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Going to Pakistan with American Wife: Ongoing Updates

Zane_K

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Alternatives? Such as moving to another country than Pakistan or UK?
Yes that’s right.. another country ..originally I thought of Dubai but after I got scammed out of my initial payments of £38,000 ..that was a no no.
Then started looking at Tanzania & other stable African countries ie Botswana. Vietnam was also an early option ( lovely country when I visited) though not sure whether suitable overall.
Saying all that there is a greater pull to Pakistan.. my DNA. What can I say? I still have time .. ( inshallah )
What’s your thoughts ? Pakistan , USA , Europe? from your posts I think you’re like me ..not sure yet.
 

Meengla

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Yes that’s right.. another country ..originally I thought of Dubai but after I got scammed out of my initial payments of £38,000 ..that was a no no.
Then started looking at Tanzania & other stable African countries ie Botswana. Vietnam was also an early option ( lovely country when I visited) though not sure whether suitable overall.
Saying all that there is a greater pull to Pakistan.. my DNA. What can I say? I still have time .. ( inshallah )
What’s your thoughts ? Pakistan , USA , Europe? from your posts I think you’re like me ..not sure yet.
I have not given much thought to retirement. Too young for that!

Tanzania, Botswana, Vietnam! Wow, it's rare to see Pakistanis even mentioning those countries to settle down to.

For me climate is very important! All four seasons in a country. I just can't stand the thought of living in countries which are warm, humid for most of the year. Southeast Asia and Middle East are a big no-go, as would be most African countries. In Latin America, the highlands of Ecuador once grabbed my attention but not going there.

At least in Pakistan, if you can afford to, you can live in 3 different places and enjoy great climate all year around: Winters in Karachi, shoulder-seasons in central Pakistan (Lahore till Peshawar), and summers in the hills. Plus you get the best food in the world! Like these 'Benazir Samosas' in Lahore!! Cheap and Yummy! We were given so much warmth by the staff there.


Benazir_Samose.png
 

Zane_K

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I have not given much thought to retirement. Too young for that!

Tanzania, Botswana, Vietnam! Wow, it's rare to see Pakistanis even mentioning those countries to settle down to.

For me climate is very important! All four seasons in a country. I just can't stand the thought of living in countries which are warm, humid for most of the year. Southeast Asia and Middle East are a big no-go, as would be most African countries. In Latin America, the highlands of Ecuador once grabbed my attention but not going there.

At least in Pakistan, if you can afford to, you can live in 3 different places and enjoy great climate all year around: Winters in Karachi, shoulder-seasons in central Pakistan (Lahore till Peshawar), and summers in the hills. Plus you get the best food in the world! Like these 'Benazir Samosas' in Lahore!! Cheap and Yummy! We were given so much warmth by the staff there.


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Samosas with s
I have not given much thought to retirement. Too young for that!

Tanzania, Botswana, Vietnam! Wow, it's rare to see Pakistanis even mentioning those countries to settle down to.

For me climate is very important! All four seasons in a country. I just can't stand the thought of living in countries which are warm, humid for most of the year. Southeast Asia and Middle East are a big no-go, as would be most African countries. In Latin America, the highlands of Ecuador once grabbed my attention but not going there.

At least in Pakistan, if you can afford to, you can live in 3 different places and enjoy great climate all year around: Winters in Karachi, shoulder-seasons in central Pakistan (Lahore till Peshawar), and summers in the hills. Plus you get the best food in the world! Like these 'Benazir Samosas' in Lahore!! Cheap and Yummy! We were given so much warmth by the staff there.


View attachment 600720
I agree Pakistan street food is lovely ..& you have to show us a pic’ of samosas just to rub it in. It’s going to be Samosa night for me..
Getting back to the point you made .. its obvious your heart lies in Pakistan.. cannot blame you for that . Ultimately we will end up in Pakistan .. we’re fooling ourselves if we think otherwise. Like I said before it’s our DNA.
 

Meengla

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you have to show us a pic’ of samosas just to rub it in. It’s going to be Samosa night for me..
And here is the Benazir Samosa shop in Lahore. Go there and grab some!

While men never refused us for taking their pics in Pakistan, a few times women wouldn't allow me to take their pics with wife even though they were taking selfies with wife. One guy took multiple selfies with his family ladies and my wife in an Islamabad public area next to Rawal Lake; when I asked to take their pics with wife, he replied: "No, East is East and West is West." Hmmm.


Samosa_shop.png
 

Meengla

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Some pics at the Pearl Continental Hotel, Bhurban. Near Murree. December 2019.

To get inside PC Bhurban, we had to pay Rs. 1000/person, but that money could be used for food or shopping inside the hotel. An excellent hotel, btw, with great views. Food not cheap, as can be expected: A couple of cups of Qehwa (Green Tea) and a small appetizer plus sales tax took us to Rs. 2300, plus tip.

