Live blogging my way back home. Sorta.
Another one from the travel log. Or tlog as I like to call it. I’m so fucking hip.
Know what a $5 cup of Costa coffee looks like? Just like a $2 cup of Costa coffee back in the States. And I would know — that’s what I just paid at the Dubai airport. And you know what? It was worth it. I chugged that shit down because I was told I wouldn’t be able to take it on the plane. Turns out the flight got delayed an hour and a half, and I burned up my taste buds for nothing. I was so sad that I went to Starbucks and paid $4 for a cup of green tea.
Yeah, I’m just throwing money around now. Whatevs. I spent a grand total of $160 during my week-long stay in Pakistan. And that includes a trip to the spa where I pampered myself with a facial, hot stone massage, wax job, manicure & pedicure. Plus a 50% tip for the lovely young ladies who took care of me. Anyone who has to touch feet for a living should be compensated well. Just sayin’.
They were really nice, these girls. They understood a little English, and they didn’t laugh too much at my pathetic attempts at making conversation in Urdu. I have the vocabulary of a 2nd grader, which incidentally is right around the time we moved to the States.
A lot of the visit to Pakistan was built around services. There was the guy who cooked all our meals. The woman who came in and made our beds every day, and the tailor who cloned my favorite pair of premium Levi’s. There was the guy who drove us all around town, even taking us the scenic route without us asking (“So you can see the ocean,” he said).
Everywhere we went, there was someone there to wait on us hand and foot. Someone poor. Someone who probably doesn’t make as much money in a month as I make in a day. Sometimes they were so young that if we were back in the States, I’d wonder why they weren’t in school. I’d wonder if I should call Child Protective Services. I’d wonder — but not in Pakistan.
The whole thing made me really, really uncomfortable to say the least. Especially when they call me “miss” or “madam.” I saw poverty in Pakistan the likes of which I’ve never seen anywhere else. I see it every time I go there, and then I go back to my cushy ass life and forget all about it.
I’m not saying I’m rich. Far from it, actually. We do well for ourselves, but we’re practically kids. We’re in our 20s. We’re just starting out. Hell, we’re not even lower middle class in the area we live in, and we’re constantly calling ourselves poor. “We’re too poor to go on vacation” or “we’re gonna be so poor after we pay rent.” Ugh.
I can’t even think about the word poor without the image of some 5 year old knocking on my car window, hand cupped, saying “For God’s sake, please, miss.” I will never say that again. …at least until I settle back into my cushy ass life and I forget again.
On a less depressing note, I went to the duty free liquor shop and scored 2 big ol’ bottles of top shelf liquor for $40. KafirBoy is going to love the shit out of me when I show up with those.
Also, I’ve rocked the most horrendous seating arrangements ever on this trip. From NYC to Dubai, I sat next to a woman who put her head in her husbands lap and her bare feet on mine. No joke. I had to tap her awake and ask her to get off me. Nicely. From Dubai to Karachi I sat alone, only not. I was surrounded by beardos and one particularly creepy non-beardo who stared at me while I slept. You know how you’re almost asleep and then you open your eyes because it feels like someone’s staring at you? Yeah. 2 hours of that was way fun.
From Karachi to Dubai, I sat next to a very smelly woman who threw her trash on the floor and yelled in Punjabi at the Korean flight attendant to fetch her some 7 Up and a toothpick. Then she yelled at me in Urdu to translate for her since the flight attendant was non-responsive. She also took out a shawl that reeked of moth balls and threw it dramatically over her shoulder, slapping me in the face as she did it. And then — yes it gets better — she picked her teeth and wiped the toothpick on the seat. For, like, 20 minutes. She also spit in the corner. If you don’t believe any of this ever happened, try taking a flight from Karachi to Dubai. I guarantee it’ll be the most horrible 2 hours of your life.
Anyway, for the last leg of my journey, I didn’t bother specifying what seat I wanted. I ended up in the bitch seat, aka the center. I’m hoping I’ll at least end up sammiched in between some hotties.
ETA: didn’t happen. I was sammiched between a really nice older gentleman and a really fat guy. The older guy and I had some good conversations until I took some sleeping pills and slept for, like, 7 hours straight. Through crying babies and all.
I’m home now, and busy doing a whole lot of nothing with my hubby. I slept through pretty much all of the flight home, so I didn’t make it very far into chapter 13. I’ll have it updated soon though. I’ve got a whole weekend ahead of me, remember? Did I mention how nice it is to be home? See ya’ll soon.