So George W should have completed his 24 hours in Pakistan by now, a first for any US president. It's been a crazy week as we've moved me into a new house and the Centre office to a different section of Defence. Not to mention the bombing of the Marriot Hotel (near the American Embassy) in Karachi, which resulted in one American diplomat among the dead, two days before George W's visit. Oh and another strike on Friday, but those are becoming so common they aren't exciting anymore. It's just more of an annoyance to have to stay at home because all the shops are closed and the roads are barred. The government has cracked down and successfully discouraged violent protests in the city centre. Yay - go military government. Way to take control. There have been riot squads outside all the major Western restaurant chains. KFC, McDonald's. Any business with links to the West has covered its signs with black as to discourage people from having the urge to burn them down. We moved to a new place and have decided not to put up our signs until after this settles down a bit. I think the people are getting sick of striking. They were set on doing it again today to welcome the US Pres, but they decided to have "black day" instead. Apparently in India everyone wore black and they even had black balloons to show how happy they were with US foreign policies. The newspaper said that the Pakistanis were going to do the same thing, but here in Defencwasn'tere wasn't any sort of black day. I went out to the nearest commercial area in the morning, and I saw many people wearing their Reeboks and Adidas jogging suits while power walking in McDonald's park. I havent seen many people running here, you'd have to sweat to do that!
The other day I was coming outside to get in the car, when a truck went flying past emitting a strange smelling gas. My friend thought that it was a chemical gas attack and was yelling at the driver to go! I jumped in the car, and we sped off while smoke filled the streets. Every street we tried to turn down was filled with the gas and all the people were ducking into their houses to escape it. The other teacher thought the rich neighborhood was being attacked due to anti-western aggression, but as I smelled the gas I noticed was strangely familiar. The driver didn't seem worried and was trying to explain what the gas was for. Finally, he said the key word macchar, and I figured it out! They were spraying to kill mosquitoes. Humdullah because the mosquitoes are so bad here. I'd been awake the previous two nights due to the constant buzzing and biting of those little macchar, so if the Pakistani government wants to exterminate them with chemical gas go right ahead. I've never gotten so many mosquito bites all over my face like I have them here - like on the right side of my nose, my ear lobe, and my cheeks too. I can't itch my face or my ear all day long! The smelly gas truck has my full support, those macchar better be goin' down, and next we won't be running into the car thinking that our neighborhood has turned into a Nazi gas chamber.