For the last two years, I have made an effort to eat with the seasons. That means no strawberries in October, no apples in April, no tomatoes in December (when they are hard and smell vaguely like plastic…big sacrifice). If it isn’t immediately clear to you why those items don’t go along with those months, it only means that you live in the U.S. or a similarly developed country and you are a product of your Costco, have-everything-now, big box store environment. It’s true we can certainly have everything now. If by “everything” we mean perfectly shaped, tasteless fruits and vegetables and the crazy desire to fly asparagus in from Chile in August even while a bounty of sweet corn, rich red peppers, or juicy cantaloupes are easily plucked right in your own state or even town during that same month. I understand you’re pretty busy and just reading this blog may count as your requisite non-fiction for the month. You’re probably not overly interested in reading “Omnivore’s Dilemma” or any of the other excellent books on this subject. In that case, just trust me when I say there’s a better way. As soon as I realized that the way we eat in the US is crazy, I decided to stop.
So, it’s the Fourth of July! Well, almost. Though if all the buzz on Facebook is to be believed, everyone in the U.S. got a healthy head start celebrating the holiday weekend. Here in Pakistan, things are a little less festive, seeing how they’re not celebrating anything here. It’s not that Pakistanis don’t recognize the significance of a group of people shaking off the chains of colonial oppression from Great Britan and becoming their own country. It’s just that they did it themselves 60 years ago, and they’re understandably a little more excited about that. Let’s see what that super reliable source Wikipedia has to say about it: Pakistan’s independence day (also known as Yom-e-Istiqlal or یوم استقلال ) is observed on August 14, the day on which Pakistan became independent from British rule within what was then known as the British Raj in 1947. The day is a national holiday in Pakistan, celebrated all over the country with flag raising ceremonies, tributes to the national heroes and fireworks taking place in the capital, Islamabad. (oooh, goody!) The main celebrations take place in Islamabad, where the President and Prime Minister raise the national flag at the Presidential and Parliament buildings and deliver speeches that are televised live. In the speech, the leaders highlight the achievements of the government, goals set for the future and in the words of the father of the nation, Quaid-e-Azam, bring “Unity, Faith and Discipline” to its people. So I have that to look forward to.