By Brian H. Jones
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Extra resources for Around Rakaposhi: Life among Muslims in northern Pakistan
The meal included salads, a selection of hot buffet dishes, and a range of desserts. Prices at less upmarket eateries were even lower. For instance, at a local Chinese restaurant we had a meal for two that included soup, main courses, and tea for the equivalent of about US$2 per person. It wasn’t gourmet cooking, but it wasn’t too bad either. Prices like this, which extended to accommodation costs, should have contributed to making the Northern Areas a leading destination for tourists. However, this was not the case.
However, he would not commit himself to getting our phone fixed because he said that Khomer was a dangerous area. A note on living a dangerous area: as recent events illustrated, Khomer seemed to be a dangerous area when Shia passions were aroused. However, up until then we had lived there for two years without feeling at all insecure. In regard to crime, it was much, much safer than any South African or Namibian town or city. In fact, in our experience, it was almost completely crime-free, except that once a radio was stolen from an open jeep that was parked in the top part of our yard, and everyone stole the fruit in our garden.
However, this was not the case. I will say more about this later. Because hygiene is not always an important consideration in Pakistan, when eating away from home we were always conscious of the danger of picking up a stomach bug. The rule of thumb was to avoid eating uncooked food, such as salads. Trying to observe this rule could be difficult; for instance, at a restaurant while en route along the KKH, I once had an eccentric lunch of chapatis and marmalade, on the basis that (a) the chapatis came straight from the stove, and so were probably safe to eat, and (b) the marmalade came out of a bottle (manufactured under licence to HM the Queen, who surely would know about these things), and therefore was also safe.