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.
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.