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My Summer Trip
It was a very sunny day. The clouds were scattered and still in the sky. As I raised my eyes toward the sky, my eyes shut quickly. The sun was beaming straight at me. The rays from the sun shined on my silky long hair. I could see the sparkles on my hair. The air breeze touched across my face and hair with the hot air beaming on my back. It was soothing. I watched the children playing in the playground across the school. The children were laughing and smiling. I watched a mom place her small child in the swing and lightly rock back and forth. When I realized it was half and hour to four, I got up from the bench and walked to the train station to reach home.
When I reached home, I went to my room to change into sweatpants and a t-shirt. After eating, I sat in my room doing my homework. The next minute, my mom comes inside my room.
“Oh my gosh! Are you serious?” my eyes widen.
“I can’t believe it ma,” I said surprisingly.
“Finally!” I yelled excitedly as I jumped from my bed to the floor.
My mom had planned a trip to Pakistan over this summer and that too after five years. Last year, I wanted to go but unfortunately, it was difficult for my mom to take us and my dad couldn’t come along since he had to handle his business here in America. I was overexcited that I immediately began a list of the things I need to purchase in preparation of the trip and what belongings should I take for the trip.
With the excitement, I became lazy to go to school even though we had three weeks left until summer. I was tired of the sweaty long hours at school. I worked very hard in my junior year with doubling classes and so now I needed the long two months vacation.
When the time came to reach the airport, I had butterflies in my stomach and at the same time my stomach was grumbling, but I didn’t feel like eating. We were waiting in the airport and the agent had called us there. We were sitting on the side when I saw my dad and the agent talk. My dad’s face became furious. When I asked my dad what happened. He gave us the bad news that disappointed us. We were not going to Pakistan.
“How about all that time and money we spend to buy stuff…and…to package the suitcases,’’ I said.
“ I know, the travel agent lied to us. He said you will for sure get the
seats on the plane.”
We all went home with a gloomy face. The next day, my dad went to a different travel agent to find opening of seats in the plane for next week. We were still unsure if we will acquire the seats. It was the night before the next flight to Pakistan. Our seats were still not confirmed and so I thought it was impossible for us to have it confirm by tomorrow. Hour by hour, I checked on the computer about the seat information in that flight. Three of our family members were already confirmed and three were left. It was 2:00 at night when I had last time checked.
“It’s going to take a miracle for us to go tomorrow,” I whispered.
The next day, my dad woke me up to leave to the airport.
“ No dad, forget it. I’m not going, there’s no point. The same thing is
going to happen again.”
“ You are going and now go get dressed otherwise we’re going to be late,” he yelled.
When we reached the airport, I felt nervous; my heartbeat was running faster and I had butterflies in my stomach. I realized that this time we were really going to Pakistan. We were standing in the line where suitcases are loaded into the plane. Soon, we past through security check up and entered the plane and took a seat in the economy plus class, in the middle. I buckled my seat belt. The plane was ready to take off. My sister and I squeezed each other’s hand as the plane fasten and flew from the runway. I looked out in the sky and it was an amazing feeling to be in the midst of the clouds where no one can find you. I saw the sun rise along the horizon and it was very bright. I had to close the shade of the window. I was reminded of the time at the park where I sat and watched while taking in the warmth of the sun.
When it was night, I looked out through the window. The scene was beautiful, the black sky was filled with stars and there was so much lightning on the land, coming from houses and streets. As the plane landed on the ground. I felt connected and touched with the land I arrived in. It was my homeland where all my memories were stored. We rushed out of the plane and into the area where our relatives were expecting us. I walked out of the gate and saw my aunts, uncles, grandma, grandfather and cousins. Those faces which I longed to see. I hugged them one by one and was speechless. Soon, we were taken to a coach bus headed towards home.
The next morning, I woke up, smelling the aroma of sweets. My grandma was serving halwa and puri for breakfast. The halwa is a soft sweet and puri is a soft and stretchy pita bread. Later in the day, I went out covered with a dupata, a long fabric, on my head. I went to the market with my grandma, mom, and cousins. As I entered the streets, my grandma called for a rickshaw. We tightly squeezed in the small space in the rickshaw. The rickshaw made a sharp sound as it carried through the way to the market. The debris from the air flew in my eyes and mouth. I coughed and had to cover my eyes and mouth with my dupata. I missed the feeling of being in the park in America where I sat feeling the breeze of the air past across my face and hair. When we entered the market, there were beautiful and bright colors of shalwar kameez. It is a typical form of clothing wore by Pakistani women. It has a long shirt and loose pants with a dupata around the neck. I walked across the jewelry shop that had colorful and shiny bangles. The shops were located within a narrow pathway to walk on. I entered inside the shoes shop where I was astonished by the many different designs, styles, and colors of the heels and flats. After a great deal of shopping and bargaining with the dealer, we went to a small café to eat fruit salad and drink mango juice. When we exited the market, we saw many food stands by the street. There was an ice cream and burger stand. I convinced my mom to buy me ice cream like a little kid. I licked my ice cream and it was sweet and tasty. It was definitely different from the cold and soft ice cream that gave me a brain freeze in America.
Over the next few weeks, we visited many relatives. I went to my grandma’s old village where she had spent her childhood. The car went through a bumpy ride. I walked through the yucky old cracked road. I felt like vomiting. I missed my life back at home where there were smooth paved roads and streets. We had to walk down the hill to reach a house. We visited house by house along the street. I noticed these people were extremely simple and there was very less technology. They had to use a match to put fire on the stove in order to cook and some houses didn’t have television. Some of the walls and ceilings were cracked and opened to small rooms. However, I noticed they were very kind and nice. They offered snacks and drinks as soon as we entered. They spoke with experience and thought. It made me realize these people are not what I thought. These people are not uneducated with no feelings. These people appreciate me and dwell into knowing more about my life in America.
My cousins and I had gone out to an amusement park and eat at McDonalds. The food from McDonalds was exactly the same taste. There was no difference except the fish burger from Pakistan was spicy and tasty. When we reached home, my mom had ordered pizza at night. My cousins and I cuddled under a blanket with pizza in our hands and watched a movie. The pizza consisted of chicken on the cheese and had some mushrooms, olives, onions, and peppers. It came with ketchup to put on it. It was a little different from the pizza in America, but I enjoyed this mouthwatering meal.
The next day, my uncle took us out to a place where we ate kulfi, a long shaped ice cream on a stick. We also ate pani puri, which are circle fillings used by cracking it and dipping into a sour liquid. When we reached home, my cousins and I played a traditional game of Parcheesi all night long until we were tired and worn out.
Few weeks passed by, and before I knew it, vacation was ending and it was soon to go back home in America. I didn’t want to go home. I had cried the night before leaving and on the day of the flight. I would miss all the fun with my relatives who I don’t see on a regular basis. I would miss the sharing of my sorrows and happiness I had within the two months with my cousins. But, time wasn’t in my hands. I had to go back to the busy and to my routinely life in America.
As I head to the airport, we said our goodbyes and cried thinking when will be the next time. I had engaged myself in a totally different environment of my people and customs I was used to. Sure, there were many differences in between these two countries, but I had felt the same desire to be there for both of my countries. I had experienced and learned different things from both places, but they were united as one in my heart that I couldn’t live without because after all they represent my identity.