Where To Get Hitched, Or Ditched

Hand_In_Hand.jpgThe one question that I receive almost everyday from my male circles here in Isloo is where they can find decent and interesting women to approach. Well first of all we should not forget that here we live in a society where social interaction with the opposite sex is very limited. That’s a reality. Apart from “weddings”, workplace, private get togethers and universities, there isn’t much left for men and women to interact socially. And obviously there you find nothing new to expand your circle.

However, here I would discuss some of the unconventional meet up spots where, especially young men, can have bigger prospects of interacting with the opposite ranks, and that to with the class that normally does not have any qualms about mixed gender interaction. Although I must confess that, usually, you cannot end up meeting a woman, without the aid of your “mummy, baji or aunti”, yet here is a different recepie to try stuff up.

This post is for the benefit of those, who think it makes sense. The rest can feel free to surf through the rest of Islamabad Metroblog right away. I am not doing this write up for the socially conservative, or the myopically recluse. I am doing it in good faith. This post can also be considered for the benefit of the expat community

Ok now back to our discussion at hand:

Most the of young lads are tired interacting with women in places like work, and universities. Instead they want to find areas where there is a wide selection of women without too much competition from other guys. And it makes sense too. Even in public areas in the Capital, the man to woman ratio is highly disproportionate. I once did a research on numbers for a week, and I was surprised that the weighted average in some cases came out to 1.2 women per 10 men. But that depends on the location as well. For example in hangouts you generally seem to find more men. However when it comes to cloth markets, women seem to have an upper hand. In many cases, stags don’t “behave” and that causes an early exodus of any female presence, if present at all.

However in my opinion, it’s very easy to find interesting women. All you have to do is know where to look. But before you start looking, you should make a decision about what type of girl you are looking for.This means asking yourself if you want a long term relationship or a short quick sprint. In addition, you should think about the type of girl you’re seeking. This could be “the nice-girl”, “the party girl”, “the outdoors girl” or “the athletic girl”.Once you make a decision on what type of woman you want, you should start frequenting the areas where they go. For example if you’re trying to land an athletic girl, then you could try looking at places like your local gym.

What if you are having to think of a suitable place in the capital? Read on to find out.

So where do you find the “nice girl”. Speaking in general terms, you’ll have little chance of finding the stereotypical nice girl in a party. I’m not stating there aren’t nice girls to parties. Instead I am saying that a parties tend to create an atmosphere where people go for instant hook-ups. As a result, you’ll be more likely to find a girl who likes to party rather then a woman you can “take home to mom”. So look for areas like the coffee hangouts of the book shops . A typical example can be the Riff’s Cafe (F-6), Vanguard Books (F-6), Saeed Book Bank (F-7), Alliance Francaise (F-7), Mr Books (F-6), Hot Shots Bowling Alley, (F-10) . You can also try taking cooking classes (Yes the cooking classes) with some of the groups in the Capital. Professional bakeries like Kitchen Cuisine also offer such classes. Beware though that normally women show up at some of the public hangouts with families and stuff, so you should be wary of not putting yourself and the lady in an uncomfortable position. I am not going to go in details about the pick up lines and “how to’s” of approach, I’ll leave that to your better judgement to make a decision on that for you. And you might find that you would have to tailor your approach slightly to the “Islooz” culture and envrionment, but it’s not impossible…:-)

You can find “the party girl” at any party hangout so to speak. This can be public or the private parties that we have here. We do not have any public clubs, but one. That’s the “Bassment” right next to Marriot in F-5. Be prepared for a short temporary hook up here though. If you are looking for some quick squeak opportunity, that’s the realm.

If you are looking for “the outdoors girl”, try joining a club or community that takes trips outdoors. Islamabad has many small groups that get involved in group and personal outdoor activities. For example, if you want to do it on your own, take a hike up the trail-3, trail-2, or the jog in Shalimar garden in F-6 during the evenings between 5 till sunset in summers. The main F-9 park’s jogging and cycling track is also bustling with activity these days, especially during the evenings. The activities pick up during the day times in winters though when you can go on full day length trips in the Margallas. Once again be prudent not to upset families and pick your choice wisely.

