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What the Chinese guy said

Published Feb 11, 2011 10:49am


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I entered the departure area nervously looking around for an empty row. This was not the first time that I was traveling alone. I had been living in the chaos of traumatic Singapore since the past two years. I had backpacked and traveled to several countries alone before. I feel more comfortable doing things without a companion: the freedom and the sense of self-determination when you are able to achieve something on your own. But this time I was more excited and anxious than I usually would have been. All because of the destination I was heading off to – Pakistan, a region which was once ruled by Alexander the Great and several ancient empires; a country where some parts are ruled by the Taliban at this moment.

I remembered the moment I received notification of my acceptance to do an internship program in Pakistan. I was sitting in front of my laptop in my room, silently (usually I would sing), trying not to wake my roommate up from his sleep. I opened my mailbox. Several junk mails and one big surprise. I clicked on the one which was sent by the Career Attachment Office, it read ‘Congratulations, you have been selected by the Dawn Media Group (Pakistan) without interview’. Excitement rushed through my body.

My parents were not surprised when I told them I will be leaving for Pakistan one month later. I crawled into their bedroom like the way I used to when I was a child. I woke them up and announced, “Mum, I got the e-mail from school about my internship and I will be leaving for Pakistan……for six months. I will work for a local newspaper company at their website department.” My dad, as usual, remained silent. “Isn’t the country dangerous?”

“No, it is not Palestine (white lie), it’s quite safe, I’ll be staying in the largest city, not the rural area.” “What about the Taliban? And, the bombings?” “No, that is Afghanistan. Pakistan is very, very safe (another white lie).” “Okay, if that is what you want, just do it. But, be careful.”

And just like that, I was in the game!

Friends began organising farewell parties before my departure. To most of them, this may be the last chance to see me in their entire life (I was guessing). To most of us, what we usually saw in the newspapers and television, Pakistan is one of the most dangerous countries amongst the 192 countries listed by the United Nations.

I surveyed my surroundings and examined passengers at the departure area, unaware of a male voice coming from next to me. “Hello, are you going to Karachi?” It came from a bearded, 40-year-old gentleman who was sitting besides me.

“Yes, I’m going there for a university internship program.” I replied, uneasily. Thousands of thoughts popped up in my head: Is this guy a Pakistani? Why did he talk to me? Shall we continue the conversation? He looks…is he a terrorist? Was he carrying a bomb? (Yes, Pakistanis, just the way you like to think that every Chinese knows Kung-Fu, we often think how any Pakistani may be carrying a bomb! That’s how media influences our perception.) Shall I just ignore him?

We continued the conversation. Not that I had a choice. It was wise not to ignore him than make him angry, right? So, for as long as we were talking, I never stopped judging him. This was the first Pakistani man I had ever met in my life. His name was Fahad, a professor from a university in Malaysia. We continued to talk as we walked to the gate after landing. I glanced at the queue in front of us. God, I was the only Chinese in this queue! In fact, I was the only foreigner on the airbus.

‘Foreign land’ – a Singaporean friend commented on this image of the Karachi airport.

“It was a pleasant trip, we hope to see you again…” the loudspeaker repeated its lines in different languages. Unbelievable, I was finally on Pakistani soil! I passed the security gate and checkpoint easily. The security network wasn’t as strict as Changi Airport; I guess, since terrorists who targeted Singapore and the United States won’t have much time to bother Pakistan, it was pointless spending much effort to scan every passenger. With Fahad’s help, I exchanged my money for local currency and got myself a taxi heading to Murtaza’s (the editor of Dawn newspaper’s Magazine supplement) house. I hoped the taxi driver didn’t see my facial expression before I began talking to him. I was frightened by his appearance. I couldn’t help but think how this guy looked exactly like Osama Bin Laden! Although I was sure that he was not Osama, but shock was shock, I couldn’t deny it. He started talking to me in Urdu, obviously which I didn’t understand. He sensed that I didn’t understand what he was saying, so he tried his best to translate his words to English, “Road block…New Year’s eve…die…die.” At the same time, he posed an odd sign with his finger. I didn’t exactly understand what it implied, but it was the same gesture when you used your finger to click the camera button. Five minutes later, he pointed at me with a fatherly gaze, and said “Crazy people, crazy land.” His eyes were sincere. I wasn’t sure if he was saying I was a crazy guy who landed on this crazy land, or was he referring to crazy Pakistanis who were blocking the roads. At that moment, I wasn’t really sure if I could reach Murtaza’s house safely, either.

When our speedy car slowed down, I saw a sign board with ‘DHA’ (Defence Housing Authority) written on it and I knew we were finally reaching Murtaza’s house. I pressed the door bell uncertainly, as I was not sure if the driver really understood where I wanted to go. One minute passed, no one came out. It was the driver who pressed the button now. “Jia Wei, here, behind, nice to meet you!” Murtaza called me from his car. Inside his car, I saw a lady and three kids. So, I had finally reached my destination!

I would be staying at Murtaza's house before I could find an apartment to settle down. Once inside, Murtaza invited me to have a cup of tea. It was my first cup of tea in Pakistan. “We can go to Japan or Europe anytime we want, as long as you have money and free time but to me Pakistan is not a place where everyone can come. If I missed this chance, I don’t think I would ever have another chance to visit this country,” I told Murtaza and his wife when they asked me why I chose to come to Pakistan. Unlike the driver, they didn’t look like the Pakistanis I saw on television. I wouldn’t have guessed that they were Pakistanis or Muslims if they walked in front of me on the streets in Singapore.

It was a chilly evening, and we were having dinner with four guests, three gentlemen and one lady. That was my first Pakistani dinner. To a typical Chinese, dinner meant three dishes and a bowl of rice. What I had at Murtaza’s house was entirely different. There were naans (local bread) and various kinds of curry and biryani (the most popular rice dish). I was paying more attention on every single dish than on the conversation that was going on. I was glad because I knew I wouldn’t be missing Chinese food in these six months!

When the guests had left, Murtaza’s wife told me “Jia Wei, we’re leaving for a new years eve party now. Get ready!” She must be kidding. A party in Pakistan? Impossible. However, they looked like they were leaving the house, and I remembered Murtaza told me that we would come back quite late this evening, so I assumed what Murtaza’s wife said was right. “Party? Shall I change my clothes?”

“No, you look fine.” About 20 minutes later we were heading to a gathering - what the three Pakistanis called ‘a party.’ I didn’t expect any party (if party meant a dance floor and neon lights) scene in this Islamic country. When I finally got out from the car a strange thing occurred. I heard a Lady Gaga song blaring from one of the houses where there were four security guards standing in front of the house with guns on their shoulders. “What is this scene?” I questioned myself. We entered the house, it was dark, and the music was loud. There was a throng of people dancing over there while I got myself a plate of seafood. I couldn’t believe what I saw. “Young man, don’t be deceived, life is not at all like this!” A lady shouted to me over Lady Gaga’s voice. At that time, I was sure that I would love this country more than I thought I ever would!

I woke up quite late the next day. When I finally walked out of the room and met Murtaza, he asked “Jia Wei, would you like to visit your office?” Twenty minutes later, we were on our way to the Dawn office. There were more security guards than I had expected. As we made our way inside, the department where I was supposed to begin my internship, Murtaza introduced me to Qurat ul ain Siddiqui, a.k.a, Annie, my soon to be senior colleague (surprisingly, Pakistani girls don’t cover their face). It was great to visit the office before I started work, but it was making me nervous. I realized that I have not just come here to see Pakistan but also was here for an internship program. I would start work in two days. Murtaza simply sensed my worry and later he said “you have come here to learn.”

That evening, we went to Sea-view beach in Clifton with the three children. Standing in front of the Arabian Sea, I was stunned. Suddenly, I felt as excited as the kids did. I had only heard the name of the Arabian Sea long ago, but I didn’t know it was so stunningly beautiful. Gorgeous, calm, peaceful, serene, were all the words that came to my mind that second.

Pakistanis walk on the beach.

The Osama look-alike taxi driver, messy traffic, Murtaza’s family, Pakistani food, the Arabian Sea, I saw two completely different pictures of Pakistan. When I wondered how much more this country would make an impact on me, Murtaza said “I am taking the girls to the cinema, you should come with us. We will watch ‘Narnia’ the movie in 3D…”

What? Did he just say 3D movie? I had never ever expected there would be a cinema theatre located in Karachi, and now we were heading to a 3D theatre. Everything in the theatre was excellent, except the part where the electricity was cut off during one of the most stimulating scenes (and I thought there might be a chance that it was cut off due to a terrorist attack before I realized that electricity shortage is part of the daily life in Karachi).

I moved to the YMCA (Hostel of Young Men Christian’s Association) on the fourth day. I checked in to a single room, with a bed, a cupboard, a desk and a chair. Most importantly, it was economical. I was quite excited before moving in, though I was sure (and was warned) that the facilities and atmosphere inside the hostel wouldn’t be as cozy as what I had got at Murtaza’s house. But I didn’t really care as I had come here all the way from Malaysia to experience the real Pakistani life. Forget about the comfortable bed and homely feel. I wanted to get an in-depth experience of Pakistani life.

The room was not as bad as I thought; plain and clean, except the corridor to my room was extremely dark and horrible. I moved all my belongings to the room and told myself, “The adventure has officially begun!” After all the necessary cleaning works, I walked to the shared bathroom to take a shower, and then realized that there was no warm water supply! Isn’t it winter now? Fifteen degrees Celsius, do Pakistanis not feel cold? (The average temperatures in tropical countries are stably around 28-30 degrees Celsius). I was shivering under the shower when I told myself, “You are going to transform into a real man in six months.”

My tiny room at the YMCA.

The rickshaw is a common mode of transport in this city and is a good way to explore different areas. I have been taking rickshaws to places like the Bin Qasim Park in Clifton (it was a really huge park), the Mausoleum of Mr Jinnah, the Sunday Bazaar (a weekly apparently cheaply priced mega-market place) and various other areas. Usually, I tried to behave like a local (although I don’t look at all like a Pakistani) instead of being a tourist, but you know you have not succeeded in this part of acting when you buy a pair of socks for double the price at Sunday Bazaar after a big bargain.

The driver of the rickshaw I was sitting in once.

Since arriving here, being Chinese, I was always getting too much attention that I didn’t want, especially when I was walking alone without any Pakistani friends. Strangers on the streets always stopped me and greeted me, insisting I should sit beside them to have a cup of tea. (They behaved like old friends – as if we knew each other for a long time). These were friendly Pakistanis, although it could be annoying, sometimes (like when you were not in a mood to talk, or when you were rushing to the office and you were already late). People simply get curious when they see a foreigner in this tourism starved country, regardless where the foreigner comes from. Funny thing was, people always asked me the same questions, and I almost repeated the same answers every time.

Pakistani: Are you from China? Or Japan? Me: No, I am from Malaysia. Pakistani: Malaysia? Are you a Muslim? (Well, this is a tough question). Me: No, I am a Malaysian-born Chinese. Pakistani: Do you know Kung Fu? Do you use sticks to eat?

