Friday, 17 July 2009


The word "Pakoi" was invented with the help of 6 other Pakoys one summer in Abbottabad. At one time, I thought I was the only Pakoy and knew that couldn't be true. Was I glad to come across someone just like me. And once I found one, I found a whole lot more!

A Pakoi is a half Pakistani-half Filipino (or Pinoy as the Filipinos call themselves). I'm even married to one. Growing up with two different cultures has been such a blessing. Both are so different and yet have some similarities. For the longest time, when I was much younger, my father always told me I was Pakistani. He didn't like it when I showed any interest in anything Filipino. I think for him, being Pakistani was synonymous with being a Muslim and being Filipino was not.

Because it was forced on me, I resisted for a while. I didn't want to be Pakistani. Why couldn't I be Filipino? If being Filipino was so bad, why did my dad marry one? It wasn't till I had lived in Pakistan for 6 years and was moving back to England that I came to terms with my Pakistani side. In effect, my son is a Pakoy too since both of us are. I want him to grow up learning about both cultures. The hubby is lucky in that he can speak both languages. I understand Urdu more that I do Tagalog and always wish Ammi had taught us her language too.

I was once asked by one of the 6 above mentioned Pakoys whether I felt more Pakistani or more Filipino. I think I told her I didn't feel like either. I was wrong. At one point I felt more Pakistani. I look Pakistani, I spent 6 years there and I was told I was. Now though, I feel like both.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Common-place Books

Back at secondary school in Pakistan, we were told by our English teacher that we had to keep a common-place book for our summer holidays homework. We were to read books over the summer and any quotes/descriptions etc that we liked had to be written in our common-place book. This was back in 1993. I still keep a common-place book now. I don't write so much in it now but when I go back to read what I have written in it, I find it reflects the mood I was in at the time and emotions and feelings I was going through.

The Roger Miller quote has gone into my book. It always reminds me the monsoon rains in Pakistan. Another of my favourite quotes is this: Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly (Unknown).

My teacher told me that my common place book would be a "treasure trove in later life". I would most certainly have to agree.

To work or not to work?

My maternity leave is coming to end. I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. On one hand I look forward to getting back to work - I felt so cut off from the rest of the world when maternity leave first started and going back on inset day last Friday completely threw me. On the other hand, I don't want to leave my baby! I wish I could take him to work with me.


I do love my job. I fell into teaching completely by accident. It all started in a little city called Abbottabad. More on that another time though. I'll be having my own class again in September. For now, I'll be helping with the Activity Week for the kids who aren't going to the Isle of Wight.

If I didn't have to work to earn a living though, I might have only gone back to work part time. Having finally comes to grips with the fact I'm a mother, I am enjoying my son more and more. I don't want to miss his first tooth, his first step, his first word. In my perfect world, I would be a stay at home mum who worked perhaps one or two days a week, had time to take silver jewellery making classes (I've always wanted to design/make silver jewellery), make soaps, crochet and knit, write a book AND look after my baby. Not asking for much am I?


Having said all of that, I have timed going back to work so that I only have a week and half before the summer holidays start. The only down side of that is that I'll be going through the whole I-want-to-go-back-to-work-I-don't-want-to-leave-my-baby thing all over again come September.