I spent the day navigating the alleys of the bustling Meena Bazaar in Attock—the hub of economic activity and a beautiful sampler of the city’s sights and sounds, with Abdul Rehman by my side. I had already spent a few days hunting for fabric in Lahore and Rawalpindi, but we still needed to get threads, frames, needles, scissors and more fabric.

We rummaged through piles of fabric that was sold by the kilo, hunted for matching thread colors, compared prices, and negotiated relentlessly, all the while adding more purchases to the giant black-bag-of-supplies that Abdul Rehman insisted on carrying for me. Once or twice, I found myself distracted by groups of curious little Turkmen boys in traditional hats and shalwar qameez, hand in hand or arms around each other. Then Abdul Rehman’s focused gait reminded me that there were more threads to be bought. Finding forty embroidery frames for the first Art and Crafts class turned out to be unexpectedly challenging. No single vendor seemed to carry more than five; we ended up going to about a dozen shops scattered throughout the bazaar.

By the time we were done, the sun had set and we had likely visited every fabric and thread shop in the bazaar at least once, if not twice. Abdul Rehman looked at my exhausted face, and suggested we take a rickshaw back instead of walking. I was happy to comply.