Saturday, March 25, 2006

# Posted 12:30 PM by Patrick Belton  

FREELANCING DOES NOT LACK FOR PLEASURES, and I don't even refer to ones which revolve around clandestine wearing of a burqa. Don't say you've never. (By reports, Osama's done it! America's favourite crossdresser - but remember gentlemen, via BBC he's a hugger, not a kisser.) So a month ago I was rolling into Ramallah without knowing anyone, and soon finding myself drinking tea at the mayor's house and coffee at the headquarters of Hamas (a politically salient difference in beverage preferences which has not in the political science literature been adequately explored!) Yesterday, I rolled into Karachi without knowing anyone and by way of a fetching young filmmaker with whom I started speaking at the World Social Forum, and after that via her Parsi painter friend, who in turn had a former art teacher, who was herself possessed of confusing ranks of cousinage, now in a triumph of which Flashy himself would nod approval exit stage left the ranks of South Asia's homeless (and one admirably persistent taxi driver) to sleep tonight in a stately house in Karachi's well-heeled Defence neighbourhood as guest of benevolent feudal landowners whose aristocratic code of hospitality required they kindly open their house with twelve servants to a dubious yet charmingly roguish foreign affairs journalist, and also me. Yes, I slept my way to the top. And what of it? Good thing no one in this country reads blogs.

My new hosts, taken by my fetching shalwar kameez and resulting instant Pakistani credibility, have quite kindly opened their rolodex to me, with result I shall now scurry off and speak with a large number of military men and journalists. I now somehow know people in Pakistan. I do rather love my life.

Given that, one occasionally hopes my entire spotty journalistic career doesn't take the form of an extended suicide note. After all, there's far too much fun to be had in these places.
(9) opinions -- Add your opinion

You should turn your new found friends on to www.onlineblessings.com and have them send a blessing to one another and their sworn enemies. Cheaper than guns, bombs and bullets and will cause a whole lot more confusion. May even result in a making a friend or two.
Spam, however, is unlikely to result in making a friend or two.

Fascinating stuff. I look forward to the full report of your adventures (best if you delay signing that suicide note for 60 or 70 years).
Much love and luck to you. - A.
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