Saturday, May 23, 2009


I'm sitting in the lobby of the Serena Hotel in Kabul. Earlier this month, I bought a one-way ticket from Cambridge to Karachi, and I've already seen and experienced more of Pakistan in the past week than I ever have from any of my previous trips here. I've visited a madrassa in Balochistan, an IDP camp in Peshawar, run into the ISI, and talked to a members of an Islamic political party working providing relief in the northern areas.

Around these experiences, I've been struggling to adjust from the liberal American lifestyle I've come to take for granted, with the expectations of a conservative and elite Pakistani society: balancing capris with chadors, becoming dependent on maids and drivers, and realizing my vulnerability as an adventurous, single woman in Karachi.

I have many stories and reflections to share, but since it's late, I will start with the one that is most fresh in my mind and save the rest for later.

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