The Pakistani Way of Life…

8.00 a.m.: My alarm rings. I successfully hit the snooze-button.
8.38 a.m.: My second alarm rings. Again I am hitting the snooze-button.
8.47 a.m.: The third alarm goes off. I open my eyes but quickly close them again.
8.52 a.m.: The fourth and last alarm buzzes. My eyes are finally open and I very slowly get up.

My body tells me, that it is time for a cup of coffee, which unfortunately can’t be found, so I go with a chai. Eventually I can move and have a quick shower, get dressed and am finally able to talk to Charles, the HU student I am staying with. At 9.50 a.m. I usually realize that I really need to leave for work and step outside.

So far it is not very different from my mornings in Germany but instead of leaving the house and seeing a tram driving by, I see rickshaws, motorbikes, donkeys and fruit-booths. I am in Gulberg III, Lahore and not in Leipzig anymore and I am going to university to work, not to attend a lecture.

3My internship starts at 10.00 a.m. with setting up my workplace. Currently I am working on different presentations. For one I am working on a presentation on Germany itself and as you know, from this week on I will also conduct lessons on the German language. A third project I am preparing for is a lecture on Social Entrepreneurship.

At 1.00 p.m. I attend Radi’s workshop on Italian or hold a course on German myself.

During my day at HU I do a great deal of research on your culture and the Pakistani economy. Even though I talk to a lot with locals, try to see as much as possible and read a lot about you country I still feel like I only grasped the tiniest glimpse of your rich and beautiful culture. I believe I am not exaggerating if I say that it will take me longer than my stay here to understand it all.
At lunch-time we all have a chat, mostly about our different cultures. Especially Ms. Afshan is very keen on teaching me the basics of Urdu, but for some reason I really can’t keep it in my head and fail miserably. I will learn it eventually though!
Around 5.30 p.m. my internship ends. I quickly write a short summary of the day’s work and then leave.

Arriving at Charles’ apartment you immediately start talking. I am not the only foreign intern living at his place and thus there is always a lot the chat about. We all work in different institutions and NGOs and come from diverse cultures so I do not only get insights on the Pakistani way of life but also learn about the society and current affairs of Italy, Hong Kong and Bulgaria.

Experiencing this all takes me a step closer to being a world-citizen and has an astonishing impact on me. It enables you to see things differently and understand our complex world better.

Around 9 p.m. we mostly go out for dinner, meet other interns and AIESECers and may do a little shopping. I am especially interested in Pakistani literature and thus hit every book store I see.

Getting back around 11 p.m. I first of all have to take a shower again to regain my energy. After that you can often find us on Charles’ rooftop-terrace having a chai and enjoying the view to end the day. There really is something magical about Lahore, but I don’t know what exactly it is just yet.

I try to embrace every day here and to live like a local to gain authentic, first-hand experience. Again I would like to thank everyone, who made it possible for me to be here and gather those experiences.