.
I ask a guy where to go if I have a visa. He said while gesturing to every line… “It’s all mixed up!” He said that like it was a good thing. I chose a line. I didn’t have a paper version of my visa, so I was looking forward to that battle.
So, we’re in line and then at any moment random people will join and get beside you, nudge you with their bags…then you step ahead, put your suitcase up as a blockade, shake your head at everyone, like “what is wrong with you?!” I fight my way to the counter. He wasn’t happy about my digital visa, BUT he ended up being the nicest part of that process.
The still pic from a video below taken at baggage claim. I don’t have words. Well, I did, and I made two videos with commentary, and everyone was looking at me and they knew I was doing my “shaking the head in perplexity” thing again.
It’s like they’ve never seen baggage before. And this happens every hour at this airport. The men, whose bags don’t come until way last, like to set up shop right at the carousel and create a wall so that no one can penetrate it to see where their own luggage is. I was so frustrated and saying all kinds of sarcastic things to them, but then I just looked at the situation and laughed. It was really funny, actually. Women in burkas with tribes of seven children, insisted that all the children come up to the carousel, too, for various activities. Some children would entertain us with their constant running away and their moms yelling at them, some would wail and beat their fists on the ground…some would push carts into the other people standing around….all of this made getting my bag so much easier. And with the human wall, I was like “Wait, I can actually see a little bit between those two men, can someone go over there and close the gap?” My sarcasm being lost on everyone.
FINALLY, when my bag came (And that is the best feeling), one of the men I was so frustrated with at the beginning, smiled and said “Congratulations!” and I remember what I learnt the last time here. None of what happens at the airport was personal. It is completely cultural. Reminiscent of the Vietnamese in these situations, but I haven’t seen Nam in a while…maybe they’ve changed a bit. But, the Pakistanis haven’t. And, the energy today says they never will.
Lahore, Pakistan 🇵🇰