I’m new money so I mismanage my finances every month buying shit like a table made entirely of lego (40,000 pkr) or a lamp with a picture of the moon on it (15,000 pkr on sale – i didn’t hate it!). I sent a picture of the lego table to a friend who said it didn’t even look good. That’s insensitive; it’s made from child labour, their little hands can only do so much. Why do items like these tickle the sentiments of nouveau riche Pakitrash [me]? I guess this shit is targeted towards upwardly aspirational millennials who earn enough to waste on niche objects nobody wants. But that doesn’t mean i don’t want a raise!
I’m a simple person with simple expenses; internet (4000 pkr), electricity (25,000 pkr), the dogar biryani for 30 days diet (9,000 pkr), assorted paraphernalia (<80,000 pkr), therapy (12,000 pkr), and the worst: rent (40,000 pkr). The best moment of my entire life was when Mao committed classicide and killed 800,000 landlords in 1949. Just the memory of it heals me spiritually. Anyway the reason my meagre, barely-there expenses are even an issue is because I need to buy braces for my barely-perceptibly-off lower teeth (350,000 pkr), and despite the fact that i work really hard at my job  I haven’t had a raise in 2 years. I could probably get a grant from the UK government (3 million gbp) to teach intersectional feminism to hazarewal tribeswomen, but I just don’t feel like it. I call my friend for advice and she suggests i go vegetarian to save money on dogar biryani. I hate vegetarians. Everyone you know is going vegetarian these days and it makes no sense when you think about how the world’s most famous vegetarian was Adolf Hitler.
I heard a story recently about someone at my friend’s workplace who said she only befriends other people who are old money. I told this story to two people to mock cruelly and both told me conspiratorially that they are actually old money and would never say something like this. Imagine. They should both be lined up against a wall and shot. Then i told the story with the two friends reaction add-on to another friend who was actually old money but pretends not to be and he continued to pretend not to be old money. Imagine! He should be lined up against a wall and shot. I need to return to my natural constituency: misogynists who know the price of milk.
I really should get a raise at work now that I have my own podcast. The only people who watch the podcast are my friend Sanna’s parents whose verdict on every episode is that the guest was crap and I should have been speaking the entire time (they’re great, i love them). All i do at work these days is try and figure out who to invite on my podcast and read poetry autobiographically. Every poem ever written is about how Lahori men have cartilage where the human heart should be. Funny that.
I’m having dinner (broccoli soup (525 pkr + tax), herb fries (445 pkr + tax), pesto linguini (845 pkr + tax)) with my cousin and she’s telling me a story of how she was once stuck in zurich with no money and no working phone and her train was cancelled so she had to hitchhike (0 pkr + potential rape) to the airport. I launch into a Goebbels-esque propaganda drive to convince her how close to death she was in that moment but she’s having none of it and orders another caramel frappuccino (395 pkr + tax). She will one day make a brilliant trophy wife to a corrupt PML(N) politician (undocumented pkrs + 86 IQ).
My parents grew up with little and had the classic immigrant tale of small town lower middle class precariousness graduates to comfortably set middle/upper class existence. It doesn’t come without its anxieties though, the core one being the idea of success hinging on the ability to buy all that was elusive in childhood. The nice car, the fancy house, the golf club membership. Rather than success being freedom from that desire itself, the freedom to eschew it. Their most common refrain to me, other than lectures against pre-marital dating, is ‘Where does all your money go?’ I send them a photo of the moon lamp and they reply ’This must be what, like, 1800 pkr max? What about the rest of it?’ I think it might be time to open a savings account.
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