However, what I am telling you is not the worst case. There was this one time when I was being followed by a weird man on the street. It was a crowded evening when I walked out from a restaurant next to Zainab Market (a good place to explore the real Pakistan). This person approached me and asked, “Do you want to accept my friendship? Can you be my friend?” (I didn’t even know his name). I tried my best to ignore him until I realized he had been crossing a couple of streets with me. I then stopped, and asked, “Why are you following me?” He finally said, “Friend, I don’t have any money now, do you want to sponsor me some money for the bus fare?”

My neighbours at the YMCA were curious about my presence too. I had a very kind neighbour who gave me Pakistani food daily and walked away quickly after passing the food to me. We hadn’t even had a real conversation yet (this is the most amazing part), I didn’t know his name either and so I named him ‘The neighbour’. It began on a normal evening when I was back from Dawn’s office. The neighbor knocked on my door.

Me: (Opened the door) “Hi, what is this?” (He passed me a cup of ice-cream) The neighbor: “You are a Malay Chinese, right?” Me: “Yes, Malaysian-born Chinese.” The neighbor: “So, this is for you, free!” Me: “Oh, shukriya! (means thank you in Urdu)”

He must be thinking that I was an Urdu expert, because five minutes later, he knocked on my door again and passed me a plate of dates and beans.

The neighbor: “Jing-ga-lang-ka-jing-ga-lang-ka-jing-ga-lang-ka” Me: Huh? The neighbour: “Jing-ga-lang-ka-jing-ga-lang-ka-jing-ga-lang-ka”

Then he walked away, leaving me alone in my doorway with the plate of beans.

I received minced-meat with paratha (oil-dripping bread) from him a few days later, and so on. He still talks to me in Urdu.

I started my work at very soon. Murtaza introduced me to Shyema, the supervisor and Deputy Editor, to me on the same Monday when I moved into YMCA. Shyema asked me why I chose Pakistan and the Dawn Media Group for my internship. We had a brief discussion and then I was told to sit beside Umair, a very unruffled colleague from whom I learnt 90 per cent of the Urdu I have picked up so far (basic phrases and curse words). Umair showed me the official website where we publish the news stories and photos. So, I spent about half an hour studying what was happening on the website. It was attention-grabbing, why? Because there was a lot of (in fact, too much) breaking news. Newspapers and news websites in Malaysia and Singapore would never be that interesting. Work at is quite individualized. Everyone works on their own tasks independently, yet colleagues are caring. Hasaan, now my best hang-out-buddy, gave me a workshop about what he wanted me to do on the second day.

The distance between the YMCA and the Dawn office is about a 10 minute walk. With the intention of living like a Pakistani, I walk to the office everyday instead of taking a rickshaw. I enjoy every sight and event that takes place on the streets. People chatting joyfully (although Pakistanis don’t smile much), cars and motorbikes rushing madly like there was no rule on the roads, donkeys resting under trees, the smell of litter and pollution in downtown, and so on. I was totally impressed by this vibrant atmosphere.

One afternoon during my second week, while I was walking to the office, I saw a crowd in the middle of the road. In front of the crowd, someone stood on a lorry and shouted something in Urdu aggressively. I felt curious about what was happening in front of my eyes and without knowing what it was, I began walking towards them. There were around 50 people in the crowd, and they seemed to be moving towards a specific direction. Some of them were holding banners while others were repeating what the leader had shouted. They looked upset. Then I suddenly realized, whoa, is it a protest rally going on? (People don’t protest in Malaysia and Singapore, I had never ever seen any protest rally in my life). I felt anxious and excited as I didn’t know what was going to happen. So, I frantically took a picture with my cell phone, and left the crowd hurriedly before any thing happened to me.

The protest rally going on when I was on my way to work.

One thing I should really point out (I didn’t notice it before Shyema told me), that ever since I got here, ‘weird things keep on happening.’ Salman Taseer, the governor of the Punjab province was assassinated during the first week (when everything in this country was new and uncertain to me). A 7.2 magnitude earthquake occurred during the second week (miraculously, I didn’t feel it!). A foreigner shot Pakistanis on the street in Lahore (I had not seen more than five foreigners in these four weeks). Lastly, on the day of my 22nd birthday, there was a bomb blast in Karachi which killed two policemen. It happened just before I finished my work, when I was expecting an exciting birthday celebration with my colleagues. Suddenly, Hasaan came up to me and said, “Listen, I don’t want to ruin your birthday plan, but we have to cancel everything due to a bomb blast in the city.” I didn’t get what he meant at first, or the correct way to say is, I didn’t expect what he said before I replied, “I see, that is fine. We can always change to another day. Are you guys going out to cover it?” So my birthday celebration ended up with a dinner with pizzas and desserts which Hasaan bought from a nearby bakery, added with everyone’s laughter. I really admire Pakistani optimism, life is short and bombings could happen anywhere in this country. Pakistanis know how to overlook grief and live happily. Sometimes, we have to let go and my ruined birthday plan was the best example.

Two days later we went to Arena (a recreational club) for bowling (another surprise, there are bowling courts in Pakistan), as a compliment to my spoilt birthday plan. Most of the boys from my office came and we played for around an hour. I was not surprised about being the loser of the game. I was never ever a good bowler. What I was sure about was that everyone enjoyed the game.

Just a few days later I was invited to a ‘Mehndi,’ a pre-wedding ceremony (full of local dancing and sing-alongs). It was Hafsa’s ceremony, one of my senior colleagues at We didn’t really know each other much as she went on leave for her wedding preparations soon after I joined in. This would be an incredible experience for me, to see a local wedding ceremony and get a chance to savour local cuisine. The only issue was that I was supposed to wear the local dress, a Kurta (the long top) and a shalwaar (the long bottom) to the gathering, but I didn’t have one. So Hasaan, Rishad (another senior colleague) and I rushed to a store called Khaadi, a favourite among locals for their dresses, at a shopping mall where I also bought a pair of sandals for myself (which I was told was the appropriate footwear to match with the clothes).

Me wearing the Shalwaar Kurta with a shawl (a long scarf) and sandals.

I saw smoke lifting from barbequed food being prepared and smelt kebabs as we reached the event. Crowds gathered at the front gate and I followed Hasaan as we entered the gate. Inside, I saw Umair and Taimur (yet another senior colleague). They pointed at a direction where I saw girls waiting outside a small room. “Hafsa is inside, we’re waiting for her.”

The Mehndi function

When Hafsa finally walked out of the tiny room, we followed the crowd to the main event. Unlike girls wearing red during traditional Chinese weddings, the Mehndi was multi-colored and vibrant. It looked like a festival. Thousands of tiny light bulbs were hanging from the ceiling of the main tent where people had gathered and were talking cheerfully. The music was pretty loud too. I finally spotted Hafsa who was seated on a beautiful stage. Elders were feeding her with ‘mithai’ (local desserts). It looked strange to me and I couldn’t tell why they were doing this. So, I asked Taimur who said, “This is part of our customs, they feed her because they feel happy for her.”

The stage decorations

To a Chinese, food is the key element of almost any social occasion, whether it is a party or a wedding. We basically get satisfaction from the quality of the food we have. So I couldn’t wait to move to the queue when they announced that dinner was ready. Standing beside me, Umair was trying his level best to explain Pakistani customs to me. An old gentleman standing in front of us was interested by our conversation and turned around. Obviously he was shocked by what he saw, a strange Chinese guy wearing a Shalwaar Kurta, appearing at a traditional Pakistani wedding ceremony. Curiously, he asked me the same questions every Pakistani was asking me: “Are you a Chinese? Ni Hao (How are you in Chinese). You shouldn’t stand in queue, you are a guest. Come here, just stand in front of me,” he insisted. So I thanked him and moved to the front with Umair. The odd thing was repeated: the guy in front of us turned back and said excitedly, “You are a Chinese? China is friend of Pakistan. You shouldn’t stand in queue, come here.” By the end, we were at the front of the queue. It was an embarrassing moment because I knew everyone in queue was looking at me as if I was an alien who just landed on Earth. Chinese say, “Dig a hole in the floor and jump into it.” It was exactly what I wanted to do at that second. I quickly put some paratha, chicken tikka, kebabs and some random unknown food onto my plate. The food looked delicious and as I expected I loved the taste of tikka.

I didn’t know that I was a spicy food lover before I came to Karachi. However, I am officially in an open-relationship with Pakistani cuisine after staying here for a month. It is hot, juicy and mouth-watering, and possibly the best food in the world, after Chinese and Japanese food. My favorites are biryani and kebab. There are many restaurants in town offering a huge variety of local food. I always walk on the streets near Zainab Market where I began my food discovery journey from restaurant to restaurant. It is really a fantastic way to explore Karachi.

Bun kebabs at Zainab Market

However, Chullu Kebab is the best amongst all. The best thing about it is, it is always served in a mega-sized plate (and I am sure the plate is two times bigger than my face), with oily buttered rice, long kebab sticks and juicy fried-tomatoes.

Chullu Kebabs

Sze Chuan fried rice - this interesting picture simply tells how Pakistanis perceive Chinese

I had been experiencing several different things in Karachi. I remember that on a Saturday evening, at around nine o’clock while I was reading a book, Hasaan called my cell-phone and asked, “Listen, are you free right now? My friends are gathering for a plan to play volleyball, do you want to join us?”

What? Was he kidding? Volleyball…during a chilly winter night?

”Yes, that sounds great, I would like to come along.” I heard the inner part of my mind question me: “Dude, are you mad?”

So I finally met some of Hasaan’s other friends. There were five guys excluding Hasaan and me. Hasaan was explaining to me the stories between their friendships. “We met in high school…This guy is the CEO of (some) company…this guy can speak Chinese,” he said in his excited smoky voice. The six of them looked totally different (normally, all Pakistanis looked the same to me, just the way all Americans look the same to me – which is when they all said that all Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Malay and so on look the same). The games began with an interesting atmosphere created by my new friends. Volleyball is not a common ball game in Malaysia, we are more into football and basketball. I only played volleyball once during high school. But I would say I really enjoyed the moment when everyone concentrated tossing the white ball, regardless who won the games and how stupid I was during it. It was a completely different experience playing in such cold weather (I was the only one who felt cold). Then I understood why always some international players played worse when they took part in a competition held in a foreign country.

It was a warmer (accurately, less-colder) evening when I was standing in front of Sultan Masjid (a very famous up-scale mosque in the Defence area of Karachi). I was waiting for Zeeshan, a very good friend of Hasaan’s who could speak Mandarin, to pick me up to see a play called Bombay Dreams. I researched about the play on Google before I left my room. It was something about Bollywood, music, and dance. Zeeshan’s car arrived five minutes later and I was glad when I sat in his car.

A few of Zeeshan’s friends joined us later while we waited for them at his house. They were two girls, very westernized-looking (I was always amazed by the diversity in this country, the most conservative people and the most modernized people in the world shared the same sky in this city) and friendly. We headed to the theatre after a quick dinner. I would say, it was not a bad play from a Chinese point of view as I was inspired by the way they designed the whole play: Many crazy Bollywood elements, and actors dancing and singing like they were celebrating a festival. You would not see any of these in a Chinese Opera.

