I’ve dreaded going to Pakistan since I can remember. I’m not a fan of the Karachi heat, nor am I good at family stuff. Since our trips last less than 2 weeks, I have zero friends. This is NOT about hating my country so lay off the judgments. I remember tweeting it was really hot when I spent a summer there once, I got rape threats to “go back if I hated it that much”. Lol.
I’m not saying this is everyone’s experience or that all of Pakistan is like this. These are just MY circumstances and I’ve had so many great times that surpass the handful of those shitty experiences. However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to appreciate visits to my birth country much more and I try my best to cherish the time I spend with my family.
This time around, I’m going back for a month, 34 days to be precise. Enough time to build and strengthen relationships while still being on vacation mode. Here are some more reasons why I’m genuinely looking forward to going to Pakistan this summer:
I get to see my sister and bug her about making me an aunt
My beautiful older sister got married in 2016 and moved to Pakistan. Its been 19 months and I’ve transformed into that nosy aunt that keeps asking about the “khush khubri” (good news). As I said before, I don’t have friends back home so this is the closest I get to that. We’ve already planned to do photo shoots in her wedding dress on her husband’s bike.
A lot of people call me creative (my mom) for my writing and stuff (which you could follow hehe) but everything I know is because of her. She was the first one of us to get into fashion or makeup or taking artsy pictures and I just remember always wanting to look like her. I didn’t realize it then but now that I think about it, a lot of my style is inspired by her. Alright, that’s enough sentiness, I’m ready to be an aunt now.
A Khozema Sisters’ trip to Lahore
Speaking of sisters, I also have a younger one. The three of us have never taken a trip together alone and I’m so excited to go on our first adventure and continue with another season of “Keeping up with the Khozemas”.
Lahore is 14 hours by train from Karachi (our city) and I’m sure one of us is not going to make it with all fingers and toes intact because we spend a lot of time planning each other’s murders in our heads (at least me, anyway). Nonetheless, I’m super excited to navigate through the busy city with our white girl Urdu and zero Punjabi.
My cousin’s getting married!!
Wedding seasons are hectic for our people. I fainted at my sister’s wedding so I’m hoping this one is less dramatic since it’s not immediate family. I also feel more confident at dealing with snarky aunties asking about meri bari (my turn) now. If you guys have any cool comebacks of your own, holla, please.
This wedding is pretty much the epitome of the reasons for flying across the world. So yeah, shout out to my awesome cousin for tying the knot.
Club going upppp (North of Pakistan that is)
Not sure if I’ve mentioned this before but my sister married this dude who has his own tour company. He takes young city folks to some cool looking’ mountains and waterfalls in the northern parts of Pakistan, no biggie. He’s also an amazing photographer so we’re gonna collaborate on a project there. This just means I’ll awkwardly pose and he has to fix me in post.
My friends always pick on me for globe-hopping and not knowing squat about my own country so here is me trying to educate myself and meet new people on our 12-day trek.
If you wanna see some places we’re going to explore check this out.
Shopping with other people’s money
A lot of holidays and birthdays pass and my relatives collect the money they would have spent on my gifts and Eidi and give it to me when I visit. I very much enjoy this tradition. Before I just used the money for camel rides on the beach but this time I’ve got a long list of indulging in material objects to do.
As of recently, I’ve been watching a lot of Urdu dramas to improve my accent so I can bargain efficiently. My aunt never lets me talk when we go shopping because, as my dad describes it, am a faucet of only English and shopkeepers raise the prices immediately knowing that.
Being so far away means we also miss some major milestones in our family history. The main one being the creation of new people. My cousin is almost 2 and I saw her last when she couldn’t even walk. I’m so ready to teach her bad words and buy her candy.
Though I grew up in Pakistan, I don’t have many memories outside my city. Now that I’m older, I am able to better understand my culture and I’m super excited to be a part of it.
Good vibes only,