Day 98 – Lahore
When we woke the next morning, Dad had got some news from the mechanic. It seems that the part that they had ordered from Karachi, a second hand shock absorber from another KLR 650, still hadn’t arrived yet, but they assured us that as soon as it arrived, they would let us know. That actual procedure for putting in a new shock absorber is actually pretty quick, and so if it did arrive this morning, we could be on our way by lunch time. As a result, this meant that we were pretty much confined to the apartment until we got word from them. Breakfast was another fantastic reminder from home, with cereal, fruit and eggs. While we waited, we made full use of the internet availability, read or washed clothes, a task that, with our small supply of clothes, needs to be done every couple of days. We are not beyond wearing the same shirt or even socks for a few days in a row, but is not the preferred option if we have time on our hands. We had decided that if the bike was ready before 12:00, it would still be worth leaving today, but any later than that, and it would not be worth it for the negligible distance that we would actually be able to cover.
But 12:00 came with no word from the mechanic, and so we had to resign ourselves to the fact that we would be here for another night. All in all, though, a pretty good place to stay, with an apartment to ourselves, air conditioning in the rooms, and hosts that had spent time in South Africa. The compound itself is quite extensive, and includes a physiotherapy unit for people recovering from injuries or living with various disorders. Shan and Dad in particular were keen to give the place a visit, and they were able to get a guided tour of the centre. Other than that, the afternoon passed in a similar way to the morning, except for Shan who spent it drinking tea and receiving a make-over from two of the female officers. At five o’ clock, we were invited to join a church service held down in the chapel. Considering none of us had been to a service since we left South Africa, we we quite keen to join them, and when we arrived, we were warmly welcomed and seated next to some of the young people we had met the previous evening, who were happy to translate for us. The service was very pleasant and seemed very heartfelt, although it was interesting to see that the tone was quite formal, and the songs, though in Urdu, were translations of old English hymns. The one significant difference was that instead of a pipe organ, the songs were accompanied by harmoniums, tablas and shakers. After the service, we returned to the Wards for supper, another delicious meal that had fast become a highlight of our day. This evening we had a wonderful beef stew, but we were on our own, as our hosts had gone out for supper, and so we enjoyed the meal, which also included apple-filled crepes, and then returned to wait for the phone to ring. Shan popped down for tea to refuel her caffeinated state with Parveen and her family and to pick up new handmade (and socially acceptable) shalwar and kamis before joining us again. By 10 PM, we hadn’t heard anything, and so we retired for the night, hoping that the morning would bring some good news.