There is one thing that I should definitely mention. Before we reached the theatre, Zeeshan was telling me how Pakistanis are very nice and kind etc etc, and I told him I like Karachi very much. Five minutes later while we were looking for a parking space, a vehicle hit us from behind. Amidst our confusion at what just happened, the car sped away. Later on, while driving back to YMCA from the play, Zeeshan said to me, “C’est la vie.”

“Yeah, this is life in Pakistan, optimism that we don’t have in Malaysia and Singapore.” Everyone keeps on asking how I find Pakistan and Karachi, which is very hard to answer. To me, I love the rich-cultured people and places, specially the combination of Persian and Hindu cultures in this country.

Jia Wei is an intern at

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.


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The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (254) Closed

faisal wazir Feb 12, 2011 11:20am
Deal all foreigners, As a country we have a lot to offer than the bomb blasts and suicide attacks. Pakistan is a mixture of diverse cultures and people having rich history, famous for its hospitality......i wish you guys to have the experience of visiting khyberpakthoonkhwa and enjoy the unique culture of Pathans... Faisal Wazir
Moniba Feb 13, 2011 12:01am
Oh and by the way I'm a Pakistani living in Germany and studying Chinese=) *.* Wo de zhong wen fei chang hao *.* Nah I'm kidding, I still have a lot to learn...
bilal khan Feb 12, 2011 11:15am
i hope when u come next time bring more chinese people. u will find us quite hospitable
Moniba Feb 12, 2011 11:55pm
Heartfelt article... Superb! Hope many more follow!!! Take care and enjoy your stay!
maya khan Feb 12, 2011 11:11am
the publishing of such articles should b encouraged. this would promote tourism in pakistan
khawerh Feb 11, 2011 08:43pm
Very engaging article indeed and well written. even at work i could not resist reading it in different break and finally finished reading it. Its amazing the perception of people is so negative until they pay a visit to pakistan and then love talking about it.
Ali Khan Feb 11, 2011 08:32am
What a wonderfully genuine and heart-felt piece. So fascinating to see Karachi from an outsider's perspective!
M.R. Excelsior Feb 12, 2011 09:10am
Thank you for sharing your experience with the world and I hope that this will give courage to the people who like travel. All the best, Muhammad from Hong Kong!
Nadeem Feb 12, 2011 11:24pm
Well said Patel.
Jia Wei Feb 15, 2011 10:22am
HAHAHA thanks for your compliment, dude! For those who don't understand Chinese, this is what Raza said: 'very good, my friend. I also love China/Chinese!!!!!! China/Chinese is very good....from a Pakistani friend'
adhd Feb 12, 2011 10:28pm
This is interesting. Much Appreciated.
Aamna Feb 12, 2011 10:16pm
Wei! U r an excellent narrator! And might I compliment, Khaadi did you well!!! Your article was captivating the moment I started reading it. I read it in three shifts but made it a point to complete it. I could never imagine what "foreigners" thought about Pakistan; good or bad. U made it clear and simple. I mean, Yes...I can see that on TV, but having to read it from someone who came here, experienced the country / city is a different perspective altogether. Found your words unbiased, honest, interesting and eloquent! Keep up the good work (and not just because you wrote for Pakistan :) ). All the best for your future endeavours! Aamna. - Karachi, Pakistan.
appa rao Feb 11, 2011 10:30pm
Thank god you lived to tell the story.
Imran Nawaz Feb 15, 2011 10:18am
pictures doesnot matters Jia Wei you are also welcome to come and see the true part of Pakistan. You would like to forget anything seen or heard about pakistan on media working for politics. take care
Shehzad Maqbool Shaikh Feb 12, 2011 09:53am
Amazing article...keep us up to date of luck and takecare
Maxime Mar 09, 2011 12:36pm
So... now you understand how we felt in China ;) With all the people that want to be your friend! I really love your writing style!
Akbar Feb 11, 2011 02:12pm
This reminds me of my visit to Karachi last year with my Chinese wife:)
Patel Feb 12, 2011 09:24am
this was a little different, we poke because we care, we poke because we like to share !!! so don't be pessimistic mate :)
shahzad Feb 12, 2011 09:00am
It reminds me of december 2006 when i visited china. Shenzhen and i had almost the same kind of curosity and feelings as you have...Good Luck!
Goga Nalaik Feb 11, 2011 09:17am
Jie Wei Ni Hao Ma ! Thanks for this refreshing article. What a delight! Pakistan is a country of paradoxes and contrasts and there is still a lot more to discover ... ? Pakistan and China are true friends. I suggest you should also visit Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar and also the highlands in northern Pakistan. There is a small Chinese community living in each big city of Pakistan and many Chinese restaurants of course
TURTLE FROM JAPAN Feb 11, 2011 02:06pm
Aamir Ali Feb 12, 2011 08:26pm
on what basis you say most people support killers and suicide bombers ? There have been many rallies condemning suicide bombers in Pakistan but not one in supporting them.
Nosherwan Feb 11, 2011 08:10pm
Beautiful. Some ray of hope. His optimism for us, is a glare of change. GOD Bless You. Have fun. Have a safe time in Karachi.
joey rou Feb 11, 2011 01:56pm
hey jia wei, love ur articles so much. enjoy reading it. i like this conversation the most. Pakistani: Are you from China? Or Japan? Me: No, I am from Malaysia. Pakistani: Malaysia? Are you a Muslim? (Well, this is a tough question). Me: No, I am a Malaysian-born Chinese. Pakistani: Do you know Kung Fu? Do you use sticks to eat? it can be seem that although we are from the same world, the same earth, but we actually do not understand much of the foreign country. i do appreciate that u have share this experience to me. thank.. haha... keep it up and write more. hope that u stay healthy and be cheerful always. take care ya. happy cny. joey rou Malaysia- born Chinese too but i am not a muslim. =) from Johore,Malaysia
Hassan Feb 12, 2011 09:10am
your experiences and ur writing syle both are interesting. Keep writing here....
Anam Feb 11, 2011 07:02pm
For once just stop being so cynical please. Sometimes we have to smile and appreciate what Pakistan is all about. It is not that bad of a place ...
Khalid Adam Feb 11, 2011 07:47pm
Dear you look cool in red kurta and sandal, hope you try more kurtas and sandals!
Nosheen Feb 12, 2011 11:10pm
An excellent post. Thoroughly entertaining! And i couldn't stop till i had read it all. I hope you will visit again! How can i read other articles you have written? You got that righ...crazy peopla crazy land!!
Glenn Feb 17, 2011 09:27am
You blog was really interesting and made me read on till the end. I was really touched with the exp you shared here, it was nice to see my country through a foreigners eyes. All the best to you and God bless
Shahid Feb 12, 2011 07:56pm
Enjoyed your article thoroughly, please do write more and let us know what u think about cricket.
Michel Lim Feb 11, 2011 02:11pm
It is very well written. It is interesting, exciting, a bit scary, funny and I got a quite good impression on how life is in Pakistan as foreign. I especially liked that you wrote what you were actually thinking. For example your first thought of the taxidriver at the airport. It is also nice to get to see how Pakistani culture really is. Because as a normal tourist you wouldn't normally get the chance to experience it. Michel from Zurich, Switzerland
pei yu from malaysia Feb 11, 2011 02:03pm
jiawei this is my first time to read through every word in english article~~~ ur experience is so exciting!!!ur life is truly amazing!!!
Azam Feb 11, 2011 02:07pm
I am a Pakistani living in Nanjing, China. All the Chinese (if they know about Pakistan), have same kind of perception as you described in your article at the start. It's nice to read your article, most of people are commenting that it is a positive side of Pakistan, i would say it is Pakistan, there is no negative or positive about it. This is real Pakistan, people are open hearted, optimistic,friendly, loyal, and full of life. Like other i also suggest you to visit some other parts of great Pakistan Enjoy your stay there mate!
Mani Zia Feb 12, 2011 07:57pm
Welcome to Karachi Bro ! Hope you have a safe and wonderful internship at I loved the part where you mentioned about the media portraying our land. Sadly, its not the people but the filthy politicians that give us that image. I am Dubai airport right now returning to Karachi after 7 long years from Miami on a 2 week trip and you have no idea how much hunger and greediness your article has created in my tummy LOL ..... Take care bro and Best of Luck ! Pakistan Loves Peace and All Nations that Love peace as well !!!
Jahiz Feb 11, 2011 08:30pm
This is just a great read. It reminds me a lot about the idiosyncrasies of our culture...
Maria Feb 11, 2011 08:09pm
Jia Wie, I loved you're blog, such a lovely read! I hope you have an amazing time in Pakistan :)
Junaid Feb 11, 2011 08:20am
Singapore media is state says what the state wants it to say. Period. Dont bother with comparative media. Just enjoy the culture that will hit you on its own.
Adil Feb 11, 2011 07:46pm
Excellent piece of work, keep it up and Alhumdulillah we all Pakistanis are good but its just the media who had made a bad view on our people or else Pakistani`s Mashallah (so that evil eye catch us) are good in treating all.May Allah bless us all.
PitFeng, from Malaysia Feb 11, 2011 01:54pm
I spent more than half an hour reading every single word because I couldn't forgive myself if I miss out any tiny interesting part of your story! Well JiaWei I have nothing to say other than "marvelous" "awesome" "great job" and "we are proud of you"! Thankiu for refreshing the impression of us towards Pakistan =) And the most important thingy is the attitude and spirit that you are showing as a media worker or a Malaysian or a teenager or a dream catcher or whatever You really deserve my SALUTE I believe that you would have more stories to share with! Enjoy your life there! and I like the saying
Mansoor Iqbal Feb 11, 2011 08:19pm
Who is that super star in that red kurta? :D Welcome to Pakistan my dear friend. Do visit other places too!
Adil Feb 11, 2011 07:43pm
Really awesome article keep it up and please let your friends know about it specially its positive response for Pakistani and it will help to again built the Pakistani reputations.Subhanallah Its worth reading.
yap Feb 11, 2011 01:46pm
Wao? I have read a good article.. you have enjoy your life there very Good Luck~ peter from malaysia
Rohit Feb 11, 2011 06:54pm
Nice article, please keep it coming. As an Indian, I have had a lot of interest in Pakistan & really long to visit the land my mother was born in. Hope that day comes in this lifetime.
benish Feb 11, 2011 08:00pm
Hi Jia Wei, thanx for sharing with us your experience, it was really very interesting. You will find more diversity once you get to travel to other parts of the country, like Lahore, Islamabad, and other cities (visit to country side will also be a learning experience). Have fun :)
Khurshid Feb 11, 2011 07:03am
Hi Jia wei, Welcome to Karachi. One minor explanation and that is elders feeding Hafsa is the most elaborate once-in-life-time pampering girls get during the mehndi custom. You did not explain the "Chow fan" that you have shown in the picture. Stay safe and enjoy your stay in Karachi. Try the pakistani version of chinese food too if you can. Next time if some oen ask you if you are Chinese tell them nope you are from Saddar Karachi. Down town (Saddar) Karachi has a sizeable Chinese population. Most of them are dentists. Zai Chian
Khan Feb 11, 2011 06:47am
Jia Wei, I have a sincere advice for you. Don't leave Pakistan without exploring it fully. You have just seen Karachi which is only a small part of the whole Pakistan picture. You must definitely visit Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Northern areas. I can assure you will be surprised to visit these places as they are absolutely different from Karachi. You will be amazed to see what a great diversity this small but amazing country offers. Have a nice time in Pakistan. Khan, Hong Kong
