Car Preparations for Road Trips

Amongst the most common questions that I got, one was around car related preparations for a long road trip. Hence, this post. I’ll try to focus on the things you should check or get checked before a road trip to ensure the likelihood of a smooth trip is much higher. Having said that, just like any other mechanical thing, cars can break down and I’d address some of the things to carry along to face some of the possible unforeseen scenarios.

First things first, get your car properly cleaned inside and out. When you’re headed for a road trip, the car’s engine should generally be good especially since it’s going to be traveling for longer distances, possibly for at least a few hours without any stops. If you have a fairly recent model, these are some of the things you should check before embarking on a road trip and once in the morning everyday during the trip:

Engine Oil: Ensure that engine oil level is within the prescribed range, and would be good with regards to the prescribed mileage for the trip. If you are anticipating clocking in few thousand kilometers in the trip, it’s better to get it changed before the trip.

Oil Filter/Air Filter/ AC Filter: Get them replaced too to avoid any troubles later.

Tires: Ensure they are in good condition, check the treads, and signs of strains, bulge or damage. If they don’t look right, replace them as you really don’t want to be left stranded with tire problems in the middle of the journey. Also, ensure the condition of spare tire is good and the air pressure levels in all tires (even spare one) is 30-35 psi (preferably 30 psi).

Battery: Check it is in good condition.

Brake Oil: Check the brake oil level is within the expected range, and if not, just ensure you fill it up to that.

Radiator Coolant: Use a good quality coolant. Flush the radiator if you haven’t done that in a while.

If you’re using a car model from a few years ago, do check these additional things before starting your journey:

Gear oil levels, steering and brake oil fluids, wheels’ alignment, replace spark plugs (ensure they’re thoroughly cleaned, and even keep a set of 4 as spare ones), get steering and suspension checked, get the rain wipers, car lights/blinkers/fog lights checked, check the car horn, ensure there are no issues with car’s tire shields, get the AC/Heater system checked to ensure everything works, and get the brakes serviced before the trip. I’d recommend you to get your car’s fuel pump checked too, as the quality of fuel available across different fuel stations varies and sometimes all it needs is cleaning the filter with petrol (this ensures the fuel pump would not let you down in the trip – the fuel you would get in some of the places especially in-and-around the mountainous region is not as good, so this would prevent any unforeseen breakdowns – also, if it is possible, put in hi-octane while you’re traveling in hilly areas).

Apart from the things to check, these are some things you should carry:

A good quality jack suitable for your car, a dual-motor battery-operated air pressure pump, extra mobil oil, tool kit including screwdrivers (at least one flathead and one phillips), wrench, plier, hex keys, wires, wire cutting pliers, tire pressure gauge (if possible), tire puncture repair kit (get a simple one if possible, for super emergencies), some extra wires, zip ties, duct tape, and a few jet clips of different sizes, good quality battery torching cable set, good quality towing rope with heavy hooks, WD-40 or similar liquid aerosols spray, some car air fresheners, few bottles of fuel injectors, a good collection of DVDs/other media (card/USB, etc.) for music/videos to play during the trip (there would be patches where internet may not be available), sunglasses, hand sanitizer, gloves, a small garbage bag/dustbin, car mobile holder, power bank(s), and car phone charging and aux cables.

These are the additional tips for the trip:

Get the fuel tank filled before getting on the motorway, especially M5 from Sukkur to Multan as these generally don’t have fuel stations and you would have to get off the motorway to get it refueled which is a time waster.

Try using a good quality fuel injector along with refueling the tank. Put an entire bottle in at once. This improves the mileage and helps clean the carburetor and keep the engine in better shape. You can use a bottle every time you fill the tank, but I’d recommend using one every second or third refill.

Try to get your car washed, cleaned everyday. Some of the hotel staff can help you with that if you pay them something, so you don’t necessarily have to go to a service station every time.

Keep an eye on the tire pressure and engine oil levels – these tend to go low in higher altitudes sometimes.

