Friday, March 30, 2007

Since the Ides of March...

I am gearing up for my return to India. The countdown is on. Although I have a lackadaisical approach to getting back in travel mode. I'm looking forward to moving with the wind and letting it carry me to my destinations. That freedom is unparalleled. I have thought to myself after spending these many weeks amongst family here in Pakistan, what's wrong with me?! Not so much that I'm thinking it but it is what family members here think. No doubt about it. They say one thing but think another and those thoughts have power. The reason why they think something is wrong with me is primarily the fact that I am not married, not to mention the fact that I am resilient to cutting my hair ;). I'm thirty one years old and not married, their only conclusion is that there is something wrong with me or the wiring is suspect. People marry very young here in comparison to Canada. "Vhen you are going to settle down?" It's something that has never been to settle for in my opinion. If heaven had a height, then that's how tall I've set my heights. If I'm wrong... then I don't want to be right.

The cultural differences upon first entering the realm of family here went unnoticed to begin with. The more I spend time with family the little nuances of teasing and love come flowing. I'm not used to such nosiness of people knowing your every minute's minutes. It's warming though how close-knit the family is here though. If I could exist with a percentage of their nosiness and loving nature then I will be a better person for it.

The one thing I have noticed is that the environment that kids grow up in reflects how they will grow. My young nephew (12 years if that) was commenting on the Pakistan Day celebrations and how he wants to wield a Kalashnikov assault rifle. A great kid but growing up in a world full of military presence and guns, this is what he looks up to. I guess most kids when they are young want to get the toy guns and play 'army' or what have you but these kids don't just want to play, they want to enroll.

An interesting thing occurred to me a few weeks back when entering a store in Abbottabad in the NWFP (North West Frontier Province). I bought something worth 200 rupes and paid with a 500 rupee note. I left and an hour later realized I did not get my change. I went back to the store and asked the man if he had something to tell me. His response was that of ignorance. I told him that I came in, paid with a 500 rupee and did not receive the change. He tried playing dumb with me (maybe he wasn't playing ;) and tried to tell me it was someone else that took my money. Now, I highly doubt there are many guys rolling around with big hair, dark sunglasses and not wearing a kurta in the hills of Abbottabad. So I said pretty much that. I asked him if he was a Muslim. His response was yes. So then I asked him why he would want to steal from another. He still played ignorant with me and so I just calmly told him that I would gladly go get a police officer and explain to him the situation. I'm quite sure that the policeman would not have taken kindly of a merchant trying to oust money from a guest in their city. All of a sudden the store keeper's memory was jogged and he then began lecturing me that it was my responsibility to get my change. So I asked him if I ignored my responsibility to collect my change, it's now your responsibility to put it in your pocket? He laughed and gave me my change back. But again, his environment taught him that if someone forgot to get their change, it was his.

I joke with family here about the values that are valued here. In North America, it's all about how many cars you have and how big your house is. Here, it's how many kids you have and how big your belly is ;) I keep my beliefs to myself when I am amongst my family because they don't meld very well with theirs. I find myself feeling isolated, not being able to relate, and just want to recluse to my own comforting surroundings of nature and talk to it's inhabitants. I know I'm not alone in having these feelings. I reached out to a loved vun to reassure me. Us crazy folk are far and few and we can relate to one another in planes that are unknown to others. So thank you to the crazy people in my life, the insane, the awkwardly reclusive that can no longer exist in that other way.

"Well, the Ides of March are come," and the seer said to him softly: "Ay, they are come, but they are not gone."


  1. More than 4 paragraphs of writing, and I got stuck on the best line from that song.....if only heaven had a height.

  2. I will not covet the guy with the big hair's travels. I will not covet the guy with the big hair's travels. I may however create a link from my blog to his since he does seem like a kindred and all. I can hardly wait to read more!


Thank you for your contribution... may blessings be upon you ;)

Clicky Web Analytics