It may sound strange to someone, who has never been to Pakistan, but it feelsÂ great to be back in Islamabad, where I have lived on and off previously. And even though I have only been back for less than one week, I already feel well-ensconced in my old world.
I arrived here at the crack of dawn on the second day of the Eid holiday when everything was closed and the city, which is usually pretty busy with cars, was very sleepy – just as I was. So after a couple of hours of sleep, I got my joggingÂ shoes on and explored my old running trail on the bottom of the Margalla Hills and I was happy to find that it was still there – and so were the boars and the monkeys, who used to scare me when I first started going there.
After having had a very hot summer with temperatures hovering around 43 C, it has now started to cool down and the air feels fresh and clear. A perfect time to come to Islamabad, which is amazingly green and offers lots of opportunity to be in the outdoors.
At the moment I am stillÂ staying with my friend Ashley, whoÂ I lived with when I was here two years ago, however, as she is currently in the process of moving to Lahore I am moving in with two German runners, who kindly offered me shelter for the next four weeks.
In terms of security, it seems relatively calm despite the ubiquitous checkpoints in the city and I still feel comfortable riding my bike around town (properly dressed, of course) and go out on my own. I have already started my CORE classes and it is wonderful how enthusiastic people are that this exercise class is back in town. So I might rent the studio at Kuchkhaas again and offer classes for the short time that I am here.
I guess I need to be here for a bit longer to fill you in properly onÂ what is going on here, but I simply wanted to share this beautiful photoÂ from today’sÂ early morning run with you.
Watch the space forÂ more updates from the Pakistani capital.