Remember when the video of a Polish girl doing the Kiki Challenge on a PIA flight irked NAB?
With the Pakistani flag on her back, Eva zu Beck did her own rendition of the social media phenomenon (which – thank God – is over now) based on the hit song by Drake.
Though NAB seemed to dislike it, many came to Eva’s defense, saying her video was harmless and merely an attempt to improve Pakistan’s image.
Seems like they were right, since the travel blogger’s Instagram handle is currently filled with some breath-taking pictures of stunning locales she has visited around the country. Let’s have a look, shall we?
1. Swat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa:
“This dress has become a small symbol of the generosity I experience every day in Pakistan. Before driving out for today’s trip, I wanted to pop by a local shop and buy a shawl,” Eva wrote.
But the shawl she liked was a part of a three piece suit. Just as she was about to leave, the shopkeeper offered her to let her rent the whole ensemble for a day and refused to accept money.
PHOTO: EVA ZU BECK/INSTAGRAM
“He said he didn’t want the money. He was simply happy to see that a foreign tourist – me – could enjoy a piece of local culture,” recalled Eva. “I find that incredible: he could have made easy money on me, yet he chose not to. Such simple generosity. I showed him the photos we took in the dress. His lips stretched from ear to ear in a bright smile.”
“On the way back from the shop to the hotel, the driver turned around and said, ‘You see, our name has been tarnished but we are good people’.”
2. Lahore, Punjab:
“The excitement of a trip to a new place just never gets old for me,” Eva captioned the picture.
3. Miandam, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa:
“It’s hard to believe that only a few years ago, this place was Taliban territory. Coming here was equivalent to putting your life on the line,” Eva penned. “But things have changed here. There is no Taliban presence anymore. Tourism, however, is slow to return. ‘She’s the first foreign tourist I’ve seen here this year’, the boy working at a Miandam guesthouse said to my Urdu-speaking travel partner. ‘There haven’t been many foreign tourists here since the Taliban came and went’.”
“Maybe I should be happy: I have this whole place all to myself. A true off-the-beaten-track gem, by western standards anyway. Yet I feel a tinge of sadness at seeing all the beauty around me, untold,” she added.
4. Hunza, Northern Areas:
“It feels like arriving at a destination, rather than another stopover. It’s that sense of letting go of plans without a second look. It’s allowing yourself to sink into a place, fully and completely,” Eva shared. “Your heart rises slightly in your chest, your eyes relax, all your movements start to flow. The tension leaves you.”
She added, “So here I am, legs submerged in the cool water of a pool, protected by the shadow of a tree from the sweltering afternoon sun. It’s 36 degrees, but the birds continue to sing and the world rolls by at the pace of today, and today only. Here it is, the simple joy of being, just being, slowly and lightly.”
5. Karachi, Sindh:
“The owner of the camel kept looking around at me with a half-amused, half-worried look on his face. He kept performing a thumbs-up gesture to check whether I was okay,” Eva wrote of her experience of visiting Sea View. “And then he started running through the shallow water of the beach. The camel trotted behind him, clumsily – and on his back, I tried to hold on while bursting with laughter.”
“After a good run, the camel owner stopped and asked for my phone so he could take some photos. He ran around the camel, bending, kneeling, standing on tiptoes, taking shots from different angles. You could tell he really wanted to take that perfect snap. And when I opened my camera roll afterwards, I found all these gems. Thank you, camel owner on Sea View Beach.”
6. Naltar Valley, Gilgit Baltistan:
“After ‘that’ video went viral, I faced a choice: either I could hide in a corner, ignore the storm and passively hope for the best; or I could attack it head-on and use that time to draw attention to what really matters to me: promoting tourism in Pakistan,” she wrote. “The latter was my only choice. As terrifying and nerve-wracking as it was, I grabbed that bull by the horns and slowly shifted a problem into an opportunity.”
“I started talking to TV hosts and journalists all over the country about tourism in Pakistan. About how much promise there is here, about the importance of promoting it to the world,” she added. “That is still the mission. Thank you all for your support and for being part of it. And remember: every problem is an opportunity in disguise.”
Thank you Eva, we’re truly grateful for everything you’ve done!
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