The views were some of the best one could get in a five star setting in Pakistan. But what amazed me was hundreds of teen age girls in groups all over the hotel. They were extremely busy taking selfies and had stairways and walkways often blocked out to others, while they were busily taking selfies. And of course long lines to ladies room, as expected. Wife complained that none of them would even make eye contact with her, let alone try to answer any of her questions about the 'washroom' location etc. These were hip, urban ladies unlike you'd see at places like Minar e Pakistan in Lahore or Quaid's Mausoleum in Karachi where the ladies were down to Earth and friendly. Anyway, no hard feelings: I said the girls were just shy.

Here are the pics...
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Meengla

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Beautiful sunset with Islamabad's Monal Restaurant in the foreground. We hiked to a nearby hill. It was not so easy hike but not too difficult either. I think the highest elevation, per my memory, was 3300-3800 feet where we stopped hiking.
Monal's prices were quite reasonable, IMO, for the location. More on Monal soon.

Monal.jpg
 

Meengla

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The Kolachi Restaurant (Do Darya), Karachi. We loved the Do Darya restaurants a lot. Beautiful sea-side (and even on the water!) dining options. The Kolachi restaurant was supposed to be one of the pricier one--and it was. It wasn't cheap to eat for two people at around Rs. 2200 (1 USD was about Rs. 150 then--December 2019), and they don't accept credit cards.

There was a good 45 minute wait for a table right next (actually, about over the water) to the water. So we didn't wait and took another more inward table.

The food was excellent. The service was really good; if felt that they were almost starting at you, trying to read your mind as to what you might want next!

Anyone going to Karachi must go to Do Darya restaurants at night!

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Meengla

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Kabuli Pulao at the Monal Restaurant near Islamabad. The restaurant, despite it's location, was not that expensive. The huge platter of Kabuli Pulao (around $9 USD) was way too much for even three grown up persons who were just back from a short 20 minutes each-way, but not so easy hike, from the hills around the restaurant. Anyway, here's the video:

 

Meengla

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Not directly related to the Pakistan trip but here is a video from two days ago of our home. We live on several acres, and surrounded by many more acres. Life among trees and animals, with no neighbors, no noise, and ample privacy is hard to beat. Pity those restless souls who buy tiny places in Manhattan for $1 million dollars!

 

YeBeWarned

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Not directly related to the Pakistan trip but here is a video from two days ago of our home. We live on several acres, and surrounded by many more acres. Life among trees and animals, with no neighbors, no noise, and ample privacy is hard to beat. Pity those restless souls who buy tiny places in Manhattan for $1 million dollars!

Where do you live in SC ? You got Snow fall there thats cool , my Wife place didn't get Snow fall just rain :(
Well, you said that you live in a large land with no neighbors , honestly this is one of my biggest concern over moving to a place like that, all my life i live in a neighborhood where the houses are wall to wall, and friendly people, you can hear people outside, walk to shops even at 1 am in night to buy soda or chips , but living in a place where there are no people , empty land , dark and no noise is literally something that creeps the hell out of me, and i know that somehow i will have to live like that .

how did you deal with such situation ? don't you feel scared ? or weird ? i mean yes you must have your wife , kids and dogs or pets but still without any other human, or know there is no one living next to you only emptiness it kinda freaking no ?
 

Meengla

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Where do you live in SC ? You got Snow fall there thats cool , my Wife place didn't get Snow fall just rain :(
Well, you said that you live in a large land with no neighbors , honestly this is one of my biggest concern over moving to a place like that, all my life i live in a neighborhood where the houses are wall to wall, and friendly people, you can hear people outside, walk to shops even at 1 am in night to buy soda or chips , but living in a place where there are no people , empty land , dark and no noise is literally something that creeps the hell out of me, and i know that somehow i will have to live like that .

how did you deal with such situation ? don't you feel scared ? or weird ? i mean yes you must have your wife , kids and dogs or pets but still without any other human, or know there is no one living next to you only emptiness it kinda freaking no ?
I am not far from shopping places, colleges, restaurants, theaters, hospitals, parks... Most of them are within 10-30 minute drive. But the home and its surrounding area are thickly forested for many acres around. It's best of the both worlds to have lots of peace and privacy while still close to everything.

Or so I thought! After many years of living in such a place there is sometimes a yearning for more activity around. I don't know if I am ever going to like the humming of a city but sometimes I wish to be more engaged with people. I was born and raised in Karachi. Pretty socially active. Whatever an upper middle class upbringing may offer, I had that. But in the recent trip, it felt like I was some alien in Karachi with the noise and the people around. I don't know the answer to whether I will ever adjust to a city again. Maybe, maybe not.