Ed Feb 11, 2011 07:19am
Jia Wie, I am not sure what kind of Internship schedule you are on. But, in your six months stay in Karachi you can get a lot done towards your Bachelors/Masters program. I would suggest you to visit Karachi University and NED University and the Dow University and write about the state of education or whatever you can observe. Your observation can be a fresh point of view. If you are a computer science major and honing your skills of programming than you don't have to go anywhere but if you a journalism major than you have a great opportunity to write a comparative article about state of reporting in the Pakstani media and compare it to Singapore and Malaysian media. Don't get too distracted by Pratha and kabobs...hahha ..That is a Pakistani way of getting you suckered in - in not doing anything.
Sarah Feb 11, 2011 07:44am
Hey! Reminds me of my trip to Burma...just after Sui Kyi was released. No dad WE are the most dangerous nation :P I am surprised though that you have not come across the Chinese settled in KHI - there are many families who've been here for decades. Must get you in touch.
NZ Feb 11, 2011 07:04am
I thoroughly enjoyed/loved reading your post! It reminded me of all the awesomeness of Pakistan that I miss so much. Though "Karachi, Karachi hai" (this is coming from a loyal ex-Karachi resident) you should also try and take out time to visit other cities; especially Lahore. Each city has got it's own uniqueness that one can't help but fall in love with. Good luck and looking forward to reading more from you. P.S. Keep the pics coming - they bring back awesome memories!
Sarah Feb 11, 2011 06:43pm
Fantastic article!! You've written it so well that I feel every single emotion you describe as if I was a foreigner visitin Pakistan even though I am Pakistani myself :) Glad you're having fun and enjoying Pakistan and seeing the many sides of it - the good and the weird :) Completely love the part about whether you know Kung Fu and can eat with sticks! :) Btw, how did you like the Pakistani version of Chinese food? Keep writing more our Malay-Chinese friend!
YingHui from Malaysia Feb 11, 2011 01:36pm
it's very sure a very interesting article completely change my concept towards this country **Pakistani: Are you from China? Or Japan? Me: No, I am from Malaysia. Pakistani: Malaysia? Are you a Muslim? (Well, this is a tough question). Me: No, I am a Malaysian-born Chinese. Pakistani: Do you know Kung Fu? Do you use sticks to eat?*** i share ur view that foreigners often misunderstand our identity excellent! hope u enjoy this learning process and stay safe^^
Khannie Feb 11, 2011 07:16am
"He looks
Yiheang Tong Feb 11, 2011 01:35pm
haha,jiawei,i have read through your story although it's very long!It's a very amazing experience to you,and I think it can benefit your all life.Pakistan is a amazing place,you sure can learn a lot on there!
Javeriya Feb 11, 2011 06:47pm
Hi Jia Wei! I loved reading about your adventures in Pakistan. Hope to see more of this! Regards, Javeriya
Noumaan Shamsi Feb 12, 2011 05:49pm
jiawei? ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????? ??????????????? ????
Noor Hameed Feb 12, 2011 05:12pm
After a long time i have read something nice about Pakistan. very interesting write-up from Jia Wei... Happy to see you enjoyed your experience in Pakistan and glad that you went back home safely. Well one thing about Pakistani's that our hospitality to guests is in our genes and i hope we can retain it. Please do pass your experience to your Singaporean friends "Lah" as they dont know anything about South East Asia... Do come again.
Tariq Shah Feb 12, 2011 05:25pm
Sometimes I feel we are too tolerating and too patient as a nation, we have ignored the threat from religious extremisim to our own peril, yes its ok to put a brave face on and ignore the bombings and such and carry on, but it is this exact blase' style that gets us into trouble, the people need to have zero tolerance with hate speech, religious gangsterism, illegal citizens from neighbouring countries pouring in to let loose a plethora of burden on our economic resources, exacerbating crime and lawlessness, I am obviously alluding to Afghanistan and our porus borders. We have become too tolerant in many ways and intolerant in others, the middle class has been subdued to party in their villas, living a secret life in shadows, but this is unsustainable. Sorry to rain on the parade here, but I am very happy for you and your adventures, but as a nation we need to wake up and become a nation of laws, until we do, we will get nowhere. The biggest sign of our failure is the fact that even you noticed, the country is starved for tourists, now if that is not a huge warning sign, I dont know what is. The sign of any healthy society is tourism. We are a great people, but we have tolerated the lesser amongst us, to cower us down.
Farrukh Saleem Feb 12, 2011 07:33am
This is a great article and welcome to Pakistan, plz visit Islamabad and Murree etc too. Pakistan china friendship zindabad!!!!.
TJ Feb 12, 2011 07:34am
A very interesting piece to read. I have some really good chinese friends and all of them have a great sense of humor. I guess its in ur genes :P and FINALLY, something good about my country to read. :) Hope you have a good time. waiting for more columns.
salman afzal Feb 12, 2011 07:29am
paratha = oil dripping bread . HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA By the way , you should've visited lahore as well, to experience the culture and liveliness at its best !
Good host Feb 15, 2011 12:46am
Loved to read the article! Not at all surprised! All SE asians know this about Pakistan and all of our other countries! As a person who has travelled countries I know that once you know the local people you get the real image of the country and its culture. I think it should be mandatory for each person to live away from their hometown/ familiar culture and go and live at a new place/culture/religion etc. Thats the best way to know under white/black/yellow/brown skin, easter/western culture, whatever religion everybody yearns for same things - they all want to live llife with love, peace, laughter and security and guess what all of us go through the same lifecycle as others! I am waiting for the day to come there and shop and eat and see beautiful SC building which looks like an open book... Boy am I waiting to see the beautiful salwar kurtis (very trendy too) Pakistanis wear here in US.. and jewellery and handi craft and what not! I am on the look out for finding a great Paksitani friend and then going with her! Ofcourse I will offer the same to her for India.. Everybody knows the mehmannawai of Pakistanis and Indians! You are very lucky to see a beautiful country and culture!
Ali Feb 12, 2011 06:40pm
Lovely!! Please keep writing about your experiences in Pakistan!
ALI Feb 12, 2011 06:27pm
Living in other countries I have seen how hostile and rude these people are. No one has ever invited me to go with them to a party. No one has ever invited me even on thanksgiving or Christmas. No one has ever sent me any food. No one has ever sent me any gift. Enjoy all this as long as you are in pakistan. I guess every country has its up and down sides.
kee kee Feb 12, 2011 06:25am
so interesting....take care and be careful~
Asad Feb 12, 2011 06:16am
Jia Wei, This was such a heart-warming read, thank you so much for writing this!
Ishaq from karachi Feb 12, 2011 05:53am
That was interesting to reading your blog first time from Dawn Blog....... because all the time I read about bad things happen in karachi or pakistan......... i was keep smiling with your comments.... specially yhe one " the taxi driver is look like Osama Bin Ladin".. lolzzzz...... well if you are still in karachi...... do visit to Burns Road at night.... and area 51 . dont miss the racing of bikes and cars on area 51.... visit to safari park..... there are lots of area that u must see. u will enjoy alot..... Caution: dont go alone .. to enjoy more go with friends........ i love my karachi .... Again lovely article i have ever read........
Asif Khan Feb 12, 2011 05:50am
You are the first Indian who said good things about my country. Thank you.
Cai Yun from Singapore (China) Feb 12, 2011 05:30pm
I am like totally going through this whole experience WITH YOU from this awesome article!! What you have encountered is really unique and exciting. LOVE IT!! Continue telling us more in the months to come Jia Wei! Looking forward to hearing more from you. Meanwhile take care and have fun!=D
Mikal Feb 12, 2011 06:00pm
A heartwarming story. Jia Wei, you have confirmed what I have so long believe true. That Pakistan is a rich, diverse and beautiful country. Your articles inspires optimism that should transcend all boundaries. What Pakistan is going through now is a testing and sad time in its history, yet what it is going through, is not Pakistan. There is so much more behind the shroud of stereotypes and violence that cloaks this country today. All I can say is thank you. I encourage you to tell those you know about the real Pakistan, so that one day we can remove this shroud that covers Pakistan today.
bushra Feb 12, 2011 05:20am
amazing piece to read:)
Kashif Khan Feb 12, 2011 05:19am
Dear Rohat, Being a Pakistani i will pray that you will visit my country soon inshAllah.........We will welcome you whole are always welcome specially to KPK.......let me know if i can do something for you.... Khan
Ron Feb 12, 2011 05:12pm
Awesome article from an AWESOME GUY!
Sridhar Feb 12, 2011 05:06pm
Though the goverment fight i hope people will not be hostile to me both in pakisthan and china
Priscilla, Singapore Feb 12, 2011 04:57am
Sounds like you're having an adventure over there! I admire your courage for choosing Pakistan (despite all the stereotypes and media representations), and for being so accepting towards cultural differences. You make me want to see the world as well. Have fun! And take care! Jing-ga-lang-ka-jing-ga-lang-ka-jing-ga-lang-ka
Ahsan Feb 12, 2011 04:49pm
Jia Wei, if you ever get hungry at night some more options:
Irfan Ali Feb 12, 2011 04:18am
a well written piece. Pakistanis --in good times and bad --never lose their sense of humour; our hospitality to guests is implanted in our genes. Please do continue to discuss further your stay with us. The Chinese especially have a good image in Pakistan; we are time-tested friends. Not enough people-to-people interaction takes place so we should change that. Our country is facing challenging, interesting, historic yet sad times. But if you look at our history, we always overcome the hurdles --especially when united. You should also visit Lahore and Northern Areas (especially Gilgit/Hunza/Chitral). There is a lot of hidden treasure in our country. keep up the good work, friend. Pakistan-China Zindabad
Umair Savul Feb 12, 2011 02:56am
An interesting read! Please continue sharing your experience with us, AND stay safe!
Jia Wei Feb 15, 2011 10:55am
Yes Cai Li, I LOVE food!!!
MT Feb 12, 2011 02:30am
Welcome to Pakistan!! This was a very fun read, really happy that you're enjoying your stay in Karachi.
Himanshu Feb 12, 2011 04:24pm
Maybe - but when most of the people themselves support the killers and suicide bombers - how can it be a safe place ?
Waqas Feb 12, 2011 04:44pm
Warm Welcome to our Beloved Pakistan! Fabulous article and i appriciat your effort to decide to visit Pakistan.Hope you will enjoy you stay there.I am willing you to accompany but now a days i am in China.Pakistanis are well known for their sense of humour & their hospitality to guests is implanted.You should also visit other part of Country and explore multi cultural features... Wish you good luck
Rafey Sattar Feb 12, 2011 02:40am
I'm thrilled that the country treated you well, it doesn't do that for everybody!
saad Feb 12, 2011 12:46am
