Category Archives: Asia

Out of My Comfort Zone in Taiwan

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Out of My Comfort Zone

I had just come from the kind of place where you do not look under the sink and you do sleep on top of the bed covers, and now three men were screaming into our head lights; even if this wasn’t the end of the road it looked like the car was going no further. I can hear the low growl of a dog and as the passenger door is flung open, just a thin strap of leather keeps the snarling beast from puncturing my skin. This is Taiwan and I am out of my comfort zone.

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Pakistan’s Walls as Structures of Hope, Not Division

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Pakistan: Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things

I’ve spoken previously about poverty, overpopulation, terrorism, and corruption being some of the words which come to people’s minds when they hear the name ‘Pakistan’. I spoke of how this country was not short of amazing people wanting to bring positive changes in a place tarnished by corruption and fighting. I introduced readers to Nargis Latif, in an attempt to give her the recognition she deserves as her work is a source of strength for this nation.

She is not the only one though.  Continue reading


Giving Pakistan’s Nargis Latif the Recognition She Deserves

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Pakistan: Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things

Poverty, overpopulation, terrorism, corruption — these are just some of the words which come to people’s minds when they hear the name Pakistan. During my time as a student in the UK, I have witnessed various reactions when I’ve told people I’m from Pakistan. Some of them have been quite funny — “Is there Nandos in Pakistan,” and “How do you speak such good English if you’re from Pakistan?”

After a silent chuckle over the silliness of these questions, I have usually tried to respond to these queries as maturely and informatively as possible, explaining to everyone that Pakistan is not that different from the rest of the world. These questions always ultimately made me feel upset — Pakistan so rarely makes it into the news, and when it does, the articles are always negative. No wonder the rest of the world has such negative ideas about it! Continue reading


Dancing in Macau

It was the night of our flight, but I was still struggling to pack. The excitement of what lay ahead in the week kept me going, until finally I zipped my luggage up, and pushed it upright. A moment of satisfaction always follows. That is, until you suspect you’ve forgotten something, and you  begin the entire procedure of unzipping it, squatting across it like a frog and digging through the contents only to realise that yes, what you thought you’d forgotten has already been tucked in there.

Packing smart proves to be a challenging task to me, and no less a chore. In this particular case, there was extra baggage, beyond the usual clothing and essentials. I was bringing along bags of costumes for the trip.

Tops embellished with sequins, and long flowy skirts, some complete with gold satin and tassels. Not to forget the huge pile of makeup. These were all costumes for our performances. You see, this was a trip to dance and perform, together with other dancers from all over the world. Continue reading


How Asia Made Me Vegan

This entry is part 22 of 23 in the series World Kitchen

Last year I spent three months travelling around South East Asia.  When I left home I’d been wanting to make the final leap from vegetarian to vegan for some time. I’d already replaced cow’s milk for almond milk and I wasn’t too fussed about eggs but giving up butter and cheese seemed impossible.

Then I went to Asia. Continue reading