Insiders Versus Outsiders

You just have to admit, whether it be due to sheer luck, fate, destiny, or whatever it is that you (do or don't) believe in, but being an outsider indeed does have its perks in Pakistan.

For one thing, you get to sieve the fools from the fads, which is the best part.

I don't know about you, but whenever I am in the country, I make a special effort to try and blend in with the surroundings. I only do it to the extent of language, though, and to this day, if you meet me in Pakistan I will try to get to speak to you in as much Urdu as I possibly can.

But these locals here are good. Despite my conscious efforts, they always have sniffed me out from the crowd. Touche to them for that.

Anyway, that wasn't the point.

Today, we went to one of Lahore's largest malls.

As an outsider, your views have become objective to such a fine extent that the moment you step foot into the store you see three sects of people, as if grouping of their own accord: the outsiders (people like me and possibly you), insiders (desis) and insiders (bees).

To elaborate.

Desis are the common lot. Probably the middle class, upper-middle class, upper-lower class, et cetera. They are jabbering away in Urdu, window-shopping most of the time, trying to locate a bargain or two. These are the people I'd probably not mind being associated with.

Next up, outsiders. Honestly, I am quite good with my Urdu accent. No one can tell that I am an outsider when I speak (well, I think), but there are a lot of foreigners who can't even speak properly, yet want to push their luck at convincing everybody, otherwise. Easy to tell apart with how they tend to underdress most of the times (well we do, anyway).

And then we have the dear bees. The elite class. Well, that is what they call themselves anyway. They will be carrying their iPhones and Blackberrys (that people like me leave at home to ring and vibrate under the comforts of a pillow or two), stopping at every store to buy horrendous outfit after horrendous outfit, will have piles and piles of ugly makeup on and will pair each Urdu word of their conversation with a few English ones...

"Yaar, should I try this on?"

"Nahee, it looks very ganda!"

"Come on then, humne bachon ko bhi pick karna hai, on the way..."

Okay, I will have to admit. I only spotted girls, today. But they are very good at attracting attention, you know.

I mean who are you kidding? You look ugly, wear ugly and sound utterly ugly! What's worse, you're still a part of a third world country.

On top of that, your every tiniest ounce of effort at showing off to-the-max gives us expatriates away!

The net result, hence, the outsiders stay outsiders, with looters and plunderers hot on their tails, while insiders stay bloody insiders. Wannabes.


Sod the whole lot of you and your contacts that you keep you out of harm's way.

And they think we bring suitcases flooded with money. Who said being an outsider is any good?

Oh, right...I did. Gaaaads!


  1. I don't blame you. You're in Lahore. =P

  2. You are saying Karachi's better? Well, I bet it is, but sadly never been down there... :( how is it?

  3. I think Lahore is the only nice place in Pakistan! Lol and I don't mind admitting that.
    Karachi is too different and I never seem to fit in there, not even to a tiny degree! Islamabad is where I never fail to get ill, bitten by some poisonous scar-leaving creature or something of the like. There hasn't been a single time when I went to Multan and didn't puke at least three times....Yes, I think I'll stick by Lahore.

  4. Hey, I like your blog. Really interested in what life is likw in Lahore as I'll be moving there soon. How much longer will you be there? Maybe we can meet up? Let me know.



  5. Hey, I am glad you like the blog. Where are you moving from?

    I will be here for a while, and it would be great to meet you.

  6. From Jakarta, will be there by the end of August. Any other English-language blogs on life in Lahore you can recommend (I don't speak Urdu...yet)?