what an amazing article, it feels so good after reading something like this. it shows us pakistanis that all is not lost and there is hope for us. btw loved your comment under the picture of the heart shaped rice, so true!
noor Feb 12, 2011 04:15pm
I loved reading this article, I didn't want it to end. I am so happy that you had an amazing time. It felt great as a British-born pakistani to read this, because living in foreign countries such as the UK it's really hard to remove the stereotype that people have about Pakistan. I wish more people could read this and understand that pakistanis are much different to what is written about them.
M.Maroof Hussain Feb 13, 2011 06:54am
Lovely article!!! Jia Wei. I appreciate the way you have portrayed the image of Pakistan. Hope you enjoy your stay in Pakistan.
Jasy Batra Feb 12, 2011 04:01pm
In 2008 I traveled to Lahore from India to attend a marriage of a Old family friend. I had the best of time for the 5 days I stayed there. The attend I got (Being a Sardar) was no less to a movie star in India. I used to walk to the main Bazar near the Hotel and I vouch, I was not allowed to take out my vallet to pay for eateries. I somehow regret that the bath mouthed people on both sides always get the attention.
Rahul Feb 15, 2011 12:03am
Enjoyed the wxcellent article and great sense of humor.
Sohraab Feb 12, 2011 03:39pm
Fantastic read! Oh you've reminded me of the famous Chulu Kebabs. Keep wring Jai Wei and we wish you all the very Best in Pakistan. Sohraab from Muscat, Oman.
Sridhar Feb 12, 2011 03:41pm
Hi jan wei Good Article. One day i plan to visit pakisthan and china being indian i dont know how i will be received.over Though the fight i hope people will not be hostile to me both in pakisthan and china Sridhar
Imran Feb 15, 2011 10:37am
Thanks Jia Wei for sharing your views about my homeland. I wish you have more joy and enjoy pakistani friends. I want to assure you Pakistani ppl are very friendly (more than your expectation). This is all media hypocrisy that portray the image of pakistan what you see everyday. I am pursuing Ph.D in malaysia and enjoying very good time.
Umer Feb 14, 2011 11:32pm
I really dont think Ms Rose here actually visited Karachi or any part of Pakistan for that matter. A prejudiced little rose. I have had Hindus and Sikhs visiting form India and falling in love with Pakistan. Even remarking that Pakistan seems more developed with less poverty. I personally had a white American stay with me for a joint venture being nothing short of humbled by his Pakistan experience. Even thought the deal didnt work out.
Rehana Kausa Feb 16, 2011 04:41pm
We love Pakistan, our homeland.....but you know what, we've to face discrimination at airports, Govt.places in the world when people see our passport ! We're not Talibaan, we're not attackers, simply national of Pakistan, then why we've to face this discrimination???
Fahim Khanzada Feb 11, 2011 10:06pm
Indeed an interesting piece to read! It reminds me about my company with Dr. Daniel Tai-yin Tsoi, a Chinese now settled in Nottingham, England, who stayed in Pakistan for a short time and has accumulated rich memories of the country and the life there.
Alia Amir Feb 12, 2011 02:15pm
Lovely article Jia Wei! Welcome to Pakistan!
Nadia Feb 12, 2011 01:08pm
Welcome to Pakistan:) I am so glad you can see feel and taste the best of this place instead of focusing on the worst :) But u know what they say in Punjabi "he who has not seen Lahore, aint born yet,,,:)" so im inviting you to lahore! for a punjabi culinary adventure :)) regards NJ
Jia Wei Feb 12, 2011 01:14pm
'Btw, how did you like the Pakistani version of Chinese food?' I didn't get to taste much Chinese food in Karachi yet...because I can't stop loving Biryani! The chow mian from Agha Chinese tastes really great and authentic, though!
Jia Wei Feb 12, 2011 01:24pm
bushra Feb 12, 2011 08:24am
It's a wonderful summed up write up of hoe a travellor sees things that we enjoy in our daily lives and is so rich in culture , taste, traditions and happenings that we are use to hear only the news and that too from a point of view from the media who hibe the negativity ... so it's an experience based write up and is so positive and so real. It feels like been living in the days and nights through the writer as it is so well expressed. The Malay Chinese is an Extrovert and very expressive and a lively person.. It was so well written. Thoroughly enjoyable bio-travel-graphy. So rich in expression. Well done..!!
Jia Wei Feb 12, 2011 01:00pm
Apply Pakistan next year!
Manzoor Qureshi Feb 11, 2011 10:21pm
Yes, it hurts when you read the stories coming out of Pakistan. I still love Pakistan, and always pray to see things changed. Yes, I want to smile but I do not have the heart made of stone. I will smile when I see people are me smiling. Thanks.
Ali Feb 12, 2011 01:34pm
hello Jia Wei, i want to learn kung fu, i hope you will probably give me some lesson...Hahaha just kidding man but thats fact most people think every chinese know kung fu and i used to think same..but now i wont ,well look you have changed my mind and its not weired thing since you came in pakistan
Adnan Azad Feb 12, 2011 01:49pm
Super long article but worth reading, Pal! Keep up the good work!
Kamran Feb 12, 2011 01:47pm
Excellent post! it was entertaining yet informative; couldn't stop until i finished. have fun
Moin Feb 12, 2011 01:04pm
Hahaha! Awesome! 5 star post! Cool starry bra!
Jia Wei Feb 12, 2011 12:56pm
yea, I just went to burns road!
Jia Wei Feb 12, 2011 12:51pm
yes, indeed. I'd forwarded this article to my friends in Malaysia and Singapore. Let's hope there will be more and more people coming Pakistan for internship next year!
Jia Wei Feb 12, 2011 12:44pm
'loved your comment under the picture of the heart shaped rice, so true!' And, I hope you know, in fact, Chinese don't eat this way. =D
hui lin Feb 12, 2011 01:22pm
very interesting^^ but must be careful...
Usman Feb 11, 2011 07:23am
Interesting read. As a Pakistani living in Singapore, I can now relate to a lot of what you must be experiencing...I would highly recommend you to visit Lahore - if anything for the food! Make sure you get someone from there who can show you around. Enjoy your stay and I hope you get to experience a lot more of what Pakistan has to offer - and take home a different perspective to what you usually get from the international media.
M Y Siyal Feb 11, 2011 01:33pm
HI! Very intresting, however I am surprised that your friends have not taken you to meet Pakistani Chinese in Karachi. There are several Chinese families living in Karachi and most of them came to Pakistan in 1956 and they obviously speak both Urdu and Mandarine. In fact, I know few Pakistanis, who had studies with Pakistani Chinese in Pakistani schools and Universities. Good Luck and keep posting
Junoseng ( Malaysia / Singapore ) Feb 11, 2011 06:42pm
seems that you have enjoyed yourself a lot. Keep going, looking forward to your another article. That's good that learnt something from your article as well, and know more about the country that i never been there before. Thanks for your sharing here.
Rishad Feb 11, 2011 06:37am
"Yes, Pakistanis, just the way you like to think that every Chinese knows Kung-Fu, we often think how any Pakistani may be carrying a bomb! That
Ayesha Feb 11, 2011 06:31pm
Hahaha!!! i just lovvveeedddd your article!!! it had me smiling through out!!! =D was wonderful!!! i just hope you complete you internship safely! btw the part that i loved the best was when "the neighbor" kept giving you food! =) that was simply hillarious! Great job! would LOVE to read more of your stay in Pakistan! take care and have fun!
shuming, from singapore Feb 11, 2011 06:38pm
detailed and interesting! Nice pictures too.:))
rabia Feb 11, 2011 01:05pm
It's sad to see how the world perceives us Pakistanis but after reading i feel hopeful that very soon that wrong image of Pakistan will be erased! Indeed a very good article!
Sameer Akalani Feb 11, 2011 01:04pm
Jia Wei, thank you for your uplifting tale and positive perception of Pak....I would suggest that for sure you should visit other cities but take a look around the rest of Sindh .eg Makli, The Great Fort of Hyderabad, The Jain/Hindu/Budhist Temples of the interior Sindh and a must is Moen jo Daro. There are a lot of places that are a short drive from Karachi and even a weekend away exploring this region will surprise you... Best of luck...
maham Feb 11, 2011 06:28am
It's always interesting to read an outsider's view of all the things we experience and take for granted on a daily basis. Pakistanis are a very diverse and eclectic mix of people and at times the social and economic disparity can be quite garring to someone who isn't accustomed to it. Hope you enjoy your stay here and take home pleasant memories with you :)
malik Feb 11, 2011 06:11pm
wowww great articleeee beautiful to read and so funny too!!
Rita Feb 11, 2011 10:49am
Brilliant piece of observation and so witty...yeah i can identify with all you said about Pakistan...i too was also the only foreigner walking the roads of jalalpur jattan and savouring the warmth and hospitality of the local people..something you wouldnt see in other parts of the world. Being from Ireland i too was a subject of some curiosity. I left with fond memories of very genuine people and with friendships made that will last a lifetime. I pray for lasting peace in this troubled land. I hope to return again to see all those places flung far and wide.. Its a beautiful country! God Bless you all
Ali from Karachi Feb 11, 2011 11:04am
One of the best blog posting ever...enjoy your stay and keep blogging :)
Kah Ket from Malaysia Feb 11, 2011 11:00am
Surprising that you're travel alone XD... I can feel that you really enjoying the life in Parkistan ... Take care:)
SL Feb 11, 2011 12:18pm
Your article is just so-you, sunny, optimistic, cheerful, broad-minded.. Just like every time after i had talked to you, I felt inspired too this time. Keep up the work and I know u will !! all the BEST wishes to my dear senior (: Malaysian-born Chinese too(lol) but is currently in Sg, Siau Li.
ilitirit Feb 11, 2011 12:16pm
Enjoyed your article. Very informative and interesting. This is the first piece I've read on Pakistan that made we want to visit. Good luck, and enjoy your stay! ilitirit Cape Town, South Africa
Faiza Feb 11, 2011 12:09pm
very well written. I like the way you have shown how your perceptions about pakistan have changed over time. It would be great if you could come and see other cities of pakistan.
hasham Feb 11, 2011 05:48pm
Hi Jia Wei, I must say that you have made my life easier with your blog. I am an expatriate Pakistani and a lot of my friends and colleagues wanted to know about my city and motherland. You help me by writing in such a good manner with appropriate information about Karachi and Pakistan. Now all of them are reading and enjoying your lovely descriptions. I am sorry for the car mishap, but as they say not all the fingers are similar. Spare some time to visit and describe your observations after visiting the Hindu temples of Karachi, Jewish graveyard, War cemetery, Mohatta palace, Sufi tombs, Old books makeshift market at Regal on Sunday, Karachi University, Chatkharay, Sajji place, Kunna, Dhoraji......................... You definitely are with good people who love and respect their country they will guide you for all and many other places, events, delicacies, traditions etc. Thanks! Keep it Up & Keep Coming - Good Luck
Adnan Feb 11, 2011 05:45pm
Excellent post, enjoy your stay in Pakistan bud!!
Kuan Lim Feb 11, 2011 12:01pm
Nothing is greater than visiting another country and put it into words and photos. I feel surprised of author's internship in foreign country, especially a country that most of people don't have a chance to try ( even there is chance, they might put it into the bottom of the list) as I'm researching my editorial internship over a website or magazine or any website.
leefang, from malaysia Feb 11, 2011 05:03pm
hey jia wei, all da best to u!!!
Shahrezad Feb 11, 2011 05:03pm
