'Where are you from?'
asks a curious teenager.
, we reply. The boy looks at us with unconcealed admiration.
'Do you like Pakistan?'
Even though we have only just arrived in
Lahore, we nod in agreement.
he asks and immediately raises a hand holding a smartphone.
With a broad smile we stand next to him and let ourselves be
immortalised. In no time at all, we are surrounded by a whole group
of young people who all want to take a picture with us. We seem to
act like a magnet to them. And not only to them, but also to their
parents, neighbours and friends. We are an oddity, and that is quite a
strange experience. We had not considered that for many Pakistani,
we might be the first foreigners they have seen for a long time.
After 9/11, tourism in Pakistan completely collapsed.
Many youngsters born after that fateful day have never before seen a
Westerner. Time to change that.
text & photos:
kathleen van bremdt