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Love

  • Vibrant, vivid culture; color & passion everywhere
  • Mind-blowing geography/scenery in the north; so many insanely gorgeous places north of Islamabad
  • Karachi never sleeps! You can get/do anything here, at literally any time, and there's always an air of liveliness and joy.
  • The pallor of gloom/despondence that seems to hang over modern first world societies is deliciously absent... despite the ubiquitous odor of burning trash, there's something spiritually & emotionally freeing about the atmosphere
  • Gorgeous buses & rickshaws; art as far as the eye can see
  • Hearing my native language everywhere at all times; Pakistani Urdu is poetic, majestic, and full of wit
  • Incredible textiles, imaginative fashion with unparalleled attention to detail
  • Stunning architecture/building design
    • Shi'a mosques are absolutely gorgeous, festive, brightly-lit masterpieces
  • Despite extreme hardships & unbearable conditions, low-level laborers have a mind-blowing work ethic; tailors & seamstresses are like sprightly magicians
  • Amazingly delicious food; incredible range of cuisine on every street
  • Beautiful, sprawling bungalow-style homes
  • Warm, friendly people
  • Generally awesome family values
  • Deep spirituality ingrained in culture
  • Impressive levels of intellectualism & deep thought in mundane conversations
  • Children still play; instead of being glued to TV/computer/video games 24/7, they're constantly outdoors doing good ol' fashioned kid stuff, filling neighborhood streets with light & laughter
  • Joint family structure = culture revolves around togetherness & harmony; loneliness rare
  • Even with the most limited of resources & a nightmarish lack of urban planning, Pakistan's innovators constantly push boundaries and achieve amazing things (eg. transformative highways/roadways/tunnels somehow being perfectly constructed in the middle of Karachi)
  • Animals everywhere!
  • Impossible to shop without communicating with shop owners/building consumer rapport; anyone you do business with will treat you like a human rather than a cog in the machine

Dislike/Hate

  • Traffic is Grand Theft Auto-style DANGEROUS. Virtually no enforcement of traffic laws, if they exist (on one hand, this is surprisingly efficient, on the other hand, it's homicidal)
  • Widespread political & legal corruption; corruption is the rule, not the exception
  • Seemingly no labor ethics; appalling working conditions for menial laborers, bonded labor, child labor, and slavery are all frighteningly common
  • Prejudice against outsiders/what isn't understood; mob mentality takes shape easily, especially in less literate areas
  • Extreme poverty in disturbingly high numbers; cycle of poverty seems very hard to break... Poverty is highly visible and painful to see
  • The seemingly uncontested encroachment of the Taliban and other extremist Wahhabi groups
  • Ever-heightening sectarian tensions easily exploited by those who stand to benefit from division and chaos
  • The targeted killing of Shi'as and other minorities has become tantamount to low-level genocide, yet elicits zero concern from the government
  • The deceitful nature of govt intel & its probable affiliation with terrorist orgs, which often seem to operate with impunity
  • Education & healthcare relatively inaccessible to those without money
  • Terrible/inconsistent trash disposal system; busy streets lined with garbage in unregulated areas
  • Lack of urban planning = spillover of street vendors into already-overcrowded streets, further choking traffic + encouraging insane driving habits
  • Enormous gap between what this country is capable of and what it actually achieves, due to exploitation/corruption, selfish political agendas, and the resulting brain drain
  • Being waited on, cleaned up after, and served by children who should be in school
  • Semi-nonexistent law & order; police & authorities can easily be bought
  • Crime rates always climbing; general safety a major concern
  • Political corruption translates to social corruption; indecency in behavior among ill-educated populace
  • Rumors of extreme amorality & decadence among wealthy elites
  • Insane loadshedding! Electricity highly unreliable
  • Extreme heat & humidity in the summer; nearly intolerable when lights are out
  • Internet connectivity can be pretty mediocre at times + state censorship can be an issue

x r

jun 17 2012 ∞
jul 13 2018 +