When driving on high gradient plains, slopes and curves, try to minimize the use of brakes. One, that’d help extend the life of the brakes in general and two, it would ensure they are effective as they won’t heat up due to over usage (a lot of amateur drivers overuse the brakes going down the hilly parts and even climbing up – it also causes a lot of unnecessary wear and tear).

Wear your seat belts – applies to everyone but especially the driver and the person sitting beside the driver.

You can probably use an inflatable bed, but that takes up a lot of space so I recommend keeping a blanket or two and few pillows for comfortable naps, especially for kids.

These were the things I could remember to share, if any of you have more things that I may have forgotten and are useful, please send me a note so that I can edit this post accordingly. Have a safe journey!

Exploring Pakistan’s Beautiful Landscape – 4250KMs in 2 weeks

As some of you are aware, my wife and I decided to take our kids on a road trip this December with an initial idea to see and play in snow and make a snowman. After several rounds of stories about Frozen’s Olaf, the kids clearly knew what to expect and it got them excited already. Now that we have completed our trip, most of the people whom we relayed our experience to mentioned they’d love if they could have these details, tips and tricks and that would encourage them to do something like this on their own. I’m posting this to help others who may be planning to venture out on a road trip in Pakistan.

We tried to enjoy our trip with a relaxed pace, visiting places that we wanted to go to starting everyday when we wanted to so it was a fairly freestyle flexible plan. Here’s a link to our trip itinerary for those of you who are interested.

The places we covered or stayed in are: Multan, Mingora Swat, Malam Jabba, Bahrain Swat, Kalam Swat, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Abbottabad, Nathiagali, Patriata, Murree, Khewra, Faisalabad and Bahawalpur.

The road network in Pakistan is pretty good especially with the motorways M1-M5 across KPK and Punjab, driving is not an issue. The belt which is slightly difficult to drive is from Hyderabad to Sukkur Rohri. There’s hardly an issue with network throughout and wireless internet devices also work well for the most part. On the motorway, you can easily access help by dialing ‘130’ as the motorway helpline and they’re very responsive.

The best way to start off the journey is to start early morning from Karachi and head straight to Multan to break the journey by staying in a hotel. One can make a small pit stop or two leading up to Multan and rest overnight out there. As the City of Saints is famous for the Multan’s special sweet “Sohan Halwa”, it’s best you buy from here only. There’s a place called “Hussain Agahi Road” where you’d find the two most popular brands selling this halwa: “Hafiz” and “Rewari” – once you leave Multan, you’d find other random brands selling this halwa but none of those are as authentic as them, so don’t wait to buy these later.

After a refreshing night, we headed out to Islamabad, and in our case we decided to chill out a bit and take a good night’s sleep before going to the actual destination the next day. After having our breakfast, we took Swat Expressway to reach Mingora, Swat. The weather around mid December was decent, and surprisingly not-so-called. Do try the sweet “malta” fruit when you enter Swat, it’s unbelievably good but ask to taste first to be sure they’re the sweet ones. We decided to make Mingora our base for 2 nights as it’s an hour’s distance away from Malam Jabba and has much better resorts/hotels as compared to Malam Jabba. For the ones who have the budget, you may decide on staying in PC Malam Jabba, that way you’d be able to make the most of the snow activities in Malam Jabba. For Malam Jabba, snow boots are a must. You can buy them from Karachi or decide on renting them from there only. There are few vendors renting out boots for Rs. 100/pair.

While you’re headed to Malam Jabba, and if you decide to drive all the way up there, make sure you have taken some medicine to avoid motion-sickness (something like Stemetil would help avoid dizziness and vertigo issues). While you’d drive up there, some of the things you would have to notice is hotels and car rental people would keep advising against it and sell you their packages, but it’s doable if you are a decent driver and your car is in good condition. Also another thing is somewhere during the trip up to Malam Jabba, you’d inevitably come across someone selling you chains to put on the tires saying it’s not a doable plan otherwise. My suggestion is that if there’s no snowfall, you should not opt for the chain as that’d put an unnecessary strain on the tires and you’d be surprised to find auto rickshaws all the way up without any chains, so cars are no issue.

