Monday, March 16, 2009

Five Month Anniversary

Five months ago, I boarded flight EK 225 to begin a new chapter of my life in Abu Dhabi. I was flying to freedom, leaving behind the traumatic events of the preceding weeks. And when they upgraded me to business class, the feeling of rightness intensified :)

An hour later as we were about to land, I looked outside the oblong window and all I could see was a vast, flat expanse of sandy desert; no buildings, no green trees, no hills, mountains, rivers or lakes; a far cry from Karachi's crowded, mega-metropolis cityscape and vibrant coastline and a sharp contrast to Princeton's lush greenery. For a moment, I felt apprehensive. Alhamdulillah, life has been kind and usually, I am content to "go with the flow" not straying too far from my comfort zone ("adventures" find me, but that's another story). I hoped I was ready to take risks, to try something different and use the opportunity to figure out my priorities and learn a little bit more about the world before I was bogged down by other responsibilities.

So what's it like being in the "real world"? For the first time, I am completely on my own without the safety net of family, friends and a supportive college community. I discovered that:
- People are not always "nice" and there are some strange characters out there.
- Some people are truly wonderful (and brave)... The person who appears always to be happy and smiling may be putting on an act to conceal a deeper pain.
- As an employee, you are responsible to others. If you're feeling lazy or stayed up the night before, watching YouTube or baking brownies, sleeping in or taking the day off is not an option. There are others depending on you to get work done and leave is precious.
- There is no Fall Break, Winter Break, Spring Break or Summer vacations.
- Jeans are only worn after work or on weekends.
- Married men hit on single women.
- Single women are wealthier than married men.

This time last year, I was frantically trying to finish my thesis and stressing about what to do after graduation. Right now, I am grateful to be where I am; older, perhaps a little wiser, trying to do the right thing while having a good time.

Maa Salaam!


  1. hear hear! although i'm only half in the real world by virtue of living at home. maha, you MUST tell me the next time you are in the states so we can have more of these adventures together :P

  2. i wear jeans to work everyday :P !!!

  3. @sh- you need to come visit me!
    @AS- lucky you :P!

  4. AOA,
    I am luky I wear my PJs to work every day! :)

    Monty Fresh Punjabi from Salt Lake City