A Slice Of Our Time In Karachi (& no, everyone doesn't wear burqas;)

At French Beach - no idea who she is but the struggle is real for that girl on the camel:)

At French Beach - no idea who she is but the struggle is real for that girl on the camel:)

In January I'd written a blog post about our annual winter trip to Karachi, Pakistan. I'd mentioned in there that I'd def. write more about what I did back home during our 10-day visit. Yes, even though San Francisco has been home for 21 years now & both our kids were born here AND we have been US citizens for almost 15 years, I still on occasion refer to Karachi as home. You can get the girl out of Karachi but not Karachi out of the girl (woman, to be precise, given that it's my 50th in less than 2 years😖)

Ami and I at my parents' home

Ami and I at my parents' home

Isaad & Lulu with their Nono (maternal grandmother)

Isaad & Lulu with their Nono (maternal grandmother)

Anyhow, so while we did do some sight seeing in Karachi, one of the most fun aspects of our trip was doing ... nothing! Well, let me amend that and tell you what I mean exactly by "nothing." Nothing on these 10-day trips equates to eating or to planning a meal while consuming one. Let's just say that while we are having breakfast there's an intense ongoing discussion about that day's lunch & during lunch we are planning hi-tea or chai (my faaaaavorite meal with samosas, kebabs, sandwiches & pastries👌🏽) & while we are consuming all those hi-tea goodies dinner is being planned.... so on and so forth.

At my in-laws' home with my sisters and mom-in-law:) LOOOOVE those paintings!!!!!

At my in-laws' home with my sisters and mom-in-law:) LOOOOVE those paintings!!!!!

Nadir, his parents & moi

Nadir, his parents & moi

And, at any given moment during these 700 meals per day if by an infinitesimal chance we are not eating, we sit around & berate ourselves about how much we have eaten that particular day and that we need to exercise (not the gym kind, obviously) some control the next day! That, of course, is a whopping lie because the cycle continues the next day and the day after and the following day and then it's time to return to San Francisco. Any of my desi (Pakistani/Indian) friends, who go back home can attest to this love affair with food playing a predominant role in their parents/in-laws/siblings homes too!

My sweet Ami & Baba (Nono & Nana) with all their grandchildren.

My sweet Ami & Baba (Nono & Nana) with all their grandchildren.

Drinks at Didi's home before heading for dinner. p.s: Fellow with beard (no glasses) is my ex-boyfriend with his current boyfriend;)

Drinks at Didi's home before heading for dinner. p.s: Fellow with beard (no glasses) is my ex-boyfriend with his current boyfriend;)

Didi's gorgeous home

Didi's gorgeous home

And that brings me to where we stay during our visit. Customarily, you're supposed to divide your time between your parents/siblings and your in-laws' homes. Nothing is written in stone but it's sort of tradition. But my in-laws are super cool and completely understand that since we see my side of the family just once a year we stay at my sister's or my parents' place. Most of the time, however, we stay at my older sister's (Didi to me and all our cousins) beautiful & warm home. A) Because it's the best place on earth & B) because our kids are more or less the same age, except my oldest niece who studies in New York and who also happens to be home at that time. So, it's a giant pajama-fest most nights at Didi's home, unless we are going to a party or a restaurant.

Yummiest lunch at Bia's  (that's what I call my mother-in-law:) beautiful home

Yummiest lunch at Bia's  (that's what I call my mother-in-law:) beautiful home

Isaad showing pics to his Dadi (paternal grandmother)

Isaad showing pics to his Dadi (paternal grandmother)

I have to say in both my sisters' (I have two sisters Didi, whom you just met a few sentences ago and my other sister Tapie, that's her nickname) & brother-in-law's defense that they make all these plans to take us out but I soooo prefer being at home and catching up on a year's worth of gossip & family drama (please don't pretend yours is drama-free😏) that I keep nixing those plans in favor of staying at home.

And you thought I'd let this post go by without a posed pic of myself?? At Didi's before the Sind Club Ball

And you thought I'd let this post go by without a posed pic of myself?? At Didi's before the Sind Club Ball

Didi, Tapie and me.

Didi, Tapie and me.

Tea at my Ami & Baba's place, lunch at my in-law's home, a trip to the French Beach (where we... you guessed it ... eat and drink some more while I take carefully composed pics with camels by the water for my IG feed) & dinner at our favorite restaurant, Okra, are traditions that will hopefully never change. It literally warms my heart thinking about these things as I write this down for my blog.

The 5 cousins & Elmo being silly at the beach

The 5 cousins & Elmo being silly at the beach

At the beach with Lulu

At the beach with Lulu

At the beach with Isaad

At the beach with Isaad

Last year, however, I stepped out of my comfort zone and went with my sisters, brother-in-law (Zee, which is short for Zeeshan) & a lot of their friends to a winter ball/gala at The Sind Club. Its sort of a country club (circa 1871) but in the heart of Karachi housed in historical buildings reflecting Victorian colonial architecture where old school traditions abound with modern day facilities. I used to attend this party when I lived there but hadn't been in a million years. It was super fun to see so many of my friends, especially the ones I hadn't seen in decades who too were visiting Karachi at the same time (from London, Dubai, Toronto, Paris, Denmark, Singapore & Chicago) with their kids in tow!

With Nadir at Okra

With Nadir at Okra

Thrilled to bits at the prospect of seeing my family - in-laws', who'll be here for Lulu's graduation & then my sister & her family later this summer, inshallah. We'll be hanging out in Sonoma surrounded by all our kids in the pool while we consume copious amounts of rosé & cheese!! Told you, it always comes back to food with our family😋

It's me again.

It's me again.

Thank you as always for visiting my blog and for taking out the time to read my posts🙏🏽

Lots and lots of love from the stirrer;) Hugs, Sobia