Malam Jabba has a lot to offer: Skiing, Chair lift, Ziplining, Jumping Castle for kids, and a lot of snow to play with. You can enjoy the piping hot pakoras and tea in that cold weather while enjoying the breathtaking views from the top.

Once done with Malam Jabba, we stayed another night in Mingora and moved on to Bahrain Swat. There’s not much else out there except a range of mid-range hotels and being an hour’s distance from Kalam, this makes a perfect base for onward travel. The road from Bahrain to Kalam is a bit tricky as it’s a smooth road for the most part except a few patches of unpaved road where they’re reconstructing bridges. This means you have to be careful speeding up on the route and also the unpaved roads can become slippery in rain/snowfall conditions. We drove all the way up to Kalam bazaar and then there’s a forest right after. That’s almost all you can do in your car, and you have to rent a 4×4 for places beyond there. You can rent a 4×4 for 2 hours or so to cover the 4-5 spots after this point for Rs.4000-6000, but if you don’t want to do it, you can still enjoy the views in-and-around Kalam forest by hiking up there, and you’d see several areas with patches of snow blankets. This is most suitable to make a snowman or have a friendly snow fight with friends and family. The beauty of this place is very difficult to explain with words and probably the reason this is called “Switzerland of Pakistan.”

We didn’t stay in Kalam because it gets very cold at night and doesn’t have many good hotels with all the heating and hot water facilities. In fact, we didn’t stay in Bahrain for more than a day and got back to Fizaghat to stay at a good hotel before concluding our Swat adventure. We also tried the food at a famous restaurant there called “Hujra” which has decent food which they serve in cozy family rooms (hence the word ‘Hujra’).

On our way back to Islamabad, we visited Faisal Mosque and then headed to Daman-e-Koh to check the view of the city. After that, we went to check out the Centaurus Mall, which is just another mall but has a bunch of familiar fast food joints. Since we planned to visit Ayub Park in Rawalpindi the next day, we decided on staying close-by at a hotel in Rawalpindi. Ayub Park is a must-see for a good day out with kids since it has rides for children of different ages, a mini-zoo with several interesting animals (not just tons of deers like they have in Bahria Town Karachi).

From there, we decided to leave for Abbottabad. It was a perfect place for us to stay at since it’s an hour’s drive from Nathiagali and 2.5 hours’ drive to Murree. We explored Nathiagali one day (check out the Nathiagali Park and enjoy the Snowtube), kids can again play with snow for hours and it’s generally a fun place to visit. Nathiagali also has a ton of accommodation options, but the mid-range cottages have water issues and you may find issues getting water in taps at night as temperature drops.

We ended up exploring Patriata and Murree the next day and decided to not stay in Murree because it was so full of people and we wanted to avoid staying in such places. It’s almost 2 hours from Islamabad, so we went back to Islamabad to rest, and checked out Lake View Park the next day. We also enjoy the F1 Traxx park nearby in addition to a private Speed Boat ride in the lake. We were not rushing around, so stayed another night in Islamabad.

We headed to Khewra the next morning to explore Khewra Salt Mines, it’s the second largest salt reserve in the world. It has a guided tour which you may take if you opt for the train ride to the inside of the mine. There you can see many important monuments in Pakistan created by using salt. Since Khewra is almost mid-way between Lahore and Islamabad, we had planned to make it a stop-over and head to Lahore, but due to the intense fog, we decided to de-tour and stay in Faisalabad for a night. When you are in Faisalabad, try out a Pakistani restaurant called ‘Baba Tikka’ – it is a place inspired by Kolachi and other Do-Darya restaurants and serves very good Pakistani cuisine. Another thing to try out in Faisalabad is cream chaat from Meher Fruit Chaat shop which is open 24/7.

After Faisalabad, we went to Bahawalpur to explore the city of Nawabs and see a place called Noor Mahal. We enjoyed their light and sound show that lasts for 25 mins, and is worth attending. After the show, we checked the Palace itself which has now been converted to a Museum. We then explored Bahawalpur a bit more by going around, and checked-in to a hotel there for the night. The next morning we started off early and came back all the way down to Karachi. We barely made two pit stops, and since we were mentally ready for the long trip back home, it was manageable and went well.

