1. Packing decisions. Just as no self-respecting parent would choose one favourite child, I find it impossible to decide which books to take from my library. Dostoevsky or Wodehouse? A rock or a hard place?
2. The feeling of foreignness. There’s a reason why I find travel ‘experiences’, which usually amounts to buying a souvenir from a professional hustler in the Amazon, so pointless. I would much rather get to know one place well rather than move around all the time.
3. The expense. As if paying for a flight wasn’t enough, there’s also bedsheets, cutlery, sofas and a fridge to splurge on. This doesn’t include the necessities of life like a high-definition, big-screen television.
4. Friends. Or the absolute lack of them. After many years of struggling to overcome crippling introvertism, you finally find a few people you can bear. Then it’s time to suffer through the whole rigmarole again.
5. The ride there. There are four ways to travel to a new city: by airplane, bus, rail and road (I’m assuming ships are no longer used). Since the latter three are too slow, this means going through the sexual harassment of airport security, monster kiddies howling on the plane and the plastic that is hilariously labelled food.
6. Farewells. There are now as many ways of staying in touch as there are people you want to stay in touch. Why then do goodbyes have to be so drawn out?
7. Like-minded people. I am moving from Karachi to Islamabad a few days before the football Champions League final. I’m a huge Barcelona fan as is everyone I know here. Islamabad seems to be packed with Man Utd supporters. It’s enough reason not to move there.
8. Islamabad. I might as well move to a rural hamlet. A hamlet filled with people whose egos match only their empty lives.
9. Opening a hotel. The only useful thing I got out my college education was having friends with spare rooms in NYC. That’s what my relocating is to my friends. They now have a place to crash if they ever visit my new city.
10. Family. They’re no longer there to cook for me, take care of all errands and provide a shoulder to weep on.
Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, June 5th, 2011.
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