The True Story of the Present Flowers's Patus
Ordering patus (plaids/ woolen blankets) from Afghanistan or Pakistan is not always easy. Two models of our patus (woolen blankets) were shown in the German journal "Kontinente" in January 2012. Therefore the demand for patus rose quickly and surprisingly high. Particularly elderly women from southwestern Germany seemed to be interested in our warm woolen blankets. We were quickly sold out and had about hundred pieces pre-ordered.
We used to buy them on the bazaar in Kabul as we lived there. That was quite easy going there on the motorcycle or by taxi. But how were we supposed to order patus from Afghanistan or from Pakistan - where they are actually being produced in the Swat valley - without being there? It turned to be not exactly like looking through yellow pages for a shop phone number.
Some of our Afghan friends were willing to buy patus for us, but they offered a lesser quality for a a higher price than what we would usually get.
So the idea was to get the patus directly from their producers in Pakistan. We contacted a good Pakistani friend of ours, a former house-mate during our early years in Kabul, and asked him whether he knew someone who could purchase and ship patus to us from the Swat valley in Northwestern Pakistan.
Our friend gave us the contact of Hazer Gul - the name means "Present Flower" - operations manager for CARAVAN, a local NGO. First Hazer Gul did not find the patus we wanted and was willing to produce the patus especially for us. We kept emailing back and fourth for days and weeks until we received the photos of the patus we wanted. Snowy conditions in Swat did not help! Hazer Gul had then to find a shipping company... Days kept passing.
Some happy day, we received an email saying that the patus would be in Berlin the next day... The next day we called the airport several times, but ... the second day! Everything fitted into the car to our surprise and off we went with our new load of patus.
As the overall process took such a long time, we had contacted another friend in the mean time and asked him as well to send patus from Pakistan. We actually heavily doubted that one of the two options would eventually work out.
Now it turns that we will receive another big load of patus from Pakistan next week. Inshallah! We have time, but for sure our clients have the watch: some of the elderly ladies from southeastern Germany, who were interested in those patus, seem to think that the winter is over and they do not want their patu anymore. We strongly believe that in Germany and its surroundings one also needs a patu to survive chilly spring and summer nights! For sure winter will come again before this year ends.