Flying Pans & Flowing Knives!
We had decided we were going to truck the tuk tuk from Lahore to the border town of Taftan so that we wouldn’t be screaming out to the kidnappers in Balochistan with our new bells, whistles, and spinning propellers.
We still didn’t know whether to take the bus ourselves, or rent a car from Quetta, because sometimes busses are stopped and those unliked would either be killed or kidnapped, and the rent a car is much more expensive. Our funds are quickly running out because of everything, and we don’t even have the money to pay for the ‘translator’ in Iran anymore.
The night before however, our contact down in Karachi had insisted it would be worth going there with the tuk tuk because of the media coverage, so we decided to leave Lahore at 5 am to head down south. We were going to truck our tuk tuk from there and head to Quetta with the bus, and at some point make a decision about how to go on from there.
Karachi is 1235Km from Lahore, so we were told to stay the night at Sukkur, which was a 777 km drive. Apparently it would be best that way since no safe place would be in between. This was one hell of ride in the heat, and all three of us were already showing signs of a breakdown.
At one point we stopped to buy some drinks in front of a shop that was of course closed, and upon turning the ignition to continue, our tuk tuk said absolutely nothing. The elecrtics were busted.
Pyry opened up the dashboard to follow the leads, and after the short detective work he noticed one of the battery cables had detached from the engine. It’s an easy fix if you know what to do and where to put it, but neither of course had the slightest idea.
Within minutes we had helpful Pakistanis looking over our shoulder, and one called us a mechanic. Within 20 minutes it was fixed, we were wiser, and an 8 man band came with their even smaller three wheeler called Qingqi, to say hello and take some pictures.
Then our speedometer broke, but Pyry managed to fix it with some more detective work. The local over-the-shoulder helpers and one don’t-know-what-I’m-doing-but-I-want-to-poke-things helper gave Pyry looks of acceptance as he jacked up the tuk tuk and got his hands dirty.
The engine had also started making a weird noise, so we checked everything we could, but nothing helped. We were in desperate need of a mechanic, but we also needed to make it to Sukkur.
All we could do was drive, and hope that we’d make it to Karachi the next day as we we’re told it would be best to get all the way there before stopping for the mechanic.
This only raised the stress levels. We didn’t want to breakdown in the worlds most dangerous area, we are running out of money, and we didn’t really have time to fix everything either. This was the time we thought to ourselves that we really are in deep cotton flowers. We were truly hoping that the strange works of Allah would produce us some kind of miracle.
Driving along we had to slow down because everything started shaking when going over 70km/h. We googled what we could and came to the conclusion that it was either a faulty spark plug or then transmission fluid. With 225 km to go, 1 hour of daylight left, and no hope in sight, we decided to check the spark plugs since it was quick and easy.
After starting up again, Pyry accelerated to 70 to see if it had helped, and the shaking began again. Now we were almost certain it was the transmission.
Within ten seconds of this thought we heard a loud BANG and felt the tuk tuk shake like crazy, and as we pulled over and looked back we could see our crankshaft tumbling on the road with many smaller pieces of metal spreading out. Oh cotton flowers we thought to ourselves, realising we just had a major breakdown somewhere in the middle of Pakistan. There was no chance of us going anywhere.
With this, all our plans, all our hurry, and all our stress
The beauty of a force majure is that there is absolutely nothing to do but to make the best of it, so with a smile on our faces we pulled out the camera to record this predicament we had gotten ourselves into.
In the time of need friendship is weighed, and Pakistan in spite of all we were told, turned a friendly hand. People helped to gather the broken pieces, one helped to call the help line where no one answered, and within minutes a police car came to tow us to the nearest mechanic.
That mechanic could not help since we needed spare parts, so as the beautiful sun was setting we were taken to a gas station where we were fed, bathed, and offered a place to sleep.
On the back yard of the gas station, next to fields of sweet cotton and soft sugarcane, we had a fan, two beds, and our personal sniper on the roof to keep all three of us safe.
While looking up at the stars with a huge smile on our faces, our eyes closed into the first relaxed sleep we have had in a long long time.