Sunday, November 29, 2009


I guess this time, Eid was pretty unconventional... Back when I was young (and relatively docile), mum and dad used to take us around visiting random people whom we saw once a year on Eid. This time, I ended up going to Gunsmoke for lunch with friends from school... The food was decent and the servings, huge but I think it's more suited for meat-lovers with big appetites (I'm more into vegetarian/white meat/desserts). They had peanuts in bowls and we were supposed to shell the peanuts and throw the shells on the floor :P. For someone as obsessive/compulsive as me this was trying... I remember using a carpet brush to brush my carpet straight after someone had walked on it and disturbed the alignment of the fibers :P

I visited an aunty who is now suffering from dementia... When we were younger, she used to give us a pack of candy for Eid and money for ice cream and it made me sad to see her like this. Old age is scary, especially if your kids are all abroad and you're alone...

So, Eid Day 2 is over and now I have to look forward to work Tuesday... *joy*

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Corporate in Karachi

So I'm working for one of the big multi-national(ish) organizations in Karachi and it's been rather interesting. I have three bosses: B1 is 24 and just one level senior to me (we went to the same school, small world, eh?), B2's been in the firm for the past 12 years and likes to boss me around. He likes giving me a ton of work at 5:30pm (just when I'm getting ready to leave!) so that I end up staying till 8... and B3 is the cool Aitchisonian guy from Lahore (I'm slightly in awe of him but he's fun when he isn't stressing out about one thing or another).

My dad never raises his voice, most of my professors were soft-spoken and so were my previous supervisors, so the Pakistani male baritones took some getting used to :P. Once, B3 was stressed out and addressed me in a slightly harsh tone... it brought the tears to my eyes (I know, I know, I'm a wimpy, weepy girl) but thankfully, I managed to control myself before the all-out weeping began... LOL.

Oh, and I'm the new "weird kid" in the office... I bring my own coffee mug (instead of using the communal ones used by everyone else) and I also have a little green glass that I wash and use instead of the plastic ones :P. Also, I drive to work when all the shareef girls come with drivers. The other day, one of the uncles asked me, "Beta, aap ko dar nahin lagta?" (Dear, don't you feel scared?). Ummm... not really, not after being stuck in NY Penn station waiting for the subway at 2:00 am with lots of sketchy characters around.

We have lunch in a cafeteria... the menu isn't very creative, featuring things like daal chawal and qorma while I'm more of a pizza/sandwich person. I miss our Spinney's cafeteria in AD...

I'm also trying to find a balance between work and personal life. I mean, we do hang out as a group and go out for lunch together but I don't want to get *too* close to my colleagues (as in having them over at my place for dinner/hanging out after work). It could also get awkward since they're all guys (and single) and I'm a girl and this is Pakistan after all...

Anyway, since it's Eid tomorrow, B2 and B3 have both gone to Lahore and I'm freeeee :D hurrah!

Eid Mubarak y'all!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday at French Beach

What do Karachiites do on a sunny, wintry Sunday? They go to the beach :). The road to Hawkesbay is awful but we finally made it after much jolting and knocking about in the car. The scenery is pretty drab... All you see are freight containers, massive trucks and seedy khokhas (I think I'm spoiled after Abu Dhabi's pristine Corniche).

We had a barbecue lunch and went in for a quick dip, got wet, dried off and headed home. Fun :)

Sometimes though, I miss my "alone" time. Between work and family, I'm always surrounded by people (alhamdulilah) but I miss cooking and doing laundry and shopping for groceries. I also miss having showarma and mint lemonade at Special and my weekly Baskin Robbins sundae...

Oh, and I'm supposed to take my colleagues out to dinner with my first salary (it's a company tradition)... :0. I'm making 1/15th of what I was getting in AD it's probably going to cost more than my entire paycheck :S.

Ana ghareebah jiddan...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Sorry, I temporarily dropped off the face of the earth but I had so much going on that it was hard to put everything down. It was one of those times when I felt like I needed Dumbledore's pensieve to siphon off my thoughts and then examine them at leisure :P.

So last Thursday I got an eye-infection and it was one of the worst I've ever contracted. Since it's barely been a month since I started work, I didn't think it would be nice to take time off, so I went to work with my huge Abu Dhabian sunglasses (I used to wear them back in AD because they kept the dust and sun out of my face). Well, this is Pakistan where people can't help themselves and absolutely have to comment. Here are just a few that I had to endure:

"Gaia se kaho ab raat ho gayi hai" (Tell Gaia it's evening now)

"Aap to female James Bond lag rahi hain" (You look like a female James Bond)

"You look like Chaudry Shujaat"

"We're not in the Matrix you know?"

One lady made me take them off just so she could get a good look at my watery, bloodshot eyes :P. I mean really people, I'm obviously wearing them for a reason!

On top of that, last week was more hectic than usual and I had to attend a conference at Sheraton with the glasses on... :P. It's really awkward being the only girl at work because all the guys are talking guy-stuff and I feel left-out :'(. Plus, there's noone to go to the bathroom with...

Next post: Trip to Thar where there is no electricity, no fresh water and people burn cow dung for fuel.