Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Community service.

One of the rudiments of the program I'm on is...yes, you've guessed it.
Community Service. 

Nevertheless, deciding where you think you'd volunteer in the near future can be a hectic job at times.
I remember just after I got selected for this exchange year, a part of me was briskly supportive of the belief that the more community service hours I got, the better it would be for me once I get back. 
Not the case, whatsoever. 
I've been in the United States for more than five months now and I'll be honest, I'm not proud of the number of hours I've summed up so far. Not that I haven't or anything. My mediocre record makes me feel 'voluntarily inferior (If that's a thing)' to my peers. 
I mean, just look at everyone!. They're working their tushies off (which is good) and I'm here typing this draft on a fine Tuesday evening, regardless of the fact I, at this very moment, could be helping an old lady cross the street or something of the sort.
 Okay, maybe that was rude. 
Volunteering at MercyCare would be more appropriate. 
I have a friend. Great guy. Amazing personality. I won't name him, but just for the sake of it, let's call him Sir Work-A-Lot. He's currently in Massachusetts right now and let's say, is in Harvard (I bet he wishes this was real). Now, me and him, with a couple of more students from Karachi, came to the US at the end of August. A month later, I get a message from Sir-Work-A-Lot and we chat like the friends we are till we end up talking about community service. 
I hadn't even started yet. 
And he already had 83 hours. 
And I'm just staring at the chatbox like..

Okay, now, now. I'm not that much of a terrible person as you think I might be. I did volunteer at a couple of cool places. Here, have a look yourself.

 Hornell Animal Shelter 
Nothing beats the feeling when you're among your own kind. Wait, that came out wrong. What I meant was, the people who work there, they're just bow-down awesome. I was privileged to work with dogs and cats (And the people, too). No, I don't hate on any sort of canine or feline zoological being.They're all equally precious to me and the time I spent at the shelter was one of my best. Period. 

Babe was one fine French Mastiff. 


 Imagine yourself blended into a plethora of new faces looking up (literally) to you and trying to surpass the other in who gets your name right, or should I say, pronounce it right, first. If you haven't figured it out, I coach little kids with a buddy of mine. If you know me well, you would willingly bet what sport, too. Indoor soccer. It's just so, for a lack of better word, cute. If kids, running parallel to each other, thudding their way across the gym with a soccer ball at their feet and accidentally step on the ball leading to a dramatic crash on their buttocks doesn't make you laugh, then what does?

Fun fact about me: I didn't volunteer anywhere the first two months after I moved to my local community.


Saturday, 8 February 2014

Do you have an iPhone?

Now, I can bet five bucks you (Yes, you!) have been, once, asked this while making acquaintance with somebody you've just met at the bar five minutes ago (Or is it just me?). 
Oh boy. You, then, with a downhearted grimace, muster the courage, man-up (Sorry, ladies), look at the person in the eye and before the words fall out, look away and what are the chances your initial respond sounds something like, "Umm, naah, man..I'm aah not really an Apple person..y'know.."?

Before I get ahead of myself, I would like to add that I'm a foreign exchange student currently in New York and as much sense the title makes right now, it won't once you know what really happened.

I don't really know where to begin so I'll jump right in. This kid (A freshman, I believe) walked up to me in the hallway, leaned against the locker next to mine, and asked me something. Now, just so you know, I'm not hating on anybody, but the absurdness of that question made me wince. In fact, time actually froze for a second and my facial expression went from that of a jolly teenager to...

His speech sounded something like this.
"Hey, man, so I was wondering, umm, how do you guys travel in your country, I mean, like umm, you don't have cars, so, umm, do you ride camels?"

Needless to say, I was like..

Matter of fact, yes, we do.

Moving on. 
Back to the iPhone I never had.
A couple of months ago, I gave this presentation about Pakistan in one of the Global Studies classes in my high school. Everything went great. In fact, judging from the vibrant atmosphere and the shimmering eyes of the kid in the first row, I was positive they were having a good time. Their enthusiasm manifested itself, later on, in the questions they asked after the session.
The questions varied from racism in Pakistan to me being rich and were diverse as New York City's population. But curiosity killed the cat, didn't it?
They started getting out of hand. Funny, actually. These are some of the questions I encountered. 

1) Do you have iPhone(s) where you come from? Is Apple really a thing there, or just a fruit? (Hence, the title)
2) Do you have slaves there? Do you own a slave? 
3) Do you have internet there? (No, sweetie. I'll ignore the fact that you're following me on Twitter)
4) Do you know someone who is a terrorist? (LOLWUT)
5) Do you live in a house or a tent?
6) Do you have a lot of sand there? Have you ever seen snow?
7) Have you ever shot a gun at someone? (Kid was a huge fan of The Lone Survivor)
8) Have you ever seen grass? Do you have trees there?

I can go on and on with these questions and each question will surpass the former in terms of hilarity and my amusement. 

Nevertheless, it was a great experience. I had a great time. It felt amazing. Magical (Kinda). I made a difference. We all did. Isn't that what really matters?


Thursday, 6 February 2014

Who am I?

Long time no see. Or blog. Or whatever floats this blog. (I suck at this)
Aah, yes! So, who am I? 
I am a boy. (Wow. No crap, Sherlock)
Let's do this, shall we?
En garde.

 I looks at the world by the eyes of a child/genius/procrastinator and other adjectives I have no letters to shape all dependent on what I feel like. I also possess an inevitable habit of inheriting character traits from the latest movie I've seen. Sometimes, when life comes knocking at my door to enlighten me with some good news, I'm not home.

Now, before I say more, I would also like you to know my taste buds despise lemons more than a cat fears water (Well, technically, a Tiger doesn't..) and I never really understood the meaning of  “When life gives you lemon..” (Simply because it sounded so ‘citric’) so I once confronted an acquaintance and confessed the matter to him who, though shocked, with a tone of sarcasm advised me to seek someone whose life gave the person Grape Soda and enjoy.

I also have a sloppy habit of waking up late, with respect to my designated alarm time and often or maybe all of the time, so, my dad functions as an alternative alarm. He often hollers my name from the dining table which is actually an euphemism for, “Get up, you sleepy head!”. He, keeping up with a teenage-me, also developed a senseless habit of screaming my name from the top of his lungs and giving out an idiotic chuckle under his breath just to hear a frail bag of bones falling of a bed and symmetrical thudding as if someone’s hammering the bathroom door.
Ah! That reminds me, I also have an innate habit of spending long intervals of time in the bathroom. I often go to answer the call of nature, but apparently, am put on hold.
Also, you might find this silly goose blogging more often from now on.
Brace yourself.