Thursday, September 17, 2009

Taste of Pakistan

I must admit that before I left Pakistan I stowed some spice packets away in my luggage. The other night I was craving a taste of Pakistan, so I tested out my own version of chicken jalfrezi. It was delicious! Basically I just cut down on the oil, left out the green chillies, and used only 2 tbsp of the spice packet.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Pakistani Diet: Tips for Healthier Eating

When it comes to life expectancy, Pakistan comes in at number 136 out of 191 countries in the world. The average life span in Pakistan is 64.9 years according to the CIA World Factbook 2009 Estimates. There are numerous reasons for this, including poverty, infant mortality, lack of clean drinking water, poor sanitation, not having access to medical care, etc., but dying younger is not limited to only the poor.

I have met many middle class and upper class Pakistanis who suffer from health problems such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure as early as in their 20s. A nurse friend of mine living in Pakistan was convinced that the Pakistani diet factors into the low life expectancy, and I could see why!

If you are accustomed to eating a typical “Desi Diet,” here are some tips to help you eat and live a healthier, longer life.

Tip for Healthier Eating #1 – Say No to Ghee and Use Less Oil

You may love your sweets, treats and meats swimming in ghee (animal fat), but the best thing you can do for yourself and your family is to stop cooking with ghee altogether. My husband and I always found it shocking, and a bit sickening, how much cooking oil is on sale at the supermarket. Do your regular cooking with olive oil, and cut down the amount of oil that you use significantly. A few tablespoons of oil are enough for most dish. Olive oil is more expensive, but the health benefits are worth it.

Continue reading more tips here

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Travel from Lahore to Amritsar - Crossing the Indo-Pak Border

The Wagha/Attari border is the only place you can officially cross from Pakistan into India, and travelers usually make the trip between the Punjab’s two major cities: Lahore in Pakistan and Amritsar in India.

In order to cross the border from into India from Pakistan, you need to have valid visas for both countries. If you are planning to return to Pakistan, make sure that you have another entry left on your visa before you leave the country, unless you are planning to apply for a new Pakistan visa in New Delhi.

There are often buses that go straight from Lahore to New Delhi, and sometimes there is a train service operating across the border, but these services are vulnerable to the state of government relations between the neighboring countries. Not only that, services that join the two countries directly are seen as symbols of friendship and cooperation, and these services are accompanied by heavy police escorts due to the fact that not everyone thinks friendship and cooperation are the best policies to pursue. It’s safer and faster to stick with local transportation on each side of the border rather than to use a special service that operates between the two countries.

Back to the Blog!

Hello everyone! It's been a while but now I'm back to the blog. Working at camp this summer was certainly busy, and I didn't have much time to write. My husband Duarte and I are now residing in Fall River, MA. We are both going back to school to pursue our teaching licenses: for me in English and for him in Physics. Our long term plan is to re-enter the world of international teaching once we both have our licenses. For now, being on a student budget again, we won't get to do much traveling. I still plan on taking photos and doing some writing about our past travels, but the blog will probably be focused more on life here in the US for the time being. I do have a backlog of travel articles and reviews to write about places in Pakistan and India, so keep checking the blog for stuff on the subcontinent.