Sunday, September 17, 2006

First Pak Trip

Finally got back home on Saturday noon, a planned 4 days trip was extended twice and became a 15 days trip. At least the 15 days struggle to get the system ready for the launch paid off, somehow... Just get the news through email late afternoon that the customer finally agreed to have a soft launch end of next week.
Hopefully by this, the system will never goes into disarray as happened few times before when the ownership has changed hand so many times and different owner has different idea on how the system should be like. The fact that system will go into production mode very soon is a relief. At least they will think twice or hopefully more before asking for change request, and there will not be an accusation that the system is not fit, despite numerous ATP that had been carried out and passed by them *sigh*.
Didn't really manage to catch good sleep on the flight back, not even during the three hours wait in Bangkok International Airport for the connectiong flight back to KLIA. The moment go back home and had a good shower, head straight to bed. Only woke-up for a dinner and dozed off on the sofa in front of TV until one hour ago. With that now, I will not be able to sleep again probably until wee hours of the morning, bleargh!
The first ever arrival to Lahore on the 1 Sept evening was greeted with rain. According to local, it's well past the moonson season over there now and there wasn't suppose to be rain anymore. At least not as much as the first two days I was there. Other than the first two and 14th Sept rainy days, overall the weather was pretty hot and dry.
When it rains, the road all over the town will be flooded and when we travel out for lunch, wadding through the half a feet or more water, it felt as if I was in a boat rather than in a car. The drain system in the city is virtually non-existence.

Rain - It seems that rain doesn't bother the local resident much. The walk freely on the street without carying umbrella, as if they are water resistance. In fact we even saw some of them carry the umbrella in their hand without using it. Which bring us to conclude that umbrella is only used to provide shelter fron the sun, but not the rain.
Traffic Rule - Virtually there is naught. The driver make their own rules, unless on certain junction where traffic police is stationed. The driver will disregard the traffic light on their whimp, sometime they stop at the red light yet sometime they won't.
Driving style - It's a offensive driving rather then defensive.
Cleanliness - There are dust and soil on the shoulder of the road, on most stretches of the road. Or at least most of the roads the I passed through are like that. Not to mentioned the rubbish that being strew all around. However there certain enclosed townshop which seems like being well maintained and well guarded. Which I think is because of the deep divides between the "have" and "have-not". It either you are very rich or you are very poor, well at least that's is based on my limited observation with the short stay. It may not be true.

Most of the my time are spent in the datacenter, even on the two weekends. Been there like more than 12 hours each day, then back to hotel. So didn't have time to go around the city. Probably the only visitor spot that I been to was somewhere near the Badshahi Masjid, Cooco's Den to have a diner. The view at the rooftop was simply amazing, unfortunately I didn't bring camera.
Was told that the surounding area, around the den is Lahore's redlight district. We asked the driver to cruise around after the dinner. Other than the two guys each took turn to squat by the road while the other was on guard, which I suspect having a leaks, there ain't nothing to see, so we headed back to hotel.
The MNC partner there suplied us with drivers. I think it's a normal practise for big corporation, especially MNC to have an army of cars and drivers. During the 15 days there, there were more 10 different drivers and cars sent to bring us around the city. We have to call the transport department to arrange for car with driver to pick us up from hotel to datacenter, from datacenter to lunch and dinner and back to hotel.
I guess the public transport there isn't so suited for visitor, at least for business visitor. I hardly see any cab, their mode of public transport is either the bus, some of which are being colorfully decorated, or a three wheels tut-tut like vehicle, which runs on NGV.
I particularly like their decorated lorry. Though the first thing that crossed my mind when I saw it for the first time was a hearse.