Monday, February 5

Karachi 2018

My annual trips to Karachi are quite well established now, up to the point where I actually start itching to go back 10-12 months after my previous trip. This one was a couple of months overdue due to South Africa, but it did coincide with a couple of weddings so it worked out pretty well.

I find it to be a humbling habit, somewhat rooted, and that not in a "I wish I could save them all poverty porn" sense. I'm not a tourist here, I'm family. This makes it personal not just because there's blood involved but also for the more pragmatic fact that the life I see around me could have been my own if my grandfather had made different decisions in his own life all those years ago.

Things are always relative and perhaps this is why I don't have the same sense of ambition or success that others back in the UK have - I already have these things in a way, no matter how they were earned (or not). My peers aren't necessarily the people I live and work with in London, but my cousins, relatives and the 25m other people who reside here in Karachi. In the same way I find myself also more conservative and traditional, whether it's the manner in which I dress or the fact that I prefer squatters to commodes.

It's a cliche but despite the poverty and hardships people do seem more happy and content here than they do elsewhere. One can accuse them all of living in ignorance of course - how can they miss something they've never had - but us who spend the time to visit do know what's out there... and yet there's much more of a sense of peace where choices are much more limited.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous16:17

    Did you get married yet dude?