Thank you for writing this.
Taffe Feb 18, 2011 06:07pm
Finally! Someone realized it that we are not crazy bombers.. we ar enormal people living normal lives :) Glad to know that you found out .. :)
nadiyah rahman Feb 11, 2011 11:34am
Wow! A very intersting read, very well-written I must say. It was a treat to read an outsider's account that we rarely come across these days. Have more fun, good luck !!
Sie Yen, from Singapore Feb 11, 2011 11:46am
Hey Jiawei! Loved reading the article! Very engaging piece that makes me want to visit Pakistan someday too! Looking forward to seeing more of your posts! JIAYOU! :D
weili Feb 11, 2011 11:40am
Wow, nice experience! Seem that you really enjoy it!
Hassan Khan Feb 11, 2011 11:28am
I really enjoyed your article but you must visit Lahore, and if possible, do visit our Northern Areas like Skardu and Hunza. You will see a completely different and another side Pakistan . It is highly recommended. Good luck to you!!
Ze Shuen from Malaysia Feb 11, 2011 04:50pm
Thank for sharing your great experiences in Pakistan. We are happy to see you are enjoying your life in Pakistan. Your article is very interesting and inspiring! You have done and tried something that I will never try. I'm Proud to be your friend. The pictures are beautiful, the heart shape fried rice looks yummy :) All the best !
A Lam from Malaysia Feb 11, 2011 11:05am
It is very hard for others (including me) to imagine a country like Pakistan. To me, that is a place I won't think of when going for a trip But your article has reminded me the interesting part of the country! A totally different environment from here, and I hope that I would have the chance to experience it! Have great time in Pakistan and remember to show us more pictures! Take care and enjoy!
Parus Feb 11, 2011 11:06am
very well written and intresting blog :) have fun Jie Wei.
M Shoaib Feb 11, 2011 09:37am
WoW Gr8 to hear n read this article. Love U man how you feel here
Emily Feb 11, 2011 10:49am
Awesome! very well written indeed. Your description impressed me and I doubt how nice if I can explore this mysterious place! Looking forward to your next article. As a Malaysian, I'm proud of you! May you bring back bunch of great memories?
Abbas Feb 11, 2011 09:49am
Excellent account! While you are here visit the old areas of the city (they are quite near dawn's office) and enjoy some of the famous cuisines on offer there. Looking forward to read more posts from you :)
safar Feb 11, 2011 06:52am
Excellent article. Finally something positive to read in Dawn.
Sandip Feb 11, 2011 04:17pm
Beautiful! Pakistani Journalists... take a note
Maruf Mahemud , From India ,Mumbai Feb 11, 2011 09:50am
Good writing skills,command over English language must be appreciated......!!!!! But it is toooooo looooong friends
Jia Wei Feb 15, 2011 10:44am
Agree. One should live in a foreign place for at least once in his life so that his mind and vision are broadened through experiencing and understanding foreign culture. And then he'll know how big the earth is.
Fahad Feb 11, 2011 03:53pm
Wow! AS a Pakistani Canadian citizen I am amazed at this beautiful piece! I would love to blog like this one day when I visit again and you have certainly brought a smile on my face here at work today looking at all the beautiful things I did when I visited Karachi 4 years ago. I miss it dearly and would love to visit China myself one day. JIA WEI thank you for this amazing blog and keep up the great work! Please email me as I would love to keep in touch with your amazing work and would like to offer my hand in help if anything is required :)
vinn from malaysia/singapore Feb 11, 2011 03:50pm
good one! looking forward to more of your works & diaries~~
Z Khan Feb 11, 2011 03:48pm
Excellent article-and shows pakitan rising in image, perception and presence
mehnaz Feb 11, 2011 10:37am
wonderful sincere is true that the world perception is limited now only to the bombs tearing up our country-thats sad! hoping the rest of ur internship goes well and u continue to discover Pakistan...u must visit lahore, taxila, tourist spots up north-gilgit skardu etc-if u can. best of luck!
Manzoor Qureshi Feb 11, 2011 03:44pm
What you have written is true. Pakistanis have open heart for foreigners, but not for their own people. Here I am, a person, who left his native country, India, right after partition, and traveled couple of hundred miles to the then West Pakistan, to the city known as Lahore, in five days through hell. The death was dancing over my head. I remember, a Sikh brother caught my hand and was dragging me in the woods to slaughter my throat. I pushed him and he fell down and I ran away. Oh God, this still haunts me in my dream. When I saw Lahore railway station, I could not believe my eye; there were thousands of people with garlands, medicines, and clothes who had come to receive the refugees. I was half naked and shivering due to cold. It was early November. For a moment I thought God had pardoned me and now I am entering Paradise and these men are angles who have come to receive us. I did not know the Punjabi language; yet they hugged us. I got warm clothes, and by God, the food was so tasty (I was hungry for five days) that I can not mention in words. I settled in Lahore. The city was ghost town. Most houses in the area where Hindus and Sikhs lived were empty. We could choose any house and enter. Local people used to greet us and offered help. But, unfortunately, after three or four years, the situation changed and gradually deteriorated. I left Pakistan over 43 years ago and came to the land of braves, the land of Christopher Columbus -- The United States of America. I got naturalized over 37 years ago, and have a big family. All my children, and their children got high education and are very well to do. I do not feel I am 'refugee' here. I have come across all sorts of people, and have never had any bad experience during my 43 years. I have been to Pakistan couple of times, but I was always sad seeing so many men, women and children -- young and old -- begging for food. I could not even swallow my food seeing the hungry people raising hands and asking for food. Oh God, Pakistan is a rich country; the corn, vegetables, and fruits are in abundance, and tasty, but not available to the people. What a shame?
zaman Feb 11, 2011 03:35pm
iIts midnight in Tokyo as I read this engaging article in my hotel room while on biz trip. Need I say more. Keep em coming.
Le Ying Feb 11, 2011 03:31pm
Oh my god harjiawei you are so amazing!!!! you really write very well, and I already can try to picture your life in Pakistan. Hey do keep writing! we'll be excited and happy to follow your interesting life there. Guess you'll become quite a different person when you get back. By the way, do remember to come back in one piece.=)
SeeKay Mak Feb 11, 2011 03:28pm
Awesome article,mate! Pakistan sounds interesting but I'd very much prefer to tour Europe for the time being (Bcos I'm in scotland) Cheers
ZiNing From Malaysia Feb 11, 2011 03:23pm
Dear Lucas, "You are going to transform into a real man in six months!!" All the best. Wish you good luck huh!
freddyw Feb 11, 2011 03:15pm
ohh sheep, its not safe as you think..
Jia Wei Feb 15, 2011 10:52am
What I am sure is everyone on the earth share the same sky, so if you want to backpack, just do it!!!
ts Feb 11, 2011 09:07pm
Very Interesting ...I love the part where you were poked by Pakistanis every day and asking you where you from? It may be irritating but this the reason that unfortunately my country is famed in the world. Always interested to poke others but never improve themselves. This is a root cause of all the problems there. Yes, food is good but I hope you dont get sick and then try fake medicinces there. Be careful and have a safe trip.
Naeem Feb 15, 2011 11:19am
Hi Wei, This is Naeem from Dubai. I left karachi 5 years ago to work in UAE. I really enjoyed your post and would like to hear more stories.. I am sure you must have missed the chinese new year and the ang pao but there are certianly other great things to celebrate in karachi as well. I've been good friends with many Malaysian Chinese here in UAE and have found them v friendly and polite just like you. Good Luck and post your next blog soon. Regards, Naeem.
T.Khan Feb 12, 2011 12:38pm
As a Pakistani from the North-West, I also long to visit India! We have a connection with India through our 'Frontier Gandhi'!
Ally Feb 11, 2011 03:06pm
Hi Jia Wei, A big welcome to Pakistan. I hope you have a fantastic time, i'm sure you will. Travelling is a way to open ones mind to the world and all of its ways, its an experience through which one grows and learns, may you grow and learn much form this experience. Since you are in Pakistan for six months you must visit Lahore soon, even if just for a weekend. Drive through the countryside in Punjab to see the beautiful green fields full of wheat, in a few weeks the wheat will grow and begin to turn brown until its is finally ready for harvesting. The fields full of young green wheat sapplings is a site for sore eyes and lifts the spirits. The temples of Nankana Sahib (Sikh temple) is often passed by by many travellers, it is however a very magnificent building and a very serene place to spend some time, as are the many Sufi shrines. Also see if you can visit the temples of Ketas Raj (Hindu) also a lovely place. If you visit Taxila you must go to the museum to see the ancient Buddhist history of the region. And before you go back to Malaysia in the summer, once the Northern areas open up after the melting snows then you must visit there. The flight from Islamabad to either Skardu or Gilgit is one you will always remember - on the way to Sakrdu sit on the right side of the plane by the window and you will see the most spectacular mountains so close as if you can reach out and touch them, the air there is so refreshing and clean, its good for the soul and spirit! And if you want you can trek to the border of China. There is so much more i can fill many pages of places for you to go to see - i hope you see so much! Lots of good wishes Khuda Hafiz Ally
Cikgu Lim from SM Foon Yew Feb 11, 2011 02:42pm
Harry Khan Feb 12, 2011 11:57am
Please drop a few lines about the nature and role of Pakistani media and in the next edition. Hidayat Cheshire, UK
Sikandar Feb 11, 2011 10:49am
Well... Simply amazing piece of article. I wish i had known Wei when he was in Karachi so that i might shown the real hearts of us Pakistanis... Still like the gentlemen said Chinese are always welcome to Pakistan.......i would love to stay contact with Wei if any body could give me his email address
kiahui from sg Feb 11, 2011 04:15pm
u know, i actually didnt intend to comment =P but after reading, i really got to say: your life in pakistan sounds so exciting! ok, i guess part of it (like the earthquake and bombing) sounds more scary than exciting, oh well, take care! you really change my perception of pakistan... i guess one really needs to experience that place personally to truly know it... that conversation about china-japan-kungfu-sticks is really amusing... goes to show how much people in these two regions really dunno each other... looking forward to more of your writing and hearing more about your experience in pakistan! take care!!
JIA WEI Feb 16, 2011 07:55pm
By the way, most of the residents here are guys--->I'd think it's an important information to you if you're a female traveler.
Umar Feb 11, 2011 06:24am
Excellent. Very well written. While you're at it, don't miss the opportunity to visit Lahore & Islamabad. I'm sure you'd come across more surprises.
Sitong Feb 11, 2011 02:23pm
Wow. I'm really amazed by your experience. I'm sure it's an experience of a life-time. I don't think I'll ever have the courage to travel to Pakistan alone like you, but reading your stories and experiences is an experience itself~! Indeed, C'est La Vie~!
Mirza S Baig Feb 11, 2011 02:30pm
It was truly a pleasure to read this article. It is very well written.I have been in US for last 6 years to pursue my career in medicine and I am aching to visit Karachi. Your article brought my fond memories back.I wish you good luck and a good stay in the City of Lights.
