Monthly Archives: July 2011

Shopping and Rebonding Appointment

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So today was spent away from home, away from the kids and by the end of the day I was missing them. But I had the day to myself, and did all my girly stuff.

I went to the Sunday bazaar in the morning and bought myself two handbags and a pair of shoes. I got a pair each for The Spirited and The Princess too. After the shoe stalls, I went to find some books and bought “The Memory Keepers Daughter” (No, I really haven’t read it yet) and “The Nannies Diaries”. I got each for Rs. 40… seriously.. what could be better?

I was home at 1 Pm, and was getting late for my rebonding appointment. I tried to giving the kiddos their lunch, but they were acting up as usual and were sent of to The Misters’ Cousins’ place for while. Then off I went to get my hair straightened. Actually, I had gotten it done last year and was to get the roots done only.  It took more than 5 hours, but the end results weren’t bad at all. I am now trying to decide on a haircut.

xoxoxo

Last Few days in Pakistan…

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We have 5 days left in Pakistan. Just 5 days. The excitement has subsided a little, so has the panic. The stress has settled in now. And Nostalgia….

I think I’m going to miss this place after all. Yes dirty old, unsafe Pakistan.. the land of terror and bomb blasts. I’m going to miss her. I grew up here. I was born and raised here. I’v lived in so many different cities. I grew up in the good old days when my parents weren’t worried I played outside, in the street. My mother could check on me, once in a while from the front door and would know I’d be okay. She could take me out shopping with her, or even window shopping without worrying a bomb will go off somewhere, or a gang of men would start firing on innocent people. We could stroll around, without worrying about death. My parents could send me to school on a school van without fear of having the school van burnt down, or car-jacked. That was a happy life, in dear old Pakistan. I was a kid here, I was a teen here and I’m a grown woman. I played with little girlfriends with our dolls and those tiny pots and pans and I played cricket with my brother and my cousins. I shared girly secrets with my teen girl friends and giggled the nights away with them. I experienced my first love here. I took up my first job here. I got married to a wonderful man and gave birth to two beautiful children. All in dear old Pakistan.

This is the only life I know, but wait… life isn’t the same here anymore.

I can’t take my kids out to the park on bad day here in Karachi, because I don’t want anything bad to him. I can’t take them out on good days either, because a good day can turn into a bad day anytime. I would rather home school then let my kid get on the school van and go to school without my being able to see him. I always take him to school, walk him to the gate and watch him go in. I walk away, worrying my heart out, till it’s time to pick him up at home-time.

Watching TV means hearing how many people died in the previous 24 hours.

Travel is a constant fear of death.

So will I miss this life? Ofcourse not this aspect, but I will miss Pakistan but she’s HOME. My parents are still here, one of my siblings too. My friends, my cousins, the people I’v spent my life with, the only life I know… I’ll be leaving everything behind.

But I look forward to the new start, the new life for myself and especially for my kids.

So we have only 5 days to go. The past few days were spent in Doctor’s appointments. First The Spirited had to get his Root Canal Treatment. I was very nervous. Nervous is not the right word, I was frightened. But he did great. I was expecting a lot of tears, but there was nothing of the sort, except a whimper or two. He was much braver than what I gave him credit for. The dentist was excellent and I would totally recommend him. The name is Dr. Hasnain Sukrani and the clinic is on Zamzama Street 3 I believe.

Next I had to go to a dermatologist for some skin issues.

3rd I had to take The Mother to the eye clinic today. We went at 10:30 in the morn and the Dr. called in saying he won’t be in that day. We went again at 2:30 pm, as we were told, another doctor will be in. We are done by 4 o’clock and then went to get The Mother’s prescription glasses made. KFC was next to the Optics store and the kids insisted we go in. We were home by 5 and the kids had their ped appointment at 6. So next was that and we got home at almost 8:00 pm.

The kids were super tired and went to sleep soon.

The next 5 days are going to be as busy as can be. Tomorrow I plan to visit the Sunday Bazaar, one last time (until I come back for a visit) and then go in to the salon for hair rebonding.

Yay for straight hair and good night!!!

Shopping on Tariq Road

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In addition to the facts that I love to shop and that I have lived in Karachi for almost 6 years now, I owned an online business, which required me to go shopping for people everyday. Karachites may find it hard to believe that in spite of the above three acknowledgements, today was the first time I went shopping on Tariq Road, which is considered to be the best shopping places in Karachi and I cannot help but agree.