About safety, on the whole, the rural America is very safe. But what you and every Desi should watch out for is some idiot from our region hurting people; then, the 'Bubba Six Pack', being the most dangerous human being in the world, will come looking to vent his anger. THAT, and not ordinary criminals or wild animals, should be your main worry, as they have been mine.

You will find rural America very different of course. In the end, you decide what to do with your life. As far as I am concern, Pakistan looks better and better everyday to return to permanently.
 

YeBeWarned

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I am not far from shopping places, colleges, restaurants, theaters, hospitals, parks... Most of them are within 10-30 minute drive. But the home and its surrounding area are thickly forested for many acres around. It's best of the both worlds to have lots of peace and privacy while still close to everything.
Hmm , well having neighbors is kinda good but not bad neighbors, Recently my told me that there was a old creepy lady which lives right in front of her house, she used to stalk their house with a binoculars, and recently one day there were police cars, ambulances in her front yard, when news got out that lady was dead for few days without anyone knowing, only her pets were out and loose and when her supposed relatives came to see her she was already dead of natural cause, its very creepy to think living in a isolated area and dying alone :(

Or so I thought! After many years of living in such a place there is sometimes a yearning for more activity around. I don't know if I am ever going to like the humming of a city but sometimes I wish to be more engaged with people. I was born and raised in Karachi. Pretty socially active. Whatever an upper middle class upbringing may offer, I had that. But in the recent trip, it felt like I was some alien in Karachi with the noise and the people around. I don't know the answer to whether I will ever adjust to a city again. Maybe, maybe not.
Everybody has different experiences in life which shapes them, but my question is that how did you deal with the complete social isolation when you first move from a active Social environment to a Small town in US south, how did you deal with the loneliness of surrounded by literally no people at all , and just few people at most .

About safety, on the whole, the rural America is very safe. But what you and every Desi should watch out for is some idiot from our region hurting people; then, the 'Bubba Six Pack', being the most dangerous human being in the world, will come looking to vent his anger. THAT, and not ordinary criminals or wild animals, should be your main worry, as they have been mine.
What do you mean by Bubba six pack ? and from what i understand where my wife lives , there are little to no people of color , only in Greenwood her former town does have some Indian/Pakistani's/Bangladeshi as she claims to see some brown people there in markets . Personally I wanted to move from SC but i am starting to think that i might stay there but i am still struggling to understand that should stay in that small town or move to a larger city like Greenwood or Greenville .

You will find rural America very different of course. In the end, you decide what to do with your life. As far as I am concern, Pakistan looks better and better everyday to return to permanently.
Well you are in late 40's if i am not wrong , thing is I have seen that my wife can't live in Pakistan for longer, she cant work here or the food , quality of water and food goes right with her appetite , yes for few months its fine but permanent living is harder , and TBH i have no place to live, my house is not that big and all rooms are occupied , Plus honestly I have to be there for at least show myself to her family that i am not going to hurt their daughter etc . We may return to Pakistan but that would be when we are in our early 50's and all important things are done .
 

Meengla

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but my question is that how did you deal with the complete social isolation when you first move from a active Social environment to a Small town in US south, how did you deal with the loneliness of surrounded by literally no people at all , and just few people at most .
It wasn't hard to 'deal' with. As I said, our home is pretty sheltered from people and noise but we are not far from places. We have been quite 'social butterflies' in our circle. Perhaps I had always wanted to not live in a city and if I were to go back to Pakistan, then almost certainly big cities are a no-go.

'Bubba Six Pack' is a drunk guy, usually ignorant about the world, often armed with gun or knife, and racist to his core, and he is entitled too. His missing pigments give him a sense of superiority over others. He can't touch African-Americans much anymore and so Desis, Latinos and 'Asians' are his prime target, when he has the numbers on his side and a few pegs in his belly. I have encountered plenty like him--as late as this past New Year's Eve! To me he's best avoided, which you probably will to a large extent because of you won't be hanging out late night in places around such people. But just hope and pray that no idiot from the Middle East or South Asia does anything stupid in America harming innocent people.

Your life is on a different path than mine. For me, been there, done that. Lived and living a good life here. Had seen the best of both in Pakistan and in America. My advice: Move to Greenville, SC. Beautiful city with lots of opportunities and a large number of progressive people too.

My other (and perhaps hypocritical) advice would have been to stay in Pakistan but your career/financial circumstances probably don't allow that. I had that option in Pakistan even decades ago because of a fairly prosperous background--which still remains. But I came here for the experience and loved it too. But the yearnings are now all too common to go back. I am sure many of those Pakistanis who have gone back to Pakistan can attest to their new sense of belonging and happiness. I know three of my relatives have recently gone back to Pakistan and are very happy there.

PS. I believe if Pakistan solves its water resources concerns then Pakistan has a vary good future. But that's for another thread.
 

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