Coming down this mountain I saw a jeep with some men trying to change a tire. I slowed down to see if they needed any help but knew well that most people in this region are very well equipped for situations such as these.
I said Salam and they responded. It looked as if they had completed the tire change and were putting away their car jack and loading the tire onto the jeep now. I still asked if everything was fine and they said yes its fine, they just changed a tire.
And then they too insisted I have Tea with them in Karkh. I said I am already booked with another person ahead on a Bike, they said its ok you can also have tea with us. I said ok lets get to Karkh and see.
Along the way they passed me as they seemed to be locals with their accent but were wearing t shirst and track pants and drove very fast in this region indicating they knew their way.
I eventually caught up to the biker who had slowed down to wait for me.
As we entered the town of Karkh green vegetation and palm trees were welcoming us along with beautiful mud homes all around as we entered a mud road with speed breakers from time to time. The biker had slowed down as he would pass by a pedestrian and they would say salam, he would wave his hand and at times slow down to exchange a few words.
I kept on riding while the jeep was just ahead of me making sure I was close behind.
I knew this road was now heading directly into the market of Karkh so I had no way of losing my way and so I stopped for a couple of pics.
As I began taking the snaps the biker slowly passed on by saying chalo market chalo. I wasn't sure at that moment whether he wanted me to hurry up because he was pressed for time or whether it was not commonly acceptable for people taking pics of these areas or of the locals.
So I put away my mobile and decided not to take any more pics of this area and I just rode to the market where I saw the jeep and the biker parked close to one another in the shade of a tree on the side of the road.
As I slowed down they both waved me to a shaded spot where I was to park my bike. The biker now had another friend he had met in town also on bike and the two both led me towards the tea hotel. We all headed to a restaurant where again only tea was available. This was a different restaurant only a few shops down from the one I had tea in the day before. It was well built with tiles and nicely decorated. But still the seating was always the same, with shoes off and on the floor leaning back at the Gow Takkia.
They wore slippers so they went ahead and occupied a spot in the rear while I undid my boots and then soon joined them as I took off my jacket and pads. By then they had ordered Tea and as the tea arrived they asked if I wanted to have tea or bottle (cold drink). I said just a glass of water and then Tea.
The jeep occupants came close to us and sat nearby and also ordered tea. As I was getting seated I asked if there was a chance I could get my mobile charged. One of them pointed at the wall where there was an electrical outlet and three mobiles were being charged. I walked over to see if I could plug my usb into one of the plugs. A person sitting nearby said that I could unplug his mobile and use his charger as its the same one that I need to use. So I did just that and came back to were we sat sipping tea while keeping an eye on my mobile.
I believe they were running on generator because all the ceiling fans were running in full speed and a large 40" LCD was on with full sound and a crowd sitting all around watching a Cricket match. I was least interested in the match and had no idea who could have been playing during this Sunday afternoon.
So we just kept sipping on our tea talking about where I had come from and where I was headed. They too advised me to come when the weather is more pleasant as in October or in March. The Jeep occupants then said that now I have to have tea with them since my first cup was finished.
I humbly rejected and asked them to just bring their tea to us and join us all as they were sitting a few feet away from us in a separate gathering.
The jeep riders were heading to Khuzdar as that was where they were from and had come to visit some friends in Kharzan the day before. The Biker was from Karkh and asked that I be his guest and rest here in Karkh for one night and leave tomorrow.
I thanked him for his generosity and explained that as Monday is a working day and as much as I love this region and would love to see more and spend time here, I really needed to get back to Karachi by night fall and I had a long ride ahead of me.
He understood and agreed.
Once we were done with out tea I collected my mobile and again wet my scarves to put on my head and shoulders. Now the crowd in this tea shop all looked at me like I was an alien. I suppose they were used to the heat and I must have looked very odd to them by doing all this.
We then went back to our vehicles and I said Salam and thanked the biker and his friend along with the jeep occupants wishing each other well. And the Jeep driver asked if I need to follow him. I told him I would follow him but if its a straight road I will be fine. He said its a straight road but he will be just ahead in case I need anything. I thanked him and got on my way while the jeep occupants stood for a while chatting before getting into their jeep and on the road.