There are several reasons for not being able to explore this shopping heaven earlier than just one week before moving out of the Country. Firstly, when I first moved to Karachi, I was totally dependent on the Mr. for moving about the City, which went on for a couple of years. Secondly, The Mother always discouraged shopping trips. Thirdly, I was working full time initially and then later on with two babies in 3 yrs, I rarely had any time to go shopping. Today, I went because a cousin of the Mr. had requested me to accompany her and I didn’t say no, of course.

We were supposed to leave at 11 and be there by 11:30 am but the cousin didn’t wake up till 11 and by the time she was ready to go it was past 1 in the afternoon. I was extremely annoyed, because I had to postpone on several chores and appointments of my own. But the shopping experience, rather the window-shopping experience made up for the late start.

The place is big, like really big. It’s a long road, with several sub-roads and streets comprising thousands of big and small shops, various shopping centers and malls and hoards of street vendors. The best and biggest mall on this well-known and well-loved road is perhaps Dolmen Mall, or so I have heard, because I didn’t get to visit it even today. Other than that, there’s myriad of big and small shops selling all sorts of apparel and other merchandise. The general atmosphere was the same as any bazaar in Pakistan, where you have to haggle and bargain for the best price. The Cousin did most of the shopping but I enjoyed helping her choose her outfits. We visited several stores selling kids wear and I ended up buying a pair of shorts with a cute little top for the Princess for only Rs. 200. Who can resist buying a cute girl outfit for that kind of money? It may not last long, but then Rs. 200 doesn’t last long either.

A Roadside Vendor

At yet another street, I got a couple of outfits for The Spirited for the same price too, which are not totally crap quality.

This is not to give anyone the idea that Tariq Road only has cheap stuff. You can find a lot of high quality products, only I don’t have that sort of money 8 days before our big move. We roamed around for 3 hours and sat down on the side of the road to enjoy a bun kabab and a 7-up before getting into a Rickshaw to get back home.

Root Canal

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The Spirited is to get a Root Canal Treatment.

My 4 years old son had his first ‘proper’ dentist visit last thursday. I call it proper because the three visits last year were total failures. The three different dentists, The Spirited was taken to, coudn’t cajole him into opening his mouth for them. The one we went to last Thursday was not bad. He managed to fill in the cavities in the front teeth and had asked to see him again today.

So today we found out, the little fighter requires a root canal. My Mommy Self simply wanted to pick her baby from that scary chair and run away, but the same Mommy Self also wanted to do what was best for baby…  go along with what the dentist suggests. Not a happy decision, but a decision, nonetheless.

What I hate most about doctors and dentists over here, is that they do not give you the power to decide. He mumbled something about either getting a root canal and or extracting it, while still working on the kids’ tooth. So basically, it was the dentist’s decision to go for the root canal and not mine. I just went along with it, because I didn’t know, what other option do I have.

The Spirited on the dreaded chair

Or maybe, I am being too harsh on him. He showed me what the tooth looked like and told me it was an ‘exposed’ tooth, meaning the pulp was exposed as the tooth has rotten away. So today, he basically cleaned out the tooth, saying he had ‘drained’ it and then filled it up with cotton. I am not sure if there was anything else on the cotton but what I saw was mere cotton. And then he closed it up with a ‘filling-like-material’. I was to give the kid Ibrupufen, which I did. We are to go back on thursday for the ‘proper surgery’, which makes me very nervous.

On the whole The Spirited did very well. Today went by without a single tear. I would give him an A+ for how brave he was today and as a token I took him to a toy shop and he picked out a small toy for himself. So another toy is due on thursday now. I hope thursday flies by as easily as today did.

I’v been reading up on Root Canal treatments, but everywhere it says you get an anesthetic before the cleaning part, so does that mean we haven’t even done that yet. If so, then what was it that the dentist do today. Too many questions, no answers.

Any dentists out there or anyone who’ had a root canal actually knows what’s happening here?

Thanks in Advance

The Night of Emancipation … Shab-e-Bar’aat

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The Night of Emancipation … Shab-e-Bar’aat

 

I didn’t think I’ll be back here, within a few hours, but thought I’d just put in a few lines about the Muslim observance of Shab-e-Bara’at (meaning the night of Emancipation) as tonight is The Night.

Muslims observe Shab-e-Bara’at as a night of salvation. This night commemorates the time when God saved Noah and his Ark from the flood. We believe that on this night,  Allah(God)  determines the fate of all people in the coming year. It is for this reason that the night is also known as the Night of Emancipation. The night of Shab-e-Bara’at also commemorates the entry of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the Holy city of Makkah. It’s celebrated with great enthusiasm. It begins at sunset on the 15th night of the Muslim Month of Shaba’an and goes till sunset of the next day (15th day of the month). Sweets are prepared and sent to relatives on the eve of the 15th, charities are given in the name of deceased relatives and prayers are offered all night long. Candles are lit and many fast on the 15th of Shabaan, from sunrise till sunset. I plan to do that too.

