We Pakistanis love complaining about the current prevailing turmoil our country is in, and we go to great lengths to figure out our grand escape plans; once we actually intend to leave our beloved nation. However, it does not take much for us to realise how incredible our country is and how many things we simply take for granted.
Remember the scorching heat of the sun back in Pakistan? When you had to run like your life depended on it, just to catch the bus to uni? or how aunties took forever to bargain over fruits for just 1 rupee? All of this had a certain golden tone we can’t see in the Gulf States or anywhere aborad for that matter.
Even the water in the United States, unlike perfect Pakistani water, has a metallic taste that does not agree with our taste buds; the oxygen we breathe in Canada is slightly mustier than the pure unadulterated air that was back in Pakistan.
Here is a list of ten things that Pakistanis miss the most once they have settled abroad.
1. The Food Dipped in Ghee and Served with Love
One of the most common and famous complaints of every desi who has lived abroad is that the food just does not taste the same. The organic fruits and vegetables all taste the same, but one can’t differentiate between a banana and a capsicum with the taste buds alone!
We miss the spices, the flavours; ah, the bursts and punches of flavours! Biryani, a signature specialty, is never the same in a foreign country (organic chicken biryani, that’s why). Even simple dishes like lentils (daal) taste like they are lacking something. All these dishes just need Pakistani hawwa. Who can forget the moment when mom feeds the small bits into your mouth with love in every bite.
2. Never-Ending Rishta Rants
You know the aunty-preneurs whose business is to get into other people’s businesses? There is a serious dearth of them in the west if that is where you have settled. People are really busy going around their jobs and have little time for personal talk and gossip.
This means you will most probably not be facing any aunties with very inquisitive inquisitions about your rishta! We are unsure whether this is something you will actually miss- everybody reaches this road where they go back down memory lane and remember the aunt who scared the living daylights out of them.
3. The Extra ‘Help’
When you settle abroad, be prepared to do all the chores yourself. Maids cost a fortune in the west because they strictly believe in the minimum wage law. You’ll end up paying the servant more than you earn yourself!
One-way ticket straight to Broke-ville. Leaving you with no choice but to work those dishes, and clothes, and floors, and beds, and ceilings. It is a lot of work!!
4. Electricity Playing Hide & Seek
All right, maybe I am going a bit too far with this one, but once you come back to Pakistan and the load shedding starts, you get that oddly satisfying feeling. It makes up for all the times you braced yourself for an electricity cut back in the US at 1 pm, then 4 pm, then 9 pm, then again at 1 am, then 4 am, then 9 am.
Oh, and no more questions such as these:
5. The ‘Adhi Urdu Adhi English’ Language Mixed with a little our Mother Tongue on the Side!
No more Urdu, Punjabi, Pashto, Sindhi, Balochi, or whichever your mother tongue is. Also worth mentioning is that nobody seems to know that the national language of Pakistanis is Urdu.
6. The Ogling Pair of Eyes Everywhere you Wen
Oddly enough, you will miss peoplw noticing you, nce you are all dolled up in your most chic clothes- don’t expect people to stare as they did back in Pakistan – they have better things to do, believe me.
7. The Colourful Views
It doesn’t matter whether it is the bazaars or the darker-toned people back in Pakistan; you are going to miss the different colours all around you. People will appear robotic, and you’ll begin to miss the beauty in all the imperfections you saw around you back in your home country.
Remember going to Seaview at 12am? Those mid-night cravings hit you and then the family goes out to dine, and the entire restaurant is filled with lively people? Yup, you won’t have anything like that again in the west.
8. Grand Wedding Celebrations
Which Pakistani would ever say that they do not miss the extravagant, over-the-top Pakistani weddings that take months to plan, and a month to execute?
Instead of separate mehndi, baraats, and valimas, you’re going to have to put up with just the one wedding function, minus all the dancing, fights, make-ups, break-ups, hook-ups, meet-up plans, and the amazing food.
9. The Beautiful Melody of Pakistan
When you shift to a country abroad, especially if it is to a non-Muslim majority country, there are lots of sounds you will sorely miss.
From words we used daily and without thinking twice, like MashAllah and the customary greeting Assalam-u-Alaikum, to the azhaan (daily call to prayer); there will be a lot you will realise you had taken for granted.
When somebody says ‘I’ll get the job done tomorrow’, you will be itching to hear them add ‘inshAllah’, and you’ll painstakingly discuss prices and bargain in a foreign language rather than simply saying ‘Bhai, munasib qeemat bataein!’
10. Rules that don’t apply
You want to push your way ahead in queues, you want to drive the car fast; heck, you want to drive on the wrong side of the road! But there are a lot of rules and regulations stopping you from doing so; even jaywalking is considered an offense.
No more ‘daddy ka road’ wala shashka in the west!
There is one more thing which we all miss once we go abroad: our family and friends. I could not include this in the list because, besides being obvious, it is heart-wrenching to be away from your loved ones.
They sure love the chocolates we bring them every time we go back home, though! All in all, you will get hit with a truck-load-of-homesickness.
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