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.
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
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
Before embarking on a holiday overseas, I always do prior research on my destination in order to get the gist of what’s going on and what I should do there. It is especially inevitable that I always become the designated ‘tour guide’ during these trips. Nevertheless, I have always enjoyed my research as I have the chance to plan and decide on where to go.
Research proved particularly crucial when I went on my 12-day trip to Japan last December. Why? With limited time in Japan came the responsibility to make sure I planned the itinerary carefully and got the most out of my time there. Continue reading
Have you ever been asked what your favourite place in the world is? One of my favourite places is Beijing. I was 11 when I first visited the city and I was totally amazed by the architecture left behind by the Qing Imperial family. The awe that had impacted me as a child would continue to impact many of my life’s decisions after leaving the place: I chose to study History in junior high school because a large part of the syllabus would be on Asian history; I took on China Studies in high school because I could study about the politicking in Zhongnanhai; in University I chose to specialise in East Asian political affairs, even though I wanted to learn French. This year, I went back to the place that has somehow managed to shape much of my life. Continue reading