Life in Pakistan for an American is just plain different. Of course I’ve known this ever since I arrived almost two months back, but it became more real to me on a recent visit to Singapore during the last week of December. Suddenly, I was able to walk wherever I wanted, wear whatever I wanted, and relax my guard. In Pakistan, I live 500m away from work and yet no one wants me to walk, but in Singapore, I walked all over the city and even biked over 50 kilometers. In Pakistan, I don’t drive outside of Karachi after dark, while in Singapore, I traveled extensively after dark. In Pakistan, I stay confined to two districts of the city, but in Singapore, we explored every nook and cranny of the island nation.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel scared living in Pakistan. Precautions are just a fact of life.