The greatest way to find an “athletic girl” is in a gym or a yoga class. There are a few good gyms here that give separate men and women timings and additionally also have provisions for mixed timings. Robust is a good gym in F-8 markaz that has mixed timings during the evening, and so does Ulimate Gym in F-6. In addition to that you can also try visiting the spa by the name of Nirvana in G-6 next to the Afghanistan Embassy. The spa needs advance reservation and their waiting room is a very good place to socialize with both local and expat women. You can also try visiting the sports complex on Kashmir Highway opposite Aabpara market. The place has great jogging, and cycling tracks. It also has an Olympic size swimming pool. The timings for men and women are separate in the pool though, however you can find activity on tracks.

So you guys, hope next time you have better luck in finding the woman of your choice.

One point of note here though, the worse places to look for a woman here in Isloo are the shopping markets and the restaurants-hotels. So I don’t believe there is any point in flocking to these places casting incessant gazes on ladies who are there for shopping or to have a good time with their folks. I have seen people throw visiting cards at women! Wrong move….Which also means that someday I might have to do another post “on the pick up lines” in the capital.

Till then good luck!

24 Comments so far

  1. binary-zero (unregistered) on June 10th, 2007 @ 8:51 pm

    i reserve my comments for this post .


  2. ali (unregistered) on June 10th, 2007 @ 10:39 pm

    Hi lol very informative n well written good job mate i recoken u can have a website runing for all the lads in islo if u need any help lemme know v need more ppl like u once again keep the quality stuff coming


  3. Naik (unregistered) on June 11th, 2007 @ 12:48 am

    Very informative for the ppl new to ISB .. Isloo as you people call it!


  4. A for [pine]apple (unregistered) on June 11th, 2007 @ 1:21 am

    La Haul wala quat !!!


  5. JayJay (unregistered) on June 11th, 2007 @ 9:31 am

    Backpacker: Your suggestions, although well intensioned, seem a one-way traffic. The lack of opportunities to socialize with right people from the opposite gender impacts both sexes.

    Females already feel beseiged and harassed. Lets create an atmosphere for women to feel confident to approach men; and to say “no” with confidence to unwanted advances and be respected for their opinion. We certainly do not want to be seen creating or perpetuating an atmosphere where men are the one chasing women. Rather, steps towards socialization and initiatives towards establishing friendship must be mutual and reciprocal.

    Outside Pakistan or the subcontinent to be more accurate, men and women in most of the Muslim world chose their friends/partners through their social circles. Northern Africa, Iran and Trurkey and South East Asia are cases in point.

    By the way, men and women even in the West face lack of opportunities to socialize with right folks. You have not mentioned the long tested pratcies of “setting up” two mutual friends, which is common even in the West.

    My commendations for taking up this touchy subject.


  6. 1967 (unregistered) on June 11th, 2007 @ 12:18 pm

    Yes Jayjay, I really appreciate your comments and pointing me to some of the other aspects. It’s true that this issue is also a consequence of prevailing ignorance and dogma in some of the urban areas. This ignorance mind you is really strange in its origins because even some of the rural areas are more open to intersex mixing as compared to many cities. Although you see honor killings going on side by side just because a brother, or a father gets offended catching their household women with some stranger. I think the problem has deep roots elsewhere…

    As for setting up, yes that’s true, but even then A) The number of people who can set you up are limited B) Technically it is not a setting up, it’s more of, OK now you have to decide. People don’t take rejection that easily once they have met. When you meet, it’s a point where you are supposed to already have made up your mind.

    You are right in pointing out that even when it comes to sub continent, situation is much better in other countries. Absolutely right. But then probably you say that because you might have traveled to other parts of the world and hence the exposure. Most people’s life is just limited to a city of a few square hundred miles, and they are attuned to seeing things from that lens only. Even with the advent of information age , the state of self denial is very difficult to break free from because of years of brainwashing.People do not realize that just by chiding inter sex mingling they are