An Overseas Pakistani doesn’t have it easy. Being away from home, one’s family, one’s comfort zone is not a walk in the park. With T-7 days for my friend to leave for the US, I tag along with her tense-self fidgeting with bottles of achaar at the grocery store.
So, if you’re an Overseas Pakistani or are planning to move somewhere other than Pakistan, make sure you pack the following 10 things:
Or as the desis call it, tawaa. There is nothing more people abroad miss than homemade roti.
The aroma, the aura, the taste – exquisite.
2. Muslim Shower
This should essentially be everyone’s top priority after a handy tawaa.
I think it’s time we as a nation progressed and took matters into our own hands. Literally, if you know what I mean…
These showers are one of the most important things that set us apart from the goras.
Can we please talk about how this entire nation literally breaths nimko?
Have guests over? Nimko. Shaam ki chai? Nimko. Rishta aya hay? Nimko. Khana nahi bana raat ka? Well you guessed it right, nimko!!
4. Chilli Milli
Remember the utter bliss that was chilli milli?
It’s still available in the market and is waiting for you to come get it.
Personally, chilli milli has gotten me through some tough times, most of which were 9th grade biology lectures. God bless, I couldn’t have done it without you!
5. Lemon and Chocolate Sandwich Biscuits
These biscuits literally convey a sense of warmth and comfort. They remind me of the elderly of my family and the times we’d go over to our Nani’s for sham ki chai during the cricket season.
The collective hate for Afridi, Nani’s excessive love for the boys in the family and ruthlessly making fun of each other (all in good humor).
6. Cake Rusk
Do you ever feel like cake rusk is that one thing that can be consumed anywhere, literally anytime? Because same.
I’ve had it for breakfast, for lunch, for supper, with my evening tea and even as a midnight snack.
There’s no particular time for cake rusk and if anyone tells you otherwise, run! You don’t need that sort of negativity in your life.
Tapal isn’t just chai. It’s a feeling. The feeling of being home, with people you know and cherish.
Sure tea is available everywhere in the world but I bet the aroma that takes you back home to subha ki pehli chai isn’t something you’ll get with different brands.
After all, it’s almost like desis have an addiction to chai.
Are you even Pakistani if your go-to medication for every disease isn’t Panadol?
Let’s be honest, we consume tablets by the hour and its almost some magic that it works.
Turns out our generational drug, aka Panadol isn’t available in a lot of countries which is why you need to make sure you take your stash.
9. Party Slims
I remember these spicy sticks accompanying the weirdest dishes at home. Daal, corn soup, kausay, you name it.
Desi moms put together the strangest leftovers and make the most divine food ever.
Regardless, there’s a hundred percent chance this delicacy won’t be available anywhere else so maybe dedicate some luggage space to these OGs!
10. Sabut Laal Mirch
If you’re a mom or just somebody who’s enthusiastic about cooking, this might just be very important for you.
Apparently, these bad boys aren’t available in the US which means people have to turn to other alternatives. So if you’re looking to make something desi with the right amount of spice, pack up!
But there are somethings which can’t be tin packed, like the never-ending wedding festivities, the post rain shakarkandi walas, the sense of somebody having your back almost all the time. I’m sorry but those things are very Pakistan-centric and only available in the best brown country ever!
Maryam’s a Communication and Design major and an English and Comparative Literature minor at Habib University. She thoroughly enjoys reading South Asian Literature and is a Partition Literature enthusiast, who is often found admiring the origins of cultural theory.
While one may occasionally find her at events catering to art and culture in Karachi, she would much rather be home binge-watching British comedy.
Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org