Pakistan’s SMS craze, closeted lesbians

I took a moment today to catch up on Pakistan news and see whether the earthquake has had a sweeping effect. Thankfully not, given that a country grappling with a war on its border, political unrest, and a recent flood can handle little more.

But amid the bleak reports of a semi curfew and ethnic killings in Karachi, I did find some interesting nuggets of news:

Diplomacy galore: Pakistan’s Desk at the U.S. State Department is the largest of any other country, according to The News in Pakistan. Clearly, the nation is of strategic importance to the U.S., but I wonder whether how this information will be received in Pakistan — where so many distrust America and its officials.

Strange landing: A man fell from the sky in Lahore this week, landing to his death on the roof of a house. The AP writes that he fell from the wheel well of the plane during takeoff, possibly because he was hiding in the Dubai-bound plane’s landing gear.

Text crazy: SMS is already the most popular way to use cell phones in Pakistan, but researchers expect the volume of text messages to double by 2014. More than 150 billion text messages were sent in 2009, the Daily Times reports, which works out to about 4 messages per user each day.

Secret love: Lesbians in Pakistan face a social stigma they fear far more than the law. “From the time that I’ve known this about myself, every day that I’ve felt that I’d wish I was just like everybody else,” one Pakistani woman told NPR.

On a personal note, my mom is in Lahore right now. She says people continue to try to live normal lives, spending their days sipping spiced chai, shopping for the latest fabrics, and visiting with relatives.

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