That’s how we concluded our trip ending up with 4250km traveling across KPK, Punjab and Sindh.

On Karachi Part II

After the initial post “On Karachi” was much appreciated and well received, I thought of writing another one to cover some left off areas. The idea is to focus on the specifics of the city, and mention the hidden good points of the city with the covered sarcasm. All the mentions about places, people or events are based on my personal perception, and I really have no intention of hurting anyone’s sentiments, but to share things about Karachi from my lens.

1. Native Jetty offers a wonderful view, but you can’t stop there and feel the serenity for long because that is not allowed due to so many suicide incidents.

2. Burns Road Punjab Lassi House uses “Shikarpuri dhoodh” – the one that is kept frozen and reheated in the shop next to theirs. They time the milk delivery after 1.30am.

3. Misquita Bakery in Saddar probably has the best “double roti” in town.

4. Pakistan Steel Mill is also a part of Karachi.

5. Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s is an all-purpose mazaar. Apart from the reverence some people have with the saint, a lot of people go there for other reasons.

6. Quaid-e-Azam’s mazaar is the earliest daters’ paradise; now, they’ve started renting the room by his grave for an hourly rate.

7. Even when we love Lahoris, we’re going to keep comparing them to us all the time. Let’s accept we are somewhat different.

8. In most areas, you would find a decent mosque, but not a half decent public washroom or library or a park. Sad.

9. People don’t like walking on the footpath all the time – a lot of them just love the adventure of dodging cars coming from the other side.

10. Gulshan is bigger than some countries in the Europe, so yes a diverse lot lives there.

11. The government needs money to function, so all tax payers must pay more tax. Most taxpayers and filers will still get an SMS or mail from FBR almost threatening the person to pay more every once in a while.

12. Dar-ul-Sukoon and The Citizens Foundation are doing great work. Support them.

13. Mama Parsi School is not only for Zoroastrians

14. There is a donkey cart race every sunday, and the star performer donkeys have names and a lot of respect in the in-group.

15. Jackson market is near Keamari, where you find some excellent second-hand in cycling bikes and accessories.

16. You can virtually find a rickshaw in every area. Now you can even Uber or Careem it in many parts of the city.

17. Keep wondering about the ridiculously low price points of the bar-b-que served in stalls in Saddar.

18. Students’ Biryani is a fainted glory at best now.

19. “PIDC bridge ke neeche wala chai ka dabha achi jagah nahee hai”

20. Domestic servants are there in many households, some families have up to 4 – and they’d still say they don’t find time.

21. Most traditional Chai stalls (a.k.a Dhabas) are owned by Khans from Quetta. Many new ones are not really dhabas anymore. Rather, they’re less glorified bistros catching up on the bandwagon to cater to a niche who would not otherwise think of going to a dhaba.

22. It is still a mystery if the Chai stall near Railway Station on I.I. Chundrigar and Pyala hotel use some “extra ingredients” to make their chai so addictive!

23. Uber & Careem have become game-changing models in transportation business in this country. Way to go!

24. Karachi Zoo, a.k.a., Jinnah Park (or famously known as Gandhi Garden) is not a good place to visit on weekends due to the sheer crowd that goes there on weekends.

25. SWOTs and KFD reviews are not always genuine – sometimes the reviews are really not indicative of true quality of food.

26. Google Maps has made life easy for most who care to check the latest traffic situation of the city.

27. Karachi Eat Festival is a good festival that now happens every year. It’s overhyped because that’s one of the known festivals of the city and also because it involves food.

28. Frere Hall still puts up weekly book stalls every Sunday – good to visit every once in a while.

29. Imtiaz Shopping Centers have changed household shopping for a good chunk of Karachites.

30. You can order food online pretty much any time of the day.

31. Regardless of where you live in the city, the quality of roads would bother you and cost extra repairs on your vehicle.

32. Chinese people can be found all around the city nowadays – sometimes they don’t even speak English and are selling stuff to random people on the road.

