Lahore Pakistan - Part I & Part II

Hafiz centerThis is the five story Hafiz center, the main computer retail building. Inside are hundreds of small shops, some selling complete systems, some selling only a single product like modems or pirated software CDs. The prices for hardware are pretty typical, but the books and software are super cheap. All illegal copies of course. It was always surprising to see some guy come out with a computer and hop on his bike a pedal away.
Sweater ShopThis is a small sweater shop in the Anarkali Market. All the sweater shops are right next to each other for easy comparison. Once you walk up to the shop, these two guys are super helpful, they will pull sweaters down from the wall until you either start bargaining to buy one or walk away. By the end of the transaction, there might be a pile of 20 sweaters on the table. Once you select one, the bargaining starts. Final cost for this sweater was about $6, made in Iran. These two salesmen were a little unusual in that they are dressed in western clothes. This is probably meant to show that they are extra prosperous.
Book storeThis is a book stall, mostly computer books. Most of the books I saw for sale were illegal copies produced and sold only in Pakistan. This guy would be happy to sell you a $30 computer manual for $1.25.
Fruit and VegetablesThis is what the fruit and vegetable shopping looks like. You walk around the stall, looking for the freshest stuff, then bargain for the best price. It can be quite time consuming and also pretty entertaining.
Two GuysI was wandering aimlessly in the market, when these two guys hurried up to shake my hand. The younger one spoke some English and said his father wanted me to take his picture. I said sure. They smiled, shook hands, and then walked away. Pakistani men are just crazy for photos. Any time a camera comes out, everyone starts hamming it up.
Inside ShopThis is an upscale part of the market with covered stalls. These shops may have been in the same family for generations. Often you will see son, father and grandfather all working the same one room shop.
EntreprenuerThis is the opposite of the upscale shop. This guy just rents a spot on the ground. He sells various vegetables, probably picked from his fields this morning.
Dye guysThis shop will take your raw cloth and dye it to order. Bring them some white cloth, and a fabric swatch. Come back later in the afternoon, and you have your dyed-to-order fabric. Then take it to the tailor to have your Shalwar kamize made.
Fish merchantThis fish salesman and his sons have a great spot right next to the railroad tracks. When the trains come, the crossing guard puts out barriers, about 20 minutes before the train arrives! These guys are there to sell you fish while you wait. During the half hour we waited, they sold about half of their stock. Good thing since there is no refrigeration or ice to keep them fresh.
Dehli gate of the old cityThis is the famous Delhi gate, entrance into the old city of Lahore. These walls are 20 feet thick, and the gate is large enough for an elephant to enter. Inside is a huge market where you can buy anything you can imagine, from combs to prescription drugs. The deeper you get into the city, the narrower the streets until they are only three feet wide and never get direct sun. The buildings are three or four stories high, and can only be described at ramshackle. Still, it was amazing to walk these streets and think that they have existed much like this for centuries.
Tea and GupchupThis is my favorite picture of the whole trip. It is outside the Delhi gate. There was no parking around the gate, so Koudabosch, our driver, dropped us off and then drove around waiting for us to get back. After walking around in the Old City, we had to wait for the car to come back. While waiting, these police men waved me over, and asked if I would "take tea." Well, you can never say no to tea, so I said sure. They spoke very little English, so they mostly just asked where I was from and was I enjoying myself. About the time I finished my tea, Koudabosch came up and we all roared away, laughing like crazy. This photo is technically known as "Mark gupchupping with the police at the Dehli gate of the Old City of Lahore." Gupchupping is a tactful way of saying gossiping.

Homeme Concordia Expeditions Lahore