Some Memories From Karachi

I am finally writing about my trip to Karachi which happened 7 months ago. Yikes ! We were there for two weeks. I was going through the pictures and I decided to write about some of my favourite memories. So here you go.

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1. One of his Mamu’s arranged dinner at his house for us and all of his extended family. (which in total is about 60 people) It was on day 1 of our arrival. I was super nervous because I come from a very different family. His family is Memon and Memon’s don’t marry outside of their clan. I was the odd one out because my husband is the only one in their family who didn’t marry a Memon. Anyway, one of his Khala’s gave me these Gajra’s and made me wear them. Ah ! Gajra’s ! I fell in love with Gajras and got to wear them again a few days later. Although I had been married for 3 years, I was the ‘Naye Dulhan’ (new bride) to them. So I was treated like one too. Lol. Everyone was super nice. No one made a fuss that I didn’t take off my Abaya. And the Nihari they served was to die for. So it was a very good start to our trip.

20170103_1046372. The morning after the Mehndi, his Mamu (the one whose daughter was getting married) called and asked my mother in law to come over because there was a lot of wedding food leftover. And it had to distributed among all of their siblings. No one except me was awake. So my mother in law forced me to take the keys and drive. We picked up the food from his Mamu’s place and gave it to everyone else. I was over the moon about driving in Karachi. I got yelled at by a Rickshaw Wala but they yell at everyone. So I am going to count this as a win.

 

 

 

 

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3. We were there in January, so none of the places I buy my clothes from had any lawn. I ended up going to the local market and buying clothes from there. Naturally I had to go to the lace shop. I spent 10 minutes just admiring all the colours, Kundan laces, buttons and the pearls. I asked the guy if I could take pictures and he got out of the way for me. Now I have been to lace shops but it was always with my mom, aunts or Nani. This was my first experience going by myself, picking out stuff without anyone’s opinion and bargaining for it. The best part was that I was mesmerised by it all and the guy let me take my time choosing everything I wanted.

 

 

 

20170104_1900044.Β One day, in between shopping and the next event, I had half an hour. So I texted best friend and told her that I was coming over, since she lived 2 minutes away. While I was there, I saw this mug that I had given to 2 of my best friends in 12th grade. And here we were, all grown up. Nostalgia hit me bad and reminded me of the people I treasure most.

I grew up hearing about her incredible Uncle and Aunt. True to what I had heard, I was there for 30 minutes and I had texted her 15 minutes before going over. There was a tray filled with pastries, pies and what not waiting for me when I arrived at her place. Just the way her ‘Phupho'(aunt) treated me, I felt like I was home.

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5. Something that annoyed me was that while I was asked to meet all of my husband’s extended family. The same wasn’t asked of him. That made no sense. I was there as his partner so isn’t he suppose to be there as well. Apparently, not.

I went to Karachi with the view to see things differently. And I did. The broken walls, tangled wires and crowds of people had a charm of it’s own. I had heard so much about Karachi, some of it good, a lot of it terrible. I for one, had a great time.

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What To Do In Antalya – Selale Restaurant

BeFunky DesignI cannot believe that I am writing the last post about Antalya. There is so much more that I want to write about this city. Istanbul overshadows the beauty of this place.

Anyway, one of the places that was on my list was Selale Restaurant. It’s a restaurant perched upon a flowing lake. You are sitting on sort of a daybed surrounded by rushing water and ducks swimming in it. Continue reading “What To Do In Antalya – Selale Restaurant”

What To Do In Antalya # 2- Visit A Waterfall

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Visit A Waterfall:

Antalya is blessed with waterfalls, 8 I believe. So you cannot plan a trip there without including waterfalls in it.

We woke up pretty late on the third day, ate biscuits for breakfast while sitting in the balcony and than headed out to Lower Duden Waterfalls. These were really near where our apartment was, so we just took a taxi. It cost us about 15 TL/ $5. Continue reading “What To Do In Antalya # 2- Visit A Waterfall”

What To Do In Antalya – # 1 Roam Around In Kaleici

1448321351322This was suppose to be a single post. But then I realised that I cannot fit all of my writing plus the pictures in one post. So I am dividing it up. Please forgive me if you are reading about my trip even after a month. *evil grins*

Roam Around In Kaleici :Β 

Kaleici is the place with all the details, history and character in it. It has a story written on every corner of it. There are hidden parts of it that will surprise you the more you explore it. Continue reading “What To Do In Antalya – # 1 Roam Around In Kaleici”

Letters To The Moon # 12 (Travel Edition)

View from the apartment we were staying in Antalya, Turkey.
View from the apartment we were staying in Antalya, Turkey.