33. Karachi is a really big city and there would hardly be someone who is well versed with all areas.

34. There are some amazing snorkeling points nearby, so you can surely go and have fun.

35. Arts Council sometimes showcases some amazing plays – most of those are worth buying a ticket to.

36. You can find really talented and educated people in almost all fields in this city.

37. You must try Javed Nihari for the authentic nihari taste.

38. Kolachi is one of the best places to take out foreign friends/family for Pakistani dinner

39. You shouldn’t always trust the Careem Captain who says his phone is having problems and he would mark the trip as complete in a short while.

40. (I know this one is a repeat) – Despite all odds, this city is such a melting pot of cultures, languages, customs and faiths, it lives in the hearts of all Karachites, wherever they go.

Kick-Starting Tourism Capital in Pakistan

Tourism capital is a big untapped market in Pakistan. This country is blessed with the most scenic valleys, mountain peaks, lakes, rivers, and amazing hill stations. The country has huge arable land as well as large deserts, cities and towns, historical places, heritage sites, rural and urban settings; to sum up, a lot to offer to tourists, both foreign and local – there are amazingly beautiful areas in all the different parts of the country. What has been missing is the perceived sense of security whereby tourists can feel easy while traveling around. Much smaller countries in the neighborhood have managed to raise that critical mass of travelers that has in turn helped them grow much faster, but Pakistan has lagged here. It’s something that is right there needing a focused effort to grow, and the most important supporter in this regard needs to be the government and law enforcement agencies who need to work hand in hand to build a safer country and then media would eventually jump in to help with changing the perception of this amazing country. Countries such as China, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka are all close by and becoming examples of how effective country branding is bringing in a host of investments, tourist traffic, development ideas and growth across the masses.

It is high time Pakistan gets back to work and quietly creates an exemplary country that revives its image. The efforts in this regard are bound to pay back as a sense of security would automatically lead to a more productive, effective, healthier, happier and more satisfied local population, and it would also bring in tourist spend to all the different areas in the country assuring broad based growth and development. That growth will also bring to the forefront motivated individuals, who would then become role models for others to follow, again something positive in the roots of every civilized, progress-oriented economy.

Here are the 5 steps that the government should quickly take to start with this process:

  1. Initiate a very strict security check and clear out areas of any disturbances so that people may feel free to travel anywhere within Pakistan.
  2. Setup a working state-of-the-art, technology-driven support system that is available across Pakistan to link medical facilities, hospitals, dispensaries, mobile medical ambulances, and security institutions such as police, rangers, and patrolling authorities. It should be a single-point link whereby any caller could get immediate emergency support.
  3. Make clouds of areas whereby particular kinds of tourism is possible. For example, put up a cloud for skating facilities, and link up the businesses, services and transport in those areas. Similarly, do it for historical sites, mountain ranges, etc. Make this all available online and allow accessibility to book online or through phone (this needs very effective pricing check so that the businesses charge fair prices).
  4. Prepare amusement theme parks in various cities that allow activities for families, fun for all and competitions for the youth.
  5. Actively market the efforts in this area on national television and other media so that people can actually see this work done, and become motivated to go out and start enjoying these facilities.

Once the right number of local population becomes very comfortable with the system and facilities, there are going to be foreign tourists too based on the effective word-of-mouth marketing. There could be different prices for Pakistani Citizens (validated through NADRA National Identity Card) and for Non-Resident Citizens/Foreign Tourists. Moreover, there could be discounts for tax paying citizens for using any of the facilities.

Such steps would not only help kick-start the economy, but also ensure that people are provided safe environment, and entertainment to remain healthy.

On Karachi

This blog post is written as a satire, not focused on any particular individual(s), or group. All characters used in the comments are fictitious, and bear no resemblance to a person in real life. Having said that, you might find these experiences commonplace in Karachi. The purpose of the post is not to poke fun, but to have some instead.

1. Most people would never come on time, and be proud of it. They would flaunt their attitude as they did something that others should learn from:

“Dada, aaj tera bhai bus aadha ghanta late aya hai, teri mohabbat hai.. warna tou tujhe pata hee hai apna tou”

2. There will always be instances where they need to be on time, for example, to get through the government office work. Most people would feel it’s fair they pay someone speed money to get their work done faster than the fools who prefer to wait doing the right thing.

