Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Feature-First Flight into Karachi

Asalamu Alaikum,

My first time coming to Karachi was a bit of an adventure. Not quite as exciting as when we left the US, and not nearly as tiring. There are some things that I will always remember.

Our family almost always flies into Karachi by night. Partly because of work timings and partly to catch the best ticket deals. Some tips-flying from Dubai(rather than Abu Dhabi) to Karachi is cheaper, and you have more options for nonstop flights.

So any way, on our first flight to Karachi, when we started to descend I was staring out the window at the city. There were large sections of light, and then big dark sections, which I at first thought were forests/lakes/ginormous parking lots/etc. As I was watching, suddenly some of the dark sections lit up, and nearby lighted sections went dark. It was my first memory of load shedding! Tariq had explained what it was while we had been living in Abu Dhabi but I had never experienced it myself.

It was a very interesting experience. If you are flying into Karachi I do suggest a night flight, as you can't see it happen in the daytime.

Because it was a small flight we deplaned onto the ground after we landed, then there was a shuttle bus from the plane to the terminal. At the terminal the doors of the bus wouldn't open. Every other passenger(all men) climbed out one of the windows, until it was just Tariq, Saad, and I on the bus. One of the other passengers kindly stayed behind everyone else to help driver wrench the doors open wide enough to let us out.

After getting through immigration, we went to pick up our bags. One had burst a zipper! Nothing got lost so I think it happened when they stuck it on the conveyer belt, and we are awesome at packing suitcases(lots and lots of practice, we can fit everything together like a puzzle).

So that's my first memories of Karachi, a bit of hassle, but totally memorable!


HijabiMommy said...

Assalamualaikum Aishah. First time commenter....been reading your blog for a while. I came over to your blog from Umm Aaminah's. Just wanted to say that I really enjoy your stories about Pakistan. I'm very impressed by your grasp of the culture and first, I thought you were a native! Just wanted to show you some blog love and say "salam"! :)

Anonymous said...

nice what does load shedding mean

Umm Mini said...

Salaam alaykum,

Haha, masha'Allah, sounds like nice memories.

Can I ask you by the way how long it took for you to master the language?

Aishah said...

Wa alaikum asalam,

Thank you! My husband probably have a bit of a laugh at the thought of me being mistaken for a native!

Load shedding is basically scheduled black outs that happen all over Pakistan, because of a shortage of electricity. We are lucky to only have between 3-8 hours of load shedding a day, Some places have 18-20 hours of load shedding.

Umm Mini,
Master? I understand maybe 60 percent of what is said(if I am really lucky!), and while I have a large vocabulary of Urdu words, I can't make many proper sentences. I am trying to work harder on being able to communicate, but I still have to resort to my husbands sisters for most of my translations. I have been living with my husband's family for more than 3 years and in Pakistan for more than 2.

Umm Mini said...

Salaam alaykum,

Masha'Allah, that is already good right. Better than me at least. I can understand just couple of words, and that are also the words I know. But I have the same sentence problem. I just don't know where to start.

Got myself a home study book 2 years ago, but still didn't finish it.

Insha'Allah you will get to know it soon. And me as well. Although I'm not living in India yet, still I already want to learn it, cause I'm afraid otherwise I won't be knowing what my little one is saying sometimes.