“Behind us were freaks from all over the world: hippies in Jeeps, school buses, Land Rovers, Mercedes trucks, people hanging out half-naked, music going on, trucks painted tie-dye, people hitchhiking with guitars, girls with T-shirts with no bras and short-shorts.
Images right out of Kesey’s On the Bus. Nobody bothered anybody, and everybody had a pass. It was getting hotter and hotter as we headed south towards Karachi. We stopped off at Baháwalpur to pick up some rugs from a local school. We wandered through the bazaar to meet our connection. It was so much stranger than the bazaars I remember in North Africa, where the sky was much brighter and clearer.
Here there were monkeys jumping from rooftop to rooftop, and laundry was hung about everywhere, literally blocking out the sun; in most places, you couldn’t see the sky. The streets were much tighter, so you could have trouble even walking two abreast. Many more of the people had mutilations, and malaria was close by—everything was built on swamps. It was darker, deeper, and dirtier.
Thank God we had opium. I was so very, very high. Everybody was smoking.
The bazaar was so crowded, I couldn’t tell if it was day or night. It was all covered over with mats and fabrics, and oh, look, a monkey just came by my head.”
–Kabul, Kabul, Chapter 15