Sometimes I am shocked by how normal my life is in Islamabad. Go to meetings, work in front of a computer, hit the gym, run by the grocery store for a dozen eggs and some broccoli. On these days I think, other than wearing pants under all my dresses (=how to turn American clothes into shalwar kameeze) and having my own driver, I could almost be living in a U.S. suburb.

¬†Except for nights like Monday, when I had dinner with Eve Ensler at my friend Dania’s house. Ensler was visiting the region as she often does as part of her campaign to end violence against women around the world. She is most famous for writing the play “The Vagina Monologues” and, although I did not ask her about them, is friends with all sorts of famous women like Susan Sarandon and Oprah who star in productions of her play. She is an extremely cool woman and someone you would definitely want in your bookclub, your yoga class, or your extended family (although it rarely works out that way).

After dinner, Dania gave us all an impromptu belly-dancing lesson and I had an extra thick piece of delicious date cake with custard for dessert (okay, so some things remain constant).