October 31, 2015

Dear Moon,

I am sitting on a bright blue couch in Antalya, Turkey right now. There are floor to ceiling windows on my left and I can see the sea from where I sit. The mountains are right behind it, posing as a perfect backdrop.

The moment I saw Antalya, I was transported back to my childhood, to Anna’s (my grandma) house in Waah Cantt. You see the lust of building skyscrapers hasn’t hit Antalya yet. It is green, everywhere. I absolutely love it.

Moon, you were ignored today because your other half was in full glory. I saw a sunset that is very rare in my part of the world. I cannot imagine what it is like to wake up to this view and go to sleep with that sunset. I am sure that I will spend all my time out on that balcony. Staying in this apartment instead of a hotel was the best decision I have ever made.

This vacation is already to a great start. We ditched all our plans for the day, took a long two hour nap, completely messed up our sleeping patterns and just sat on the balcony. Did I mention that we also ate the most incredible Pizza for lunch.

What I am loving the most is the peace and quiet. We are staying in a residential area and there is a main road right in front of it. But all I can hear is the blissful silence.

Antalya, you have already made me fall in love with you. I cannot wait to discover you more.

Adieu !

S

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Things I Do Before Traveling

Dubai 2014. View from the 124th flour of Burj Khalifa.
Dubai 2014. View from the 124th flour of Burj Khalifa.

It’s no secret that I love me some wandering. But before I embark on any voyage, there are some things that I like to do to be prepared. Atleast that is what I tell myself.

Today, I am sharing those with you guys. Enjoy ! Also, tell me what you do when you travel.

  1. I take pictures of all the important documents like passports, visa, tickets, hotel reservations, credit cards, ID cards etc. I not only save it in my phone but also back it up on the internet. I like to think that I am ultra prepared although I rarely am. It makes me feel really good about myself. Also in case of any emergency, you have back up to show your documents. Win win.
  2. Whether I am traveling by road or by plane, I download ebooks beforehand. Don’t worry, I take paperbacks as well. But I take very few of those because I know that no matter what the destination, I will be visiting a bookstore. So eBooks are my go to.
  3. If you are not a reader, then download movies. I do this mostly on road trips. But this time, we have no in-flight TV so I have already downloaded several movies to watch during transits and such. Also, this is the perfect time to catch up on any of your favourite TV shows. (On a side note, do you know how hard it is to find movies that both you and your partner will like ? It’s a nightmare for me because we never agree on anything.)
  4. I hate airplane food so stocking up on snacks is a high priority on my list. It’s nasty people, the food. If you like it, something is really wrong with you. Also, I am not okay with paying 50 QR for a Burger King burger at the airport. Yes, I am looking at you Hamad International Airport. I hit my local Baqala aka grocery shop to get the junk I need.

    Taxila, Pakistan, 2014. View from the hill of Dharmarajika.
    Taxila, Pakistan, 2014. View from the hill of Dharmarajika.
  5. If you see a homeless person in the airport, I guarantee that would be me. I wear the most comfortable clothing I can find which is three year old sweats. Same goes for the shoes. I was that idiot who wore new pumps once and ended up hobbling the entire journey. Comfortable clothes and shoes are the key to good traveling.
  6. Maybe I am weird for doing this but I take a shower before traveling. That’s also the first thing I do when I reach the destination, after jumping on the bed ofcourse. No matter how swanky the airport and the plane is, after a 9 hour journey, you are bound to have a layer of grime on you.
  7. I tend to leave all my valuable things at home. This mainly includes Gold/Diamond jewelry or my watch. I always take inexpensive sunglasses with me. There are two reasons for doing this. First, I lose things very easily. Second, our travels are mostly adventure based so they include a lot of adrenaline pumping activities which aren’t ideal for any of your valuable stuff. This is just what I do personally. If you are going for more of a five star vacation than feel free to take whatever you want.