Pakistani Girl Feb 13, 2011 12:27am
Had tears in my eyes whilst reading this post of yours. Im a Pakistani living far away from Pakistan in another warm and welcoming country. But still, i miss Pakistan and all the things you have mentioned in your writing! And one thing about Pakistan and Pakistani's, they are the most daring people, ever ready to do anything at anytime of the day and thats what shows their liveliness! :) Enjoy man, you're lucky because i envy you right now!
chanmett Feb 15, 2011 02:33pm
Hi Jia Wei, Great Article and thank you for letting the world know that the People are always good everywhere. The politicians and the fundamentalists are the ones who poison the people's minds. The Common Man needs to step up this fight to make Peace and Harmony the main purpose of everyone's lives. and Lets all back Pack to experience the world in our faces. Enjoy your stay in Pakistan and eagerly looking for your next article.
Asad Feb 13, 2011 01:10am
Jia Wei, congratulations on writing an awesome article, so detailed, honest and funny at the same time. You are surely becoming popular in Pakistan as people are sharing the piece on facebook etc. I lived in Beijing in the late
Ovais Shaikh Feb 13, 2011 01:21am
Loved the article! Lots of humor, really interesting! Hope your enjoy the rest of your stay just as much!
Usman Iftikhar Feb 13, 2011 01:23am
Hey JIA WEI, I am a Pakistani, and i salute you for painting such a beautiful and honest picture of Pakistan. Finally, we have something in the media to relate to. Amazing work, and thumbs up!
saad Feb 13, 2011 01:31am
lol, i know, u dont need to worry. i'm going to china in september too for an internship, should be fun!
Daniel Feb 16, 2011 04:06pm
Jia Wei, Wonderful Article, it is very fact despite the media bias or painting everyone. I totally agree with you. Please spread this article to your friends, foreigners, facebook, twitters, etc. I believe 2015 will be much better in sorting out some problems. Take care, bro!! Let us know your end of your trip story later after internship. ;)
sara Feb 13, 2011 04:29am
I Love this article ......and wonder how much CHINESE are hospitable to Pakistani's......???i advice u to visit BAHADRABAD,TARIQ ROAD AND MOHAMMAD ALI SOCIETY.....I also advice u to visit INDUS HOSPITAL IN korangi AND SIUT..who provide best of free of cost services like AGHA KHAN HOSPITALS.....SO tat u can see how generous and benevolence Pakistanis are.....secondly also visit schools of KARACHI.TO SEE A MODERN SYSTEM OF EDUCATION...IF U ARE IN SOCIAL service contact FAMILY EDUCATION FOUNDATION,Where many foreigners work.. keep updating us with ur adventures....
Rizwan Feb 13, 2011 04:37am
Well written, very well written, impressive. Its sad that we Pakistani's dont see the pleasure and lighter side of things and appreciate the beauty of this beutiful land of ours like our Overseas Friends and visitors see. Thank you for this wonderful article. Hope you have a much more pleasant time here when you revisit.
Hussain Feb 14, 2011 08:36pm
I really Enjoyed the article it shows the clear picture of pakistan and its people..! :) A BIG THANK YOU!! :)
Junaid Feb 13, 2011 05:23am
Lovely article Jai Wei, welcome to Pakistan
Valerie Feb 13, 2011 05:30am
Nice post, Jia Wei!! My Pakistani friend has always invited us (course mates) to his country but due to the safety reasons, we delayed the plan. Nevertheless, after reading your post, perhaps its the time for us to start planning to visit the country soon. Thanks!
Sanghita Feb 13, 2011 05:32am
nice one, hope to give my parents to read, as they almost hit the roof.. the moment I tell.. I like to visit Pakistan.. they are also not to be blamed.. this is what the media always project, land of bomb blast etc.. share your experience in the coming months and Welcome to India also !!!
Prakash Feb 13, 2011 05:40am
Your last line is interesting about Hindu culture that also in Pakistan
Nasir Afridi Feb 13, 2011 06:20am
Thank you very much for nice article it is really enriching and pleasant to have our friends from our friend states here in Pakistan. What these friends owe to Pakistan is to disseminate and educate the people and friends back in their countries about the diversity and good things that we have and share with you guys, apart from the bad things that we and you people endure unfortunately at the hands of some people who no more even worth mentioned. We welcome you to Karachi, and since I am from FATA we would love to see you in the Dawn office in Peshawar. Best of luck and wish you great time ahead Nasir Afridi
JIA WEI Feb 16, 2011 07:50pm
Urdu doesn't really sound like that to me, in fact I remember my neighbour was mumbling something like 'jing-ga-lang-ka' at that moment.=p
M_RASHAD KHAN Feb 13, 2011 07:39am
Nice Article dud!!? You are viewer brother not the actor. We pakistani almost know every things about us. You had facilities thats why you enjoyd pakistani culture. We know how we survive in this world.
Rose Feb 13, 2011 08:12am
Only Chinese men get this treatment in Pakistan. For anyone from anywhere else.....and especially for women from anywhere else this article is very misleading.
Gohar Feb 13, 2011 08:20am
Looks like you're enjoying your stay in Karachi. Stay safe and keep us updated every few weeks. You have a nice, easygoing and unassuming way of writing that is very engaging. And next time, do tell us if you know Kung Fu!
Murtaza Feb 13, 2011 12:19pm
Nice article...It describes how exactly people in Karachi are...I live in Germany and my friends here ask me when they read some news of bomb blast and political fights in karachi.This article really helps me to give them a right impression or you can say helps me to show them a brighter side of karachites..:)
chazel Feb 15, 2011 03:50pm
Hi, Please can someone give the contact detail of YMCA (Hostel of Young Men Christian
Amjad Khan Feb 13, 2011 01:43pm
We welcome you to Pakistan man............... Enjoy your stay & let your people back home know the other side of Pakistan ?
Usama S. Feb 13, 2011 03:04pm
i am not really pleased with what ever you have already experienced about Karachi in particular and Pakistan in general, im rather very excited about all the things you have not done yet!! i must stay, you haven't experienced much! Have you played Cricket at night under lights with tennis balls covered in plastic tapes like the your country depended on you to win the World Cup? The thrill! Have you felt hunger pangs and ate out at a restaurant even around 3 in the morning and felt as if it was a part of your life style? There are more of such activities that your friends can tell you about, doing of which will officially grant you the title of a karachiite. haha. Have fun! and please do write more of your experiences here, made for a very interesting read.
Moliehi Feb 13, 2011 03:23pm
nice one, i am an African from Lesotho and that's exactly what i felt when i first arrived in Hongkong. this is awesome!!!
Shahzad Feb 13, 2011 04:20pm
Really enjoyed your experiences in Pakistan. Please post more
Yuhock Feb 13, 2011 04:30pm
Jiawei your sharing was interesting!! I admire your courage to pursue your dream and I wish you all the best in your future life in Karachi. Take good care of yourself, and continue writing down your experiences! Happy chinese new year too!
Ray Ismail Feb 14, 2011 06:13pm
I am a Pakistani living in North America. Jia Wei thanks for coming to Pakistan, not many foreigners would take a chance to visit this country after the way it is portrayed in foreign media. I hope you enjoy every minute of your stay in pakistan and when you leave take cherished memory of this country with you. Special thanks to Murtaza family and Hasan for being a great host, love you guys keep up the good work. ray
S Feb 16, 2011 03:12pm
really nice to see how a warm and cheerful article comes from independent reporter... I m loving it... want to read more like such articles
teoh chye yi from m'sia Feb 14, 2011 05:46pm
heyy dude,u'r freaking awesome!!!just like you,i'm also keen for backpacking but i don't have that much of guts like you!PAKISTAN?!what should i say?u'r really bravo!to be honest, u have literally changed my conventional view towards this 'potentially dangerous country'. But now, at least i know the situation at there ain't that bad as we assumed! hope u would have a fantastic experience throughout your staying in pakistan and look forward for your next post!tk care and happy cny! =D
Rizzone Feb 13, 2011 08:08pm
An excellent travelogue about Pakistani culture. Thank you Jai Wei for writing it after experiencing it yourself. I live in North America and after reading Jia Wei's article I personally feel that articles such as this and other positive travelogues about Pakistan and its culture and image, being the first hand view from foreigners perspective, should be collected by the Pakistani Embassies around the world and published, advertised, and used as a positive expression tool to dispel any negativity that the western and non-Pakistan friendly media has and is creating in the world about Pakistan. These kind of positive writings about Pakistan need to be quoted and projected in any and all gatherings in the world that are held to dispel or address any of Pakistan's negative image or hype generated by its detractors. There may be many who may and will not agree with Jai Wei's thoughts, but such detractors or pessimists need to look at bright perspectives also that still prevail in the very environment that has recently been created by the non-Pakistani friendly countries, their agencies and media in collusion with their agents within Pakistan. So Jai Wei's positive Travelogue, and many others like him are definitely a breath of fresh air. Thank you Jai Wei for taking the time out to share with us your positive feedback about our beloved Motherland. Cheers. Pakistan Zindabad.
Gadis Melayu Feb 14, 2011 03:44pm
Wow, that is really great..Jia Wei thanks for this information and ur great adventure.. i do wish to visit pakistan one day. I really want to visit the famous masjid at there.. hmmm love to try all pakistani foods to0o yummy... :)
Aijaz Hussain Feb 14, 2011 04:11pm
Dear Jia wei, It was nice to read ur blog...and some how i m exicted tooo I felt the same when I was doing my intern in Malaysia (UMW petrodril Malasysia) and updated my blog.... wish u great time thoroughout ur intern..and May God bless u
Jia Wei Feb 16, 2011 02:21pm
Hey check out this!
Syeda Feb 13, 2011 11:06pm
Well, the fact is that Pakistan is the birth place of Hinduism (Indus Valley Civilization, etc.) and so it makes perfect sense that Pakistan's Indic heritage is very much linked to Hindu cultural norms and ideas. Prakash, I take it that you are not a Hindu Pakistani.....if you are across the border, do come over and enjoy life on this side too :)
z Feb 13, 2011 11:25pm
loved the article.Its nice to see a foreigner write something positive about pakistan(for a change)..wish you had had time to visit other cities as well....Lahore-you should have come to lahore .JUST FOR THE FOOD!!! -cucus,bundu khan,Village-just one of the best places to eat out!...the best BBQ and best naans hehe...Lahore is the gastronomical capital of pakistan and THE place for MUST MUST visit!!!
YOUNUS Feb 16, 2011 08:13am
Hi Jia Wei Thanks for showing clear picture of Pakistan to the outer world. At least so much I know the word "Terrorist" is an import from all those who dont like Pakistan flourishing. Shame on them.
Ash Kumar Feb 14, 2011 12:59am
It was Wonderful and excellent fact about life in Pakistan I do appreciate your Concerns and Reality about Pakistani's Image well Have A wonderful time ahead In Karachi and If you Get time try to go in Northern Areas Which is Beauty of Pakistan...........I just Love
Ash Kumar Feb 14, 2011 01:02am
Good Work Keep it up
Ash Kumar Feb 14, 2011 01:06am
