Post by post I’ll be blogging about my trip to Karachi — I decided to make it a series because just one post would have been waaay too long, plus with compromises on detail. And, for a writer like me, the more I can write the better!
Part One: The Countdown
Trips to Karachi come once, or if I’m extremely lucky, twice a year, lasting for only a finite number of days. They are full of ice-cream, load shedding, breezy evenings, rickshaws, cousins, shopping, all-nighters, texting and most importantly, unlimited fun. Each trip is unique and memorable in its own right. Summer trips are long and lethargic, winter ones are short breathers, and ‘wedding’ ones are so rare that I never, ever take them for granted.
Precisely like this one.
The best thing about this trip (okay, one of the best) was that it began long before I even left Abu Dhabi. For me, dad’s unexpected ‘yes’ was where it all started. My cousin (who also happened to be one of my closest friends) was getting married, and I was actually going to Karachi! With 714 hours to my mock exams, 1002 hours to my flight and 1056 hours to the wedding, the countdown began.
From that point on, it was just shopping, shopping and more shopping! Along the way I made a few enlightening discoveries: that my younger sister was a surprisingly mature person who was actually fun to hang out with, that my dad was all awesomeness on the inside despite acting all stiff and sullen, that a scenario can happen even if you obsessively plan and organise everything (Murphy’s Law!) and, finally, that going dress-hunting independently and paying for an expensive(ish) one out of your own hard-earned allowance was probably the most fulfilling feeling in the world.
I remember the past two months as knots of tangled memory. The month of February was long, emotional emails (When are you coming to Karachi?), the painful art of patience and half-hearted attempts at ‘studying’. The month of March, in sharp contrast, was hurried, excited emails (I’m coming in 192 hours!), the exhilarating thrill of rushing and desperately sincere attempts at cramming three weeks of studying into nine days.
And so after nine exams and innumerable shopping trips, my younger sister and I boarded our flight to Karachi. In our armory (aka a suitcase) was presents, AS Level textbooks, chocolate and a whole lot of borrowed makeup and clothes. We sat in our seats, sent last-minute goodbye texts and fastened our belts, bubbling with excitement.
And so the adventure began.