Like Butterflies

        Steve interrupts my thieving fantasies amidst the treasures of the Lahore Museum: ďI know where all the hot Indian women went: they moved to Pakistan! Theyíre like butterflies: you get near them and they just flutter away and cover their heads.Ē Iím not as skeptical of Indiaís natural resources, but I have to agree that there are a very large number of quite beautiful women here. The fact that theyíre so forbidden that I might incite a mob if I so much as asked one out definitely makes them more desirable:)
        So back to the museum. I realize that itís not that I actually want the Ming vases and other exotic items behind low-quality padlocks and monitored by antique cameras. Iím not even that overly concerned about the money: there are easier and / or less illegal ways to make a good buck. Like the Lahori ladies, itís the allure of the difficult and disallowed. Stealing from some wacky countryís museums or temples would be an audacious blend of technology, social engineering, and perfect planning: stealing the art would require a work of art. file it in the back of my mind towards the end of the long list of things to do if Iím ever rich and bored...
        We have lunch at Amnaís fatherís farm house. Heís personally planned every detail, and itís so nice that I mostly forget about getting ridiculously sick after the last time I ate here. I dare say that I then invented a new game. Letís call it fricket: frisbee to liven up cricket. Iím impressive with the disc but just as confused with cricket as last year.
        For me, one of the greatest mysteries of my life is how I have not ended up permanently stranded in the gutter of some third-world backwater. Iím drastically too absent-minded to handle this travel thing. Case in point: confirming my ticket back to Delhi. Iím flying back the 9th to make my twin siblingsí graduation party, surprise the Ďrents, and get closed-toe shoes for bungee jumping in New Zealand. If I donít reconfirm my Pakistan International Airlines ticket today, I risk them giving it away. My meathead manages to go to the airport without my passport, so I waste most of the afternoon achieving this. The 2 PIA workers balance each other out: one claims my ticket is ďjust a piece of paperĒ instead of a plane ticket, and the next doesnít assess a change-of-date fee and does upgrade me to first class free of charge. Iíll be happy if I get on the flight, especially considering that this is mostly a waste of first class: the state airline of an Islamic republic wonít serve alcohol even to those paying way too much for tickets.
        Amazing lesson learned: if I avoid being a total glutton, I donít pass out immediately after dinner. Weíve got a long drive starting early, so I decide to try Red Bull Extra, interesting because the can says itís manufactured by a pharmaceutical company. It works, so I decide read for a lot of the night and make Aiesha, Amnaís sister, watch ďOffice SpaceĒ with me for most of the rest. Dialup fills the remaining bits of the night. I make it to 4:30 and crash, having woken the cotravelers and still sitting in Amnaís living room.

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