Today I’m featuring a striking portrait and story of overcoming language barrier from Pakistan. Photography was taken by Coen Wubbels from Photo Coen Blog. Cohen and Karin-Marijke Vis are running a blog called Landcruising Adventure together.
I have chosen this particular photo because I really want to visit Pakistan soon and it is a little teaser for both, my readers and myself.
Many people ask, but Marysia is Pakistan safe for women to travel solo? I think it is for some and I think I have what it takes. Experience in many patriarchal countries and tough travel environments.
Not to mention that I’m a total sucker for those kinds of stories. Overcoming the language barrier by Karin-Marijke shows the beauty of travel in foreign lands! At least for me!
Picture Story: Overcoming Language Barrier in Pakistan
Rough, yellow sand was sticking between my toes. The salty spray was moistening my lips. I looked out over the Arabian Sea that was aquamarine or turquoise, depending on how the sun was playing with the clouds. A walk on Gwadar’s vast, uncluttered beach with softly lapping waves proved a perfect way to unwind.
When looking at the map, the remoteness and vastness of the Baluchistan Desert had drawn us in and, we decided to drive there.
We had completed 1700 miles traversing a desert known for banditry and smuggling. We had been forced to take armed escorts with us and had been followed by the secret police.
When we arrived at this fishing village in the far southwestern corner of Pakistan, a few kilometres from the Iranian border, we were exhausted.
As I sipped my coffee that I had brought with me to the beach, I saw my moment of peace was over. A group of young girls came running towards me, giggling and holding hands.
They were all dressed in colourful shalwar kameezes. Some with intricately embroidered insets, worn with glittering jewellery. The girls were even wearing heels, even though they couldn’t be older than ten.
We stared at each other in admiration. Seeing a westerner clearly wasn’t a common thing in this middle-of-nowhere town. As soon as one had the courage to touch my skin and hair, others followed.
The language barrier was dissolved by our enthusiasm and genuine interest in each other. One girl spoke a few words of English. I have learned from her that they were on their way to a family celebration and therefore all dressed up.
Meanwhile, Coen had approached us and when they spotted the camera, I was no longer of any interest to them. For fifteen minutes Coen and the girls played with the camera. Girls jostling to be in the main spot for the best photo, with lots of jocularity and fun.
Suddenly we heard a shout from the pavement, a woman calling the girls. Whoosh, they went! Running across the beach, heels in their hands, full of laughter.