The metro bus project and the 'dharna' have made going to Blue Area a night mare.
The metro bus project ripped up perfectly sound roads and highways in order to make a separate bus lane and, made going to that side of town quite a tricky endeavour. Was the project necessary, everyone has been asking and usually giving a negative verdict.
The 'dharna' that is supposedly going to usher in a Naya Pakistan has also completely choked that part of the city. The government has responded by stacking up containers all over which makes going to a certain office or shop in Blue Area like going through a maze.
Today, apparently I needed to get to the Emirates office before 4 PM in order to - once again - make a date change and pay some fees. A 72-year old taxi driver - bless his soul - got me as close as possible to the Emirates office. We parked in a ' band gali' and then I walked over a small bridge, past some red-bricked government housing, over beautifully shaded foot paths and arrived a few minutes before 4 PM only to find the office closed.
I know I did not confuse the time or date as I had penciled it in my notebook while on the Emirates helpline.
I could only shrug my shoulders and walked back to the taxi. The ebola crisis has really affected my business, my family, and almost made me a refugee. My life is in a limbo. One more delay is not going to give me a nervous breakdown.
It was mostly dead quiet at that time and all the security guards were snoozing. With the change of weather, we are finally experiencing autumn. Although beautiful all year around, Islamabad is especially lovely to walk around when the weather is crisp and the sunlight streams in through the shaded avenues.
On the way back, I saw an almost scuffle. A group of boys and men were hauling some sacks towards the 'dharna' site chanting "Go Nawaz Go." Two boys yelled "Go Imran Go" in their direction. In a few seconds the bigger group was ready to beat up those two boys. A crowd gathered to diffuse the situation.
As I got back, I told the taxi driver what happened. A police man nearby started criticising the 'dharna' and said the 'Jehudis' were behind it. I took a moment to politely explain to him that we can't lump all our flaws and failings on outsiders and especially must stop demonising the 'Jehudis.'
The taxi driver told me that apparently the Qadri camp is paying "protestors" 2,000 rupees a day, or 2,500 with food!
So, I am still stuck in Islamabad. With that cancelled Air Ivoire flight on the 16th from Accra to Monrovia, I do not know if I should wait for the KQ flight on the 24th or just re-route the flight from Dubai to Monrovia via Casablanca.