I’m not going to pretend and say that ever since I’ve moved to Dubai, life here is horrible and Karachi was much better, because truth be told, Dubai has a lot more to offer in terms of comfort as well as personal and professional growth!
But there are definitely some things about Karachi that make it worthy of being called ‘Home.’ And those things are worth mentioning here:
I know the roads, I know how to drive, I have a license (who doesn’t?) and I have a car in Karachi. Did I mention I know the roads? Yes, Dubai is a beautiful concrete jungle, but it is so rapidly changing that one can never get completely accustomed to the roads. Or maybe I have a really poor sense of direction because I can never seem to figure out which way is home. Using maps to get from one place to another every single time is a HUGE problem for a technologically challenged person like myself and asking the husband is a big no-no because he cannot understand what there is to understand about using GPS.
Every single shelf in IKEA and Home Center is like a siren calling me to pick up the inhabitants of the shelf and transfer them to my trolley, pass them through the scanner, pay a fortune for them and take them home. I don’t remember being a shopaholic in Karachi, so I blame Dubai for making me shop till I drop. You enter a store to buy bread and end up buying 6 other things that you really did not need, but were convinced that they were nice to have in the house.
3. Taxi Fare
Imagine paying Rs. 500 for a rickshaw ride from Dolmen Mall Clifton to Park Towers. No bargaining, no reasoning. Paying the ‘minimum fare’ for a taxi ride in Dubai makes me feel helpless and maybe even slightly cheated, just like I would feel if I had to pay Rs. 500 to a rickshaw wala in Karachi.
There is a fine for everything in Dubai. Every. Single. Thing. There is a fine on eating in the Metro, a fine on crossing roads, a fine on eating in public in Ramadan, and even a fine on wearing certain clothes. My husband even convinced me that there was a fine on touching parked cars! Compared to Karachi where you could break a signal in front of a policeman and then argue that it wasn’t your fault, this place comes as a huge shock!
Dubai obviously has amazing continental food and a wide variety to choose from. You can find anything your heart desires, even Pakistani restaurants that serve Pakistani dishes. But the strict restrictions on food quality here mean that the food is prepared without the sweat and blood of the chef, making it somehow taste slightly bland and unexciting!
For each thing that is right with Karachi, however, there are 3 more things wrong with it. So while I was feeling slightly patriotic and maybe even a little homesick, I may have tried to find reasons to highlight Karachi in a positive light, but the fact remains that life in Dubai is much easier and has more to offer to us than Karachi ever did. While Karachi takes and takes from us, other countries take some and give more back in return. I really hope that our Politicians wake up and realize what they’re stealing from the nation every single minute, and that Karachi becomes a better place to live in.