Just a few meters from the road, a couple of dromedaries wobble through the desert.
In one of the mud huts three levies are already waiting for us. Always keeping an eye on the desert and anything that moves out there.
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Tiny grains of sand whip against our bodies. We are full and content. Then, finally, we reach Quetta. Their profession: soldiers, but not: professional soldiers. Cucumbers, tomatoes, chickpeas, potatoes and onions. We have to a thick registry book. Although the region is against a fusion with the new state, the Pakistani military annexes the area in The street is peppered with holes which are so deep that every few meters, our vehicle starts to jump. Mcdrive in spanien whole being radiates a boisterous cheerfulness. In the middle of nowhere, surrounded by sand, dust and wind, little shacks, huts and shelters appear again and again along the roide.
We go through the entry procedure and are sent mcdrive in spanien the police station of a border town called Taftan which is meters away, off road. Just a few kilometers separate us from the territory of the Taliban in Afghanistan. All our attempts to shield ourselves against them are in vain.
The sand is too fine, permeates every small opening, makes it hard to breath, crunches between our teeth. We are safe.
Five more levies and the Spaniard himself were wounded. An escort, for those traveling through Balochistan a precondition, is not available today and so we spend the rest of the day at the police station. From here, they monitor the road that goes across Balochistan. The next morning, we get into a rusty jeep — the first of many Pakistani military- and police vehicles on our way through Balochistan.
Our three guards have served in this area mcdrive in spanien a long time.
Lively talks, and once in awhile open-hearted laughter, reach us through the darkness. In the police station we sit in the dark.
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When we cross the border between Iran and Pakistan, we are already scarred by our journey. Karachi is a monster, a megacity. When, soaked to the bone, we take a break in a little shack to wait for our next escort while mcdrive in spanien hot chai, Baba Saeed tips over a carafe, thrums a few beats on its metal bottom and starts to sing love songs in Urdu and Baloch for us.
With a big grin he shows us pictures of his two-year old son and tells us about his first attempts to speak. But to us, Karachi most notably means that we are allowed to move around freely, without police protection.
When the wind finally settles, we get a full view of the wide desert. Huge sand dunes block our way, so we can only swerve from one side to the other, dipsy-doodling along.
Are things not all that bad after all? The jeep is too small for us and our escort, so that the levy in the trunk suffers the most from the bumps which we are subject to. It is covered with a fine layer of sand, just like the rest of the room.
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Thick be of sweat are rolling down my forehead, getting caught in my brows and finding their way down my temples. We are in the midst of Balochistan.
One guard post follows the next and each time we have to show our passports and the registry. According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, we are entering a terrorist region. He complements each of his words with a warm smile. Terror and daily life live side by side in Balochistan, the levies themselves frequently becoming mcdrive in spanien of terrorist attacks. Taftan, which is hooked up with the Iranian electricity grid, has been crippled by the raging sandstorm which damaged several power poles somewhere in the neighboring country. Our minds are ever preoccupied with all the terror that could happen to us.
Instead, we spend the night, candlelit, at the office of the police station and eat dinner with the commanding officer. Our deation: the mega-metropolis Karachi. Nobody accompanies us, nobody cares about our safety. White stubbles sprout on their weather-beaten faces, their eyes are hollow.
Sand and grey rock all the way to the horizon where a grey cloudy sky awaits the end of nothingness. We talk about family, women and children. Together, we mcdrive in spanien in until the sound of metal scratching against the bowl declares the end of our meal. A little light falls through the open door into the dark office of the commanding officer on duty.
The levies patrol along the only asphalted street. The rough guardian of the desert has suddenly transformed into a friendly family man. We are escorted by three armed levies: members of a paramilitary unit of local conscripts, officers, soldiers and policemen.
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For decades, this region has been marked by riots, rebellion, independence movements mcdrive in spanien terrorism. Flying carpets on wheels. Then Saif digs out his cellphone. Outside, in the courtyard of the police station, a few men gather — policemen and villagers. Behind the ridge, no fifty kilometers away, the Taliban rule. So he prepares us for his country. For being at threat of getting kidnapped, the mood is pretty relaxed. But our companions are happy about our visit and we instantly become friends on Facebook. A heavy storm is raging around us.
Safety is a rare good here. He tries his best to keep up our high spirits.
But the Pakistani border officials seem very laid-back. From here, we take the train down south — this time we are escorted by the Pakistani police. Saif, one of the levies, proudly presents us the salad he just prepared. So, we smile at the sight mcdrive in spanien the Moloch. The power outage has ificant consequences for us. Despair and elation. After the sandstorm, dark clouds of rain accompany us. No, we need not worry — tonight, we can go to sleep, untroubled. Yes, we are in Pakistan.
Sitting on a blanket on the dusty floor, they serve us chai in small glasses mcdrive in spanien share their food with us. On the truck bed, a levy in a corduroy coat throws me a smile. We often change vehicles during these controls, so that over time, we get to meet more and more levies. Our journey is carefully documented. Last, six levies died in an exchange of fire in Januarywhen a Spanish bike rider was escorted through Balochistan. The Taliban, who again and again, also invade Pakistani territory. They wrap blankets and scarves around their he and bodies to protect themselves against the wind and sand.
The computer network of the only bank in town is down.