Here I am sitting in my room with my laptop on my lap and the ceiling fan running on full speed thanks to the UPS (Uninterruptible power supply) in the hope to reduce the burning heat of Multan, Pakistan and staring at the wall clock waiting for the light to come back so I can enjoy the cold air of the air conditioning system. I am not used to such temperatures. In Germany we only had a summer of a few days in which the temperature went up to max. 30° and we hardly needed a fan. But right now my weather app is showing me a temperature 41° in Multan Pakistan. It’s burning hot. The wind is so hot that it feels like hundreds of little needles are pocking your skin once it touches you.
Moving is never easy, especially when you move from Germany to Pakistan. It’s obvious that there are a lot of changes in your everyday life which you need to accept. Before coming here people told me all kind of things, like that it will be very hard for me, that I will suffer from the heat, that it’s not safe here and so on. After spending a few months here I concluded for myself that it’s not that bad. It has its down sides but also its benefits, which I wasn’t aware of before coming here.
Here is a list of things a newbie struggles with after moving to Pakistan.
Light challi gay / Light a gay (Light is gone/ Light came back)
While living in Germany I took the 24/7 power supply for granted, but after moving to Pakistan I have started to appreciate it. The power supply cuts made me realize that it’s not mandatory that you have nonstop power supply around the clock. There are ways to keep the power running even during power cuts, which include installing a UPS.
UPS is short for Uninterruptible power supply and is an electrical apparatus that provides emergency power when the mains power fails. Thanks to this little guy you don’t feel whether there is a power cut or not. But it can only be used to provide light and keep the fan running during the summer. You can’t use any machinery with it. That’s where things get a little ugly.
Imagine watching your favorite TV show and all of the sudden the screen turns black. Yes you got it power is out and now you have to wait until it gets back but by then your TV show will probably be over. Now let’s apply this to the kitchen. It’s a hot summer day and you feel like drinking freshly pressed apple juice. You are all excited and go into the kitchen. You prepare everything and take out the juicer plug it in and turn it on but nothing happens. And again there is no power you have to wait until it comes back but by then you probably don’t feel like having juice anymore. What I want to say is that you have to adjust your everyday activity to the power supply, which leaves you no room to be spontaneous anymore.
I am lucky enough to live in a part of the city where there are controlled power cuts, which means you have one hour of mains power and the next hour no power at all but after 6 pm there are no power cuts. When you go to small villages or small cities it looks way different. Most of the time you don’t have any idea when the power cut is over and sometimes there is no power for the whole day.
One more thing which isn’t available all the time is gas; it is used for cooking and heating in winter. Now that’s ridiculous. You need to adjust your cooking routine according to the timing when gas is available. This means if you have a sudden urge to eat at night you either need to prepare it before hand and put it in the refrigerator or wait till morning to eat something. Yes you guessed it right the concept of making midnight snacks doesn’t exist in this scenario.
In the area where I am living we thankfully have gas supply the whole day till 11 pm. After that you can’t cook anything. And yet I consider myself lucky because if I look at what people from other cities have to go through. Sometimes women have to stay up all night and cook for the next day because they know that gas won’t be available during the day time.
Driving in Pakistan
I used to love driving in Germany. It was one of my favorite activates. I used to relax and think about the life and this world while driving around. But driving in Pakistan is quite the opposite. It is stressful hectic and very dangerous for someone coming from Europe.
I remember the first time I came to Pakistan after getting my driving license. The drive from the airport to our home was unbearable for me and the funny thing is I wasn’t even driving. If you are a driver and sitting on the passenger seat the inner driver forces you to focus on the road and to push the break and that’s what happened with me. I was watching the driver doing risky overtakes and caught myself several times trying to push the breaks. And the honking gave me a headache. I remember wondering if people always used to drive like this or if I am just noticing it now because I can drive now as well.
Now that I am living here I have to drive as well. If I start sharing my driving experiences now it will take up too much time that’s why I decided to share my driving experiences in a separate post. If you are interested keep following.
Getting things done
As a female it can be a little difficult to get things done in Pakistan because the society is dominated by men. That’s why most of the time women are dependent on the male gander when it comes to getting something fixed at home or going shopping for groceries or clothes.
It’s a big problem for women living in villages and even for some who are living in cities, most of the time they can’t drive. Women living in villages have the additional problem that cities are mostly fare away and travelling by public transport is not an option because at times it is not available at the place where they are living. In these cases they are dependent on their husband or sons, if they are old enough to drive a car or ride a motorbike. The easiest task like getting the groceries becomes a challenge for these women.
Thankfully I am living in a family which is open minded and where even the women can drive and do all their work by themselves. There is no dependency whatsoever and we can go out freely which is a blessing because in Germany I was used to do my shopping and everything on my own and there was no dependency because I could drive and had a car and it’s the same here as well. And that’s not the case everywhere in Pakistan. Most of the time girls and women are not allowed to leave the house without the company of a male family member, ideally a brother or the father or the husband.
Mind your own business
I have noticed that in Pakistan it is very difficult for people to mind their own business especially for other family members. They are more interested in what’s going on in other people’s lives and how they can give them advices to do to things differently than in what’s going on in their in home and what they can do about that. Additionally people see even the smallest flaws in other people but won’t recognize their own flaws which are so much bigger. And family drama is a must in almost every household. No matter if you want it or not but you sure as hell are going get it one way or the other.
Living in Germany my family didn’t had any contact to other Pakistani families and almost the whole family lived in Pakistan so we grew up in a harmonic and peaceful environment with no drama and no nosy people trying to tell us what to do and how to do it. That’s why coming to Pakistan and seeing all the family drama and interference of other people in my life was kind of irritating, confusing and disappointing for me. But after sometime you start to ignore it and stop taking it personally which is the best you can do. Once you let them get to you they will ruin you mentally.