I arrived at Alama Iqbal airport after a not so great 13 hour journey from Heathrow via Istanbul and was immediately blown away by the heat upon exiting the airport. I scanned the crowd and saw my husband and my brother to the left of the crowd awaiting their loved ones.
I smiled at the sight of men in their shalwar kameez, the square roofed buildings and the tuk tuks as we drove from the airport to home on empty 5am roads before the city was awake. We were reunited with my in-laws, lost track of a few hours and then reluctantly fell into that deep, post-flight sleep.
We woke up in the afternoon to sauna like 33 degree heat so we spent the best part of the afternoon inside, catching up with family, eating and bonding with our baby nephew. In the early evening we popped out to what is effectively the high street, just outside of our community to buy some some weather appropriate clothes and our outfits for Eid next weekend. I love shopping here in Pakistan! We only went in two shops, Jumaid Jamshedpur (J.) and Almirah Andover I love it! All the clothes are beautiful and so colourful! I think I bought the most colourful shalwar kameez in the shop for Eid (here’s a photo below), a new shirt dress and some loose trousers to replace jeans in this sticky heat. The shop assistant in Almirah even threw in a pink paisley shawl as he saw I wasn’t wearing one as is the cultural norm.
When we returned home we got ready to go for dinner at my Aunt and Uncles just around the corner from us. When we arrived I was told to stand in front of the gate and could hear all the little giggles from inside. When the gate opened my five cousins had party poppers and glitter confetti and I was handed a beautiful bouquet of red and white roses the size of a small tree. I couldn’t have asked for a more thoughtful welcome from them and feel totally overwhelmed thinking about it.
We had the most amazing dinner cooked by my Auntie, of marinated and roasted chili chicken followed by a mutton chop masala, Roti, chicken fried rice, rice porridge and then customary chai to finish the meal. I then spent some time chatting to my cousins about school and what they have been up to since I saw them last. I like that things are simpler here and people are focused on what’s the most important in life; family and faith. My in-laws are all Lahoris so of course food is a big deal for them as well! I couldn’t be luckier and I am feeling proud. We then said goodnight and H and I went for a long walk around the block as is our tradition when we are here.
And that’s my first 24 hours back in Lahore! I’m hoping to find the time to take more pictures and document this trip better than I did through the whirlwind of our last trip and Pakistani wedding..so until next time,
Take care, K