Karachi trip

Very successful trip to Karachi last week – saw lots of customers, had some productive sessions with the partner I was visiting and was well looked after by them too.
The Karachi Sheraton is a little faded and could do with a refit and a decent wireless internet connection throughout the building, but the staff were friendly and helpful. Although the view from my room was of the hotel’s air conditioning unit, I could see lots of eagles swooping around.
Karachi traffic has to be seen to be believed. It certainly helps me to understand why some drivers in Dubai behave the way they do. It also explains why a former colleague of mine was amazed when I was complaining about the tough time I’d had getting to work here in Dubai one day. He thought that driving here was a breeze compared to his daily commute in Pakistan. He was right.
The two videos below sum up the streets I saw pretty well. Our driver was excellent – possibly the most patient man in Karachi, as well as the only person who seemed to know how to use his indicators properly.
Check out the highly decorated buses. They’re Mazdas apparently, with the bodywork being done locally. The taxis here are mostly Datsuns, Toyotas and old Mazdas that are still going despite dating from the late 70s. This is presumably a tribute to both Japanese and Pakistani engineering talents.
Although the traffic gave me a bit of a shock, this was a really enjoyable trip. Karachi, or at least what I saw of it, is a bustling active city. The customers I saw were very knowledgeable, keen to listen to what I had to say and keen to educate me on the issues they were facing – those meetings are always the best.
This week I’m off to Mauritius for our SEE region partner event, which should be a little more relaxing.

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