Ye It,s fact about Pakistan And It,s best piece of work you did for Pakistani who try to avoid To tell people about their Nationality well you concerns shows Real Image of Pakistan And If you get time Please Go in Northerns areas of Pakistan which has beauty of Pakistan...enjoy your rest of time there........Long live Pakistan...
Asadullah Ahmad Feb 16, 2011 11:38am
Hi Jai and Welcome to Pakistan! Refreshingly interesting and well-written article. Glad you had so much adventure and fun here. I particularly laughed at, and loved your
Karl Feb 14, 2011 03:44am
My name is Karl, and I have to say I enjoyed a 6 week visit in Karachi where I also fell in love with the food. As a true blue eyed European I was looked at constantly... I was able to walk around and haggle with the rest of them (trusted translator important!). Infact I have photos of local Pakistanis smiling and waving back at me into my camera. I made many friends and we compared cultures and history intellectually. The art scene there is taking off and branching it's way overseas, not to mention some classy galleries which gave me ideas to back back home... The guards (always shown in the international news) were most warming and helpful to me the foreigner... they where just doing thier job like any other police officer. I would say if you do not know the language, it's going to be a tough visit... but with the right contacts and knowledge of the country it's going to be an experience you will never forget! Caution is always important anywhere and much of what you read on the news overseas may hold some truth... but I can truly say there are real to life 'open minded' people in Pakistan who will do everything to help out... those people lack the credit they honestly deserve!
Jehan Zeb Feb 14, 2011 03:44am
Jia, Thanks for writting eloquently what you felt. Chinese have a special place with majority of Pakistanis. But man take care of your self. You can find crazy people too.
Ali Feb 14, 2011 04:01am
I am sorry if you were not treated well while you were staying in Pakistan. I would just like to mention that like in any other country, there are both good and bad people in Pakistan. I guess, unlike, Jia Wei, your company here was not good. Please know that not all Pakistanis are bad....
Cai L Feb 14, 2011 02:13pm
Really nice reading your experiences in Pakistan! Its really once in the lifetime opportunity for people like us in Singapore to go there! Reading your blog make us really appreciate the safety and things in Singapore! Have fun and learn as much as you can, most importantly, BE SAFE!
Alamgir Feb 16, 2011 06:01am
hi , and SALAM to all. its really feel good while reading you article and its the real image of Pakistan, thanks Wish you a happy life.
sana Feb 15, 2011 07:56am
it was such an interesting read...
benign Feb 14, 2011 05:02am
You cannot genralise one bad experience of yours & apply to the whole society/nation. Learn to look & feel for brighter side as well. Peace
Pakistani Guy Feb 14, 2011 05:07am
same here, i miss pakistan so much. Wish i could visit soon.
Anam Feb 15, 2011 07:16am
Amazing article, couldn't stop reading it. Thanks Jia Wei and please do write more.
Danihs Khwaja Feb 15, 2011 06:15am
a gud piece of writing .. its soo gud to see how others see our country when they actually come here and experience themselves the life we spend here .. five fingers of a hand are not equal and similarly all PAkiStanis are not terrorists .. the WORLD shld understand this .. and just becoz some of us are corrupt and involved in illegal acts that doesnt really means that all of us are following the same direction .. !! Gud work my chinese bro !!
Rabia Basri Feb 14, 2011 05:44am
Very Interesting... I took two days to complete the reading
Marina Khan Feb 14, 2011 05:55am
Great to read this!! You have portrayed positive image of pakistan which is not usually done by pakistanis ourself. Thank you Jia Wei
Hadi Feb 15, 2011 07:48pm
Jiawei, excellent and an amazingly well writte piece. you have a natural writing style. I am sure you will go a long way in the pursuit of journalistic career. you have shown a lot of courage to undertake this internship in Pakistan at a time like this. i wish you well during your six months there. take good care and loneley streets.
sravan Feb 14, 2011 08:14am
i agree with you ali, no country is bad only few people are bad and media highlights these bad people actions...i hope pakistan will come out from this position very soon
Syed Feb 15, 2011 05:36am
Hey buddy i read all u write that was so nice i wish that our country situation become good and secure and all chinese visit our country i think our country is best of all this media just spreading false rumours i will definitely say LONG LIVE PAK CHIN FRIENDSHIP....
muhammad shafique Feb 14, 2011 12:54pm
thank you for writing clear picture of Pakistan in your comments
AHR Feb 14, 2011 12:03pm
Thank you for writing this wonderful blog about Karachi. Have a great time!
RAZA Feb 15, 2011 09:52am
hen hao pengyou wo ye shi ai zhongwa!!!!!!!!! zhongwa fe zheng hao......from a pakistani friend
Jia Wei Feb 14, 2011 10:43am
Hey I played cricket on Saturday! It' my first time ever playing cricket and I definitely need more practices!
Jia Wei Feb 14, 2011 10:54am
WELCOME to Malaysia/Singapore/China, what I'm sure is Chinese people will treat you very well. And, you will get the chance to use chopsticks!
Elias Feb 15, 2011 09:59am
Jia Wei It was an excellent feeling reading your article. What you as a foreigner felt about Pakistan should also be felt by others who have been criticising one way or the other way. Plz do write an articelon Pakistan in Malayan in Malaysian news paper. god bless you
Jia Wei Feb 14, 2011 10:55am
Thank god Pakistan is not as dangerous as we thought!
Jia Wei Feb 14, 2011 11:05am
Thanks cikgu! ***For those who don't understand Mandarin and Malay, 'cikgu' means teacher in Malay language; and the translation for this post is 'It's an experience of a lifetime! Keep it up!'***
Ehtisham Rizvi Feb 15, 2011 10:05am
When it comes to female foriegn visitors, it is always nice to have a local guide, and adapt to the local culture, especially when it comes to the dress. The literacy rate in Pakistan is low and the population is high, so any foriegner should expect to be stared at, especially females. I am sorry if you had a bad experience here, but the article does paint a true picture of Karachi, most people here are not that bad, but it is a male dominated society, so you are right in saying that for foriegn ladies the experience would be much different.
Imran Nawaz Feb 15, 2011 10:12am
yes its true like all said, is a wonderful narration by a Chinese brother. i usually read different topics on and but i could never read any story from top to end. but i read today his post from the first letter to the last.He is a new guy exploring his future, i wish him a bright and successfull career along with all true friends of Pakistan. i hope we and our upcoming generation will fastened this strip of friendship for ever. Finally i thanks to "Jia Wei" for being our guest here.
Jia Wei Feb 14, 2011 11:44am
Hi, thanks for writing to me in Chinese. dude, your Chinese are really good. I am amazed! For those who don't understand Chinese, here you go: ' I am proud of you after reading through this article. What you said is right, foreigners always link Pakistanis to terrorism. In fact, we are all human being, so do Malaysians. Of course, we are more conservative about religion, but it is a part of our Islamic culture. I totally agree when you said that Pakistani cuisines are the best around the globe! Good luck to you. Happy New Year. '
Jia Wei Feb 14, 2011 11:15am
That's really sad that most of the agencies/media portrait Pakistan in the way they did now, but Rizzone, don't worry, I'm sure we will work it out and give a better name to Pakistan!
Owais Feb 17, 2011 11:15am
jia Wo ai ni :) very well written article...loved the way u described my home land and being a Pakistani im glad u had a great trip :) Gudluk for ur future!!
AHTL Feb 17, 2011 03:35pm
Awesome man, bravo; well perception and perspective.
lacimek Feb 17, 2011 08:52pm
well,, dude.. that was a nice piece of work.. i would jst say... ""GOD, made the mankind a loving creature, jst a few of these creatures made it hard for us to come close to each other....."" :) so, it was just one city of Pakistan... you surely would love to see the rest of PAKISTAN....
GIRLIE Feb 18, 2011 04:47am
what a beautiful blog.I like the way of narration...geez the food is same here in the Philippines...have a great time!
Chia Shin Feb 18, 2011 06:52am
I have read the whole article. I really appreciate your article with great sense of humor!! Congratulation and enjoy your new life in Pakistan. It is a special experience for you.
chazel Feb 22, 2011 01:02pm
Jia Wei, thanx, for the address of the YMCA in Karachi, do they have an email address or telephone number. I am a male. Thank you, Take care. chazel
jia wei Feb 22, 2011 03:17pm
I wouldn't mind working in Pakistan for a few years; but in my mind, I know where I belong to. =D
Raza Feb 22, 2011 03:30pm
Wie; ARE YOU CHINESE :) , it's nice to hear good comments from foreigners about our culture and people. I hope you can spread this all over to your friends and they would have a positive approach about us.
sana Feb 19, 2011 06:18am
good to know you enjoyed your stay in pakistan Would you take up a long time job in pakistan ?? and settle there ? Be honest
Ata ur Rahman Feb 19, 2011 07:52pm
Beautiful article.
Anum Mar 09, 2011 09:48am
I really enjoyed reading your article. Have a safe and enjoyable adventure in Pakistan. :) Keep writing.
Sajid Saeed Khan Feb 21, 2011 06:28am
This is how we are, thanks for exploring us and our country, is there any other nation in this world live like us that much lively in a smoke of fear all around us? We are the most friendly nation, it is our culture love, care, family, we love our family and friends like anything, although media portray the negative side but we are the most loving nation on earth. Jia Wei and by this article you have revealed the true picture of our country, thanks for doing this, we all should be thankful to u. God Bless You Sajid Saeed Khan
Isly Lee Mar 08, 2011 06:35am
Sorry for late responses since I were quite busy during the whole last month. Just got some time to read your article today! I'm really enjoy reading your article/blog! It is so interesting and exciting! I'm thinking to visit such a country too but lack of courage. Somemore, I'm girl too, I'm scare. ha! Thinking to share this article to my mum too, I guess she will like it! definitely! Jiayou for your life! I hope I am able to hear the rest of your stories in Pakistan too:) Isly Lee/ Hui Jun from Malaysia :)
@shash Mar 10, 2011 11:09am
Don't you think Pakistan is responsible for that. Flush out terrorists and then see no one will discriminate Pakistani people
Nithin Reddy from India Mar 10, 2011 11:17am
Beautifully written. I am from India and the only thing I heard about Pakistan is the stereotype version that the media portrays Pakistan to be a dangerous place. I really want to visit Pakistan one day and this articles proves how close both India's and Pakistan's cultures are and the fun and peace loving nature we represent.
saadia Mar 10, 2011 06:12pm
Really enjoyed reading your article.Have a great trip in Pakistan
saadia Mar 10, 2011 06:14pm
It was very enjoyable to read your article and hear your perspective about Pakistan.Enjoy your trip here :)
Pavan Mar 11, 2011 12:32am
It's just that God created men and men created boundaries of separation
Rubab Mar 11, 2011 03:09am
Hi, I loved this article. Made me miss home. I have been living in Singapore since the last six years. I love this country and I am glad that you like mine :-) I hope you stay safe and healthy while you are there. Don't eat too much of the 'Zainab market' and 'Saddar' food. Sometimes, even locals have trouble with their digestion afterwards ;)
Aimen Mar 12, 2011 11:42pm
Excellent material. Loved the humour, and considering that foreign writers don't generally write positive stuff about our homeland, this one came as a surprise. zh?n b