“Abay panch sau rupay nikal aur dekh filo ke paheeye kaise lagtay hain”

3. If by a stroke of chance, one of these people end up coming on time, they’ll regret it so much they’ll keep on repeating ad nauseum to almost everyone. They’ll make sure most people know he/she was on time that day/evening.

“Saleem bhai, aaj tou theek nau bajay pohanch gaye hum, dekh lein sir”

4. When you come on time, these people will be like:

“Kya baat hai Mushtaq, time pe haan bilkul.. wah.”

What they really mean, “kabhi late bhi ho jaya karo over efficient insaan” or “Isko kya masla hai… ajeeb hai – aise thori koi bilkul time per.. ”

5. When in queues, some people will act over smart, and try to come before you even if you don’t know them, but for them your only merit is that you are far closer to the counter (ticket counter, payment counter, bill counter, token counter, fee counter, any counter). These incoming individuals would have an innocent smile on their face, and most will try to pretend they were already there but nobody noticed.

“Arey bhai, hum tou aik ghantay se yaheen kharay huay hain.. ” and when things get out of control, they’ll say: “yaar aap aa jao hamaray aagay, shor mat karo” as if they are giving a favor instead.

6. At most petrol stations, motorcycles would not form a line, but gather around like bees around a beehive, hoping the filling person would put fuel in their motorcycle first.

7. When you go into a supermarket or a crowded place, you realize someone needs to tell many of the ‘burka-clad’ women, that by covering their entire body, they still can’t cover the bad body odor – they too need to take a shower after all – seriously.

8. At traffic signals, almost always you would suddenly find someone trying to clean your windscreen. Mostly, their own mops are dirtier, and they would care to ask only after messing your already clean windscreen a little.

9. At some of the traffic signals, you would find someone trying to sell you flowers, or cleaning cloth. He will only start negotiating when/if you say you don’t want it. Don’t be surprised if he goes from 3 for Rs. 100 to 6 for the same price in less than 10 seconds.

10. Most people are habitually addicted to some form of tobacco, and would not care to even bother about where they are or who is standing around before they proudly light up a cigarette or more commonly, put the red ‘gutka’ or ‘pan’ in their mouth.

11. Once these people fill their mouths, they’ll all start talking in a typical funny way, trying to balance their hedonic pleasure from chewing the pan and communicating that it’s just 3.30pm right now, even when a stranger asks them.

Stranger: “Bhai time kya hua hai”

Pan guy: “Sharray teen huay hhain”

12. You would find a photocopier on every road, but a pan shop/cabin on every street.

13. The number of pan cabins are directly proportional to the number of gutters in the street. Typically, there are much more pan shops in thin, crowded streets.

14. You realize there is no point asking the sugar cane juice vendor if the juice is fresh:

You: Bhai, tazaa hai? (pointing to the already filled juice glass)

Sugar cane vendor: “Arrey abhi nikala hai. 2 minute huay hain.” This answer would almost always be the same even if it’s been 15 minutes. After that, he’d mix some more fresh juice with the same, and hold the same response for another 15 minutes. Rinse and repeat.

15. Most people will not mind spending Rs. 800 on a “fit waali” chicken karahi, but will think twice about spending the same money on a “fit waali kitaab”.

16. In most weddings, the hosts and the invitees both know the event will start only around 10.30pm, but they will still write 8.30pm or 9pm -the logic as people would explain goes like:

“Kamran bhai, saaray aanth likhain gay tabhi tou saaray das pohanchay gay hahahaha” – Sulaiman bhai, this was really not so funny.

17. Almost every ten and twenty rupee note has been circulated through someone who makes, buys or eats pan but doesn’t use a tissue.

18. A lot of motorcyclists presume their coolness is indicated by the ‘shor wala chota silencer’.

19. You know a fuel station has CNG when there is a huge, huge queue of vehicles coming out of there.

20. ‘CNG ki line mein kisi bhi time mobile snatching ho jati hai’

21. ‘Mukka Chowrangi’ is not so much of a violent neighborhood; and there’s no boxing practice area out there either

22. “Golimar ke pull se A.O. Clinic ke baad wala pull safe zone nahee, Gari bhaga, dua karta jaa.”

