Thursday, December 30, 2010

Round-the-World Honeymooners: Benoit et Marie

Benoit and Marie on Around the World Honeymoon!
Hasan called me with a bit of excitement that a French couple, on their round-the-world-trip by road, is visiting Pakistan and will stay in Karachi for a couple of days and that if I can host them for a night or two. Yes, for sure! I have heard crazy stories of such travelers and wanted to meet one. Actually our European Backpacking trip was initially a “Karachi to London by Road” kind of thing! But after half an hour Hasan called me again to tell that the French have already got a place and we can however meet them the next day for dinner.
Travelers are God's guests!
It was a pleasant surprise to see Benoit et Marie, the French travelers, at the dinner the next day, wearing traditional shalwar kameez with Marie gracefully wearing a scarf. In the local attire they were looking like locals, may be resembling to Pathans because of their fair features!

The next day, after a little pursuance, they agreed to be my guest for a couple of days!
The way to go!
Benoit, 23, et Marie, 22, planned to travel around the world, to around 60 countries, mostly by hitchhiking and started their journey soon after their marriage three months back. Benoit’s father was nice to bear all their marriage expenses while their other relatives reacted positively to their appeal to give them cash as the wedding gift! But that was not enough for two years of traveling so they also had to work in factories as part time workers in addition to their routine jobs.
It was unbelievable that they came to Pakistan all the way from France, by road, crossing through Southern Europe, Eastern Europe, Turkey and Iran! And from Pakistan they will continue to India from where they plan to take a flight to China to continue to Australia through South East Asian countries and then to North and South America! Crazy!!!
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Benoit et Marie were surprised to see normal human beings in Pakistan doing normal things as they do in France. As before coming to the country, they ‘were convinced’ that all Pakistanis carry Kalashnikovs searching for heretical outlaws to refine their shooting skills! Likewise, if you think all the people in the West are promiscuous and materialistic then they are a good example to disprove the notion!
Ready to attend the wedding!
So, change in plan! Initially they wanted to just pass by the country but then they decided to understand the culture, see the street life, taste some local food, and experience the hospitality. And Benoit was excited to attend Ali Ayaz wedding and was very happy wearing the traditional Sherwani. Marie cried at the wedding reception as if her own sister is the bride and leaving her paternal place :--)
The spicy biryani
They tried the food and they will not forget it. Not because they liked the spicy local cuisine but more because they feel Turista almost after every meal. And what is Turista? Leave it!
Some Random Memories
From Quetta to Karachi
The troupe crossed Iran border and entered into Pakistan from Tuftan where they were escorted by a policman till Quetta, where they changed the bus to reach Karachi. And it was neither difficult nor dangerous but a little less comfortable for them! 
Benoit trying the Shalwar the first time!
Trying Falooda at Tariq Road
And the fish at Jamshed Road
They tried and liked local fish also, Mangra finger fish and the famous Surmai, with the Chatni. Benoit could not resist having the delicious crackers (Papar). That was a welcome change for them after days of chicken and rice!
And finally the Turista :(
Benoit after having biryni, gajar ka halwa, falooda, crackers (papar), and samosa for 3 continuous days!
At Moiz place
Benoit talking to journalists in France
Marie, finally connected after five days!
Misha with her French guests
Their portable house
French cake in the baking
To Benoit et Marie (on behalf of family and friends): We love you guys and your travels. It was exciting for us and we believe it must be an experience for you guys. Wish you all the best in your future and Turista-free travel!

1 comment:

  1. Very Good.
    I didn't explore your blog before.
    really interesting.
    I admire your hospitality to foreigners, I hope they will be ambassador of Pakistan after this life-time experience. good job.