The Shia muslim believe Imam Mehdi was born on this day and they celebrate with fireworks and joyous acts, along with offering prayers. Since, I am not a Shia, no fireworks here 🙂 Just boring old prayers 🙂

Final Hindrance Withdrawn..

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The Mister has, now, been in the UAE for almost 9 months. (We missed out on enough time to make one more baby). We were supposed to follow 6 months later, but were stalled by several reasons. One thing came up after another and the final issue was The Mother’s residents visa. The UAE isn’t giving out parents ‘ residents visas till Eid, which is in September, so The Mister finally got her a 90 days visit visa. The approval for the 90 days visa came today and if everything goes as planned we will be flying on the 25th of this month inshallah, which is exactly 8 days from today.

*panic*

Yes panic, because there is so much to do and so little time! But I’ll focus on those later. I’d rather first elaborate on how the move came about. If you are not interested in knowing the details for our decision to move, skip the next few paraghraphs.

The Mister had a work-at-home kind of job, with an American Company. He was their sole representative in Pakistan. A good job, good enough pay and ample time to spend with family but there were issues every month with delayed salary, among other and the final straw was when they stalled his salary, when a Pakistani customer failed to pay their dues. He definitely was responsible for collecting the payment, but the company was a little unfair in withholding his salary for almost two months. The Mister resigned and was jobless for a few months.

The job situation in Pakistan is definitely at its worst at present, due to several reasons. The top most being the law and order situation which I believe is closely followed by the global financial crisis.

Anyways, The Mister, got an offer from a Pakistani Company based on the UAE. The remuneration offered wasn’t what we would have liked, but it was better than nothing. Plus it gave us a chance to take our kids to a safer place, where I won’t worry my heart out when my pre-schooler is at pre-school and a bomb blasts somewhere in the city. So we took it up.

I had a small home based business, where I designed and got clothes made mostly for overseas Pakistanis. Little did I know, that soon, I’d be one of them too. I had to say goodbye to it. That’s one thing I’m going to miss a lot. I loved my work, though it was super tiring and very time consuming, but apart from the monetary benefits, it also gave me a sense of achievement, which I’d never experienced in my 9 – 5 jobs. Here’s a link to my Facebook page, if interested in seeing my work:

http://www.facebook.com/pakistanfashion

Things are now going to be different. We will be living in a better place but on much less than what we are used to. We’ll be living in a two bedroom apartment where one bedroom goes to The Mother and I, The Mister and the Miniatures live in the Master bedroom. I am thinking of using a room separator for some “US TIME” 🙂

I’ll be looking for a job…. again. I would definitely prefer a Part-time or Work-at-home, even if it doesn’t pay much, because I would like to be with The Miniatures as much as possible. Also, I can leave The Princess with the The Mother, but The Mother has literally no patience with The Spirited. He needs me more than his younger sister.

Things I need to get done in the Next 8 Days:

  1. The hardest for me: The spirited has his second proper dentist appointment, scheduled for this Tuesday. He has to get two cavities filled in. He already had his front teeth done last Saturday. The front teeth weren’t that bad. We got it done with a few tears, but the morals worry me. I really hope it goes well and both teeth are done the same day.
  2. Princess Vaccination Card: On our last Ped visit, I forgot to take The Princess’ vaccination card with me. I blame my Mommy Brains for that. She got her shots and the ped asked me to take the vaccination card to him to get it signed. It’s been two months and I still haven’t gotten it signed.
  3. Vaccinations for Princess: I just realized it’s not just the card. The last time we were there, we were supposed to move in a weeks time but were stalled. Her next vaccinations are due in August. I think we can get those done a week earlier, before we leave.
  4. Get myself an extra pair of specs
  5. Extra pair of contact lenses
  6. Finish packing
  7. Give away everything that I’v put in bags and marked Give Away
  8. Call Dad and let him know of our schedule
  9. Return borrowed books
  10. Give away books I can’t take along *sniff* *sniff*
  11. Buy medicine I’ll be needing for the kids. I’v been told Meds are expensive over there, so I should take along the necessary staples
  12. See my OB and a dermatologist for certain issues.
  13. Call The Spirit’s Ped and ask her if we can get his vaccination earlier too
  14. There’s so much more, which I can’t think of
Probably this was one long boring entry, but I had to put that in writing, for my own self atleast 🙂

Inshallah, I’ll be back with more interesting stuff, later.

xoxox