23. Karachi might be the biggest city in Pakistan, but even today there’s just one “bridge” that divides it. ‘Pull ke is paar’ ya ‘us paar’ –

24. There are still many kind souls living around here.

25. Everyday brings a lot of hope and ambition for many in this city.

26. Airport taxis have a button which they’ll push some time during the journey when you’re busy with something else which will increase the number of kilometers on the trip by 2-3 km. This will happen even if you find the person is very religious, and looks honest. Only two ways to get around this are to tell them in advance you know of this trick and keep monitoring, or just pay for that damn extra travel every time you book one from Airport, even when you are paying a tip.

27. “Aaj bhi Baakra hotel mashoor hai apni 24/7 service ke liye”

28. “Super Biryani bohat aala hoti hai”

29. “Polce ki dooty hai qnoon ke dayeray mein awaam ki madad karna, wohi kartay rehtay hain. Din raat, lagataar, andha dhoond”

30. When you call someone who’s about to reach at your place, the person would say:

“Sajid, bas 10 minute mein pohanch raha hoon, raastay mein hoon” even when he’s still at home, and will not leave for another 15 minutes.

31. When Sajid gets a call from Patel, Sajid goes like:

“Allawala Chowrangi dekhi hai.

Wahan se straight aaja.

Do galian chor. Aur Insaf shoes se right maar.

Teen building-ain chor.

Left pe ik chai ka hotel hai.

Wahan pohanch ke missed call kar dena, mein lene aa jaoon ga.”

32. Many of the fun places in the city become “Families Only” during weekends. You can even find a big supermarket having that sign outside the door. Funnily, two girls become a family, guys can’t be family. Default. rules.

33. Most men are either of two types: those who only go to Cineplex, Atrium, Neuplex and those who only go to Nishat, Capri and Prince. Those who go both places are the normal people, the moderate crowd, in minority though.

33. Cricket fever is always on. Almost everyone would have an opinion on this.

34. Transport business – Khan bhai. Fruits and Vegetables business – Khan bhai. Clothes business – Memon bhai. Rice business – Hindu bhai. Hardware business – Bohri bhai. Paper business – Punjabi bhai. Collection business – Bhai.

35. Everybody respects “Quaid-e-Azam”, almost everybody.

36. A full bus means all the seats are occupied. All space between the seats is also full. The doorsteps are also full. And, the top of the bus is also full. Most people would still try to fit in. “Bhai sahab, thora sa ander hona”

37. You can have a meal at a place from anywhere between Rs. 40 to Rs. 4,000 within 5 kilometers distance from each other.

38. Trains are rarely on time. They boast, when they are.

39. Social gatherings often get past midnight. In some of these, you might get frowns for leaving as early as 2am.

40. “Jab koi TT dikhaye tou cellphone de dene ka jani” – carry another extra cell phone just to give it away when asked to.

41. “Har baat pe dharna hai, har point pe containers.”

42. “Dumthall” at WaterPump stop still has the best halwa puri in town.

43. “Do Darya” is just one “samandar” and you can’t even dip your feet there.

44. Funland rides have their own charm, but beware someone would always be watching you from a distance. Just look around. Watch out girls.

45. “Meerath” kababs are the best. “Bar-B-Q tonight” also comes close though.

46. “Paper Market mein jhando ki variety aatank hoti hai”

47. Cycle market still rents bikes to kids in half hour increments.

48. “Delhi Rabri House” has amazing “rabri”, although not always so hygienic.

49. “Hanifia” has the best hunter beef in town. Their mustard sauce was one of the original, local mustard sauces in the city.

50. Despite all odds, this city is such a melting pot of cultures, languages, customs and faiths, it lives in the hearts of all Karachites, wherever they go.

Two Things

Hi!

Two things you need to learn first in any language are: Greetings & Thank you. The first lets you connect and break the ice and the second helps you create an instant positive liking.

Thank you! 🙂