Thursday, December 15, 2011


10th December was Aede's birthday and we cycled the 9 km through New Delhi traffic to the High Commission because we had something to pick up from there. Coincidentally, the HC was having it's Family Day, so we joined in the festivities together with some 70 people from the HC, Malaysians working in New Delhi and visitors from Malaysia..To my surprise, among those present were Andrew John, my former student from  Rawang and his wife and two children. Andrew has been here for the last 14 years. Another gentleman, Shah from Maxis and his niece Rumaizah were also there. I know Shah from a meeting in PJ some time ago and he even got me to talk with Jacinta in Dubai. Jacinta is the daughter of my colleague Leslie and Mona, when we were in Brinsford Lodge, England, way back in the early 60s.Also there was Raja Kamal , a retired lecturer from UPSI in Tanjung Malim, and James Yeoh from Grolier International and his family. There were fun and games and also lucky draws. Best of all Malaysian food like satay, curry chicken , nasi bryaini  etc were served for lunch. For me, it was indeed a memorable occasion.

In the evening we had dinner with Andrew and his family at a Cultural Village. Meeting Andrew was indeed  nostalgic as I knew his mother, and his brother Ashley  way back in the 70s when they were young school kids.I am sad to know that his mother is not in the best of health..

On Monday,12th, I again had to go to the HC to sort out my Visa extension as it would expire on the 14th. The HC staff through their experience advised me to leave India immediately, as the Indian authorities are
 not likely to grant me the extension.They, then arranged for us to take the coach to Amritsar the same night to enable us to cross the border at Wagah the next day.. We reached Amritsar the next day at almost 12 noon as there was heavy fog most of the way, and after much difficulty, with cycling through the usual busy traffic reached Wagah border at around 3.30 pm. Stopping at a stall before going through the Immigration and Customs complex, one Mr Mukhtar Singh who was managing the stall, knowing that we were from Malaysia insisted that we had a drink at his stall. Mr Singh had worked  in Singapore for 7 years before coming back here to start his business.He was so glad to meet us and chatted about the sweet memories he had while there and his association with Malaysians and Singaporeans.

For the brief stop at Mr Singh's stall we missed going through the border by 15 minutes as the gate to Pakistan was already closed. I had one more day (14th) to leave before my visa expired so we went back to see Mr Singh who felt that it was partly his fault that we missed going through to Pakistan. He then arranged for us to stay at the Tourist Complex and later that night took us to his house for a chapati dinner and to meet his 'clan' at his house.. The next morning (14th Dec) we finally entered Pakistan after going through the Immigration and Custom  formalities of  both countries. I also lost my second Malaysian flag from the bicycle while having a snack at a stall . Looks like many people collect Malaysian flag.

Lahore, in Pakistan is some 35 km from Wagah  and the highway leading to it  is pleasant, as traffic was light, but cyclists and motorcyclists kept coming alongside to have a chat asking where we were going to and where we were from. Schoolchildren and other cyclists were also curious about our bicycles especially Aede's because his not only has the gears but also disc brakes. Lastly they would ask the price and said that they could get five to eight local bikes for the same price.

10 km from Lahore city center, traffic became heavier and we had to tackle the hundreds of motorcycles , bicycles, donkey carts, etc making progress very slow and at about 4 km  from our destination we came across a Suzuki Motorcycle promotion sale center and the manager, Mr Asad Farooq waved to us to stop. Although we explained that we were in no way interested in the bike, he insisted that we stop for a drink. When explained our mission and our country of origin, all the staff  took a special interest and invited us into the office and also gave us a light lunch of roti and dhal. I must say that that was a good start for our first day in Pakistan..

We had no difficulty locating the Lahore Backpackers Hostel as Heather and Stuart ( the cycling couple whom I met in Kolkata and where we had stayed together at the Paragon GH ) had given us the address and on arrival there, was greeted by Mr Sajjad who made us feel very welcome. Lahore Backpackers is a very clean and pleasant place  with clean baths and hot water plus, washing machine and a rooftop lounging area. Mr Sajjad is a wonderful person who would go the extra mile to make your stay in Lahore  a memorable one.I doubt you can find a friendlier place in Lahore. We don't know how long we'd be in Lahore, we'll see.

With Mr James Yeoh and wife

With my former student Andrew and his lovely wife

With Mr Hamizan from the Malaysian HC

Ms Rumaizah

With Mr Singh

Suzuki Showroom Family

Mr Sajjad from Lahore Backpackers


Anonymous said...

shabas adnan,bravo.probably u have covered half way through.hai aede happy birth day,its a late greetings.on the 11th son faizal fairuz got married in bangsar sports complex hall,so i was busy a bit.i am happy that abang nan and u met some good people.good people will always get good people.keep on the good job and keep on pedalling.deenJB Malaysia.

Joe said...

Nice to see that you met some very friendly people. Enjoy reading your blogs - in fact I check your blog every morning when I get in to work! Happy biking! Joe

shahrin said...

happy belated birthday to you aede from pak shah and mak ain.all the best to you both.bye

Noor Osman said...

Very interesting blog on your incredible journey! Good to know you are enjoying the warmth of the friendly people and your old friends too. All the best to you and Aede and happy cycling! Always looking forward to more stories as you go along....

Anonymous said...

really good to hear from u again uncle, after days and days without any updates from both yours and aede's blog as i started to feel worried.

very interesting story, the locals are very friendly and hospitable. its amazing huh.. traveling with bicycle is magic! theres always a place to sleep!!! hope to read more stories from yours and aedes blog... all the best to the both of you...

oadnanxtreme said...

Thank you all for reading my blog and the comments made Joe Zahriz, Deen Pak shah , mak Ain Noorbee and others.It is pretty cold here now but the warmth of the people makes our stay pleasant.We hope it will continue so.

Anonymous said...

Happy belated Birthday Aede. have been following the blog. Adnan you are all wrap up must be very cold. Here down under on Christmas day will be 32c humid and late thunder storm. Up Adelaid Temp will be 39c. Good to hear that you have met some old friends. Aede must have love this trip. Take care and a safe journey to U.K. will read more of your blog. God Bless.Wong