I get a whole lot of admiration for living in Germany. Folks back home assume that I have it sorted, I have arrived, and my future is a bed of Casa Blanca lilies. My naive, naive tribe. If it weren’t so endearing, I would be very tempted to dig out that shoe from 2008 that I have been saving for a special occasion and aim for their nether region.

Dear Pakistani bhaiyon, life is not easy here and far from perfect. In fact, my life was at least a 10 times easier in Karachi. It is brutal, unforgiving, won’t take a few thousand bucks to make concessions for me, and more often than not, it is dedicated to help me understand the Urdu idiom – naani yaad aajana – to the fullest.

Before you look at me or any other expat with lusty eyes, understand our challenges.

Patriotic jharoo

Being constantly judged and beaten with patriotic jharoo by Pakistanis for leaving the country. No, they call it flee. Or abandon, in throes of passion. Maaf kerdo yaar.

Scrub, scrub, scrub

Jharoo, pocha, bartan, kura, karkat, bayt ul khala, all by your own weekly manicured hands. Sorry, no more weekly manicured for you Susan. Saal mai teen bar. Like clock work.

Halal hoax

Can you really trust Turkish? With that beard, I got my doubts dude. Who’s to say what happens behind those closed doors of a slaughterhouse? I swear I might have heard Tupac muffled under cows’ moos.  Oh, and God forbid if you eat meat that is not screaming halal! *dramatic inhale* Jahanum for you Susan!!

Na idher ke, na udher ke

Too firangi for Pakistan, too desi for Deutchland. Skinny jeans under Generation’s androgynous kurta for the win. Fashion be damned.

Khaane ko tarse hue

Garam garam boti roll with sugar free chai ki qeemat tum kya jano Hot & Spicy ke upper rehne walo.

Expectation to have it sorted

I am where most 21 year olds are (FYI I am 30). Starting fresh, figuring out where to go, how to get there, stumbling all along. Sorted? That’s only my sock drawer. Maybe. Okay fine, that’s a mess too.

Naukri ke laale

Imagine not finding anything suitable after being employed for over a decade. Welcome to my life. *Amma ki awaaz haunting in the background…kis ne bola tha writer bano! Abba suggesting, why don’t you work at Wal-Mart?* Dad, Germany doesn’t have Walmart. And no. For the seventeenth time. Not happening.

What doost?

Jis zabaan mai dil se gaali nahi de sakte, uss zabaan ke doost bekaar hai. Hashtag true story.

These are some of the superfluous challenges of expat life for you. I am not saying you shouldn’t want it (that’d be hypocritical on a whole new level), but just be aware that is not a bed of Casa lilies. I swear upon döner. Which is all that you are likely to eat, for about six weeks or so after landing here.