    Ferrari World, Dubai, 2014.
    Ferrari World, Dubai, 2014.
  8. The last thing I do is write it all down. This totally depends on my mood or where I am. For the most part, I am always jotting down experiences and the things I do. If I look back, I can remember the bigger stuff like going for Desert Safari in Dubai or wearing cotton clothes to Saif-ul-Malook. It’s the details like how mad I was at Abbu for not joining us on a trip to KSA or how we ended up paying more to go to Ferrari World than our tickets, that I miss. So I try my best to put my memories in words.

At the end of the day, I just like to keep in mind that exploring this world is an education of it’s own. The life lessons you learn here cannot be found in textbooks or research labs. Those are experiences and tools that you will use to lead an everyday life. So when you leave a certain place, take away something from it. Even if it is a single word.

We ate fresh caught grilled fish at this road side cafe while it hailed like crazy. Pakistan, 2014.
We ate fresh caught grilled fish at this road side cafe while it hailed like crazy. Pakistan, 2014.

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How To Plan Your Travels

Who doesn’t love traveling ? I can live out of a suitcase 320 days of the year, if my unemployed pocket gave me that permission. Nonetheless, I try my best to at least visit one country in an year. As I am in the process of planning our yearly vacation, I decided to write down everything that I find helpful while figuring out everything. So here are my top tips.Β DSCN3326

  1. Start Right Now:

When it comes to travelling, just start planning it right now. Now planning does not mean, booking hotels, flights or tours. Just figure out what dates you are free in. Β And when it would suit you to take some time off. Trust me, there will be things like a cousin’s wedding or other half’s annual meeting in the way. You think that you will be free but you never know.

2. Set A Budget:

Decide how much your pocket can afford to spend in order to satisfy your inner wanderer. This will help you cut down the destinations you had in mind, resulting in an easier decision of where to go. Even with budgets, keep a little wiggle room. You never know when an unexpected expense might arise. It could be a handmade Persian rug or renting a car due to cancelled domestic flights.

3. Check All Your Documents:

If you are not a frequent traveler, please check all your documents. Expired passports, no exit permits, outdated RP etc has happened before. Official things take a lot of time. So your passport renewal might take a month or two and a lot of hassle. That just means, losing precious Istanbul weather and beating the shit out of the guy who suggested we go in November.

4. Deciding A Location:

This is the hardest thing to do because there are way too many options. But then airfares and amount of time you have comes in. Me and my husband can never agree on a single place. This time, I left the choice up to him since he is not much of a traveler. ( I know, it’s a very sad story. I am trying my best to convert the guy) Despite that, he changed his mind ten times going from Greece to Cyprus to Malaysia to Thailand.Screenshot (16)

5. Check The Weather:

The biggest mistake you can make is not checking the weather before hand. Hence, if you are going to Malaysia in October, there is a high chance you might end up staying in the hotel 24/7 or seeing the Petronas Towers dripping wet with rain.

6. Set Your Priorities :

You can do this after your have decided the country to visit or do this before. This basically means, deciding what you want out of your travels. Do you want a relaxed holiday or want to visit all the landmarks that you can. My priorities are usually, food, shopping, adventure, sightseeing, locals and bookstores. Though this time, the other half decided that he wanted a bit of history, good architecture, something different that he would never normally consider.

7. Decide Your Problems :

You need to think of any problems that may arise in the country you are traveling too. This might not be a thing for everyone. But for a Desi like me it is. Country relationships are not always the best which results in visa rejections. Or unnecessary checks at the airport (which mean that your vacation is over before it even began). Also, as a Muslim, I have to think about things like Halal food or places to pray at.

8.Take A Break From the Internet :

Yes, I know the internet is a wonderful place. It lets you have a vacation before you have booked anything. But just get your hands off that things to do in Stockholm button. The fun of traveling is in not knowing what the country has to offer and than being surprised.

9. Have Fun:

At the end of the day, you are traveling because you love it. So no matter where you end up or how you end up there, smile and just have fun. Go and explore the city, forget your itinerary for an afternoon. Breathe in that air because you are standing underneath the same sky, on the same ground but everything else is different. The history behind it is different.

No matter how you plan your traveling adventures, the journey will always be great. It will teach you something new, open your eyes to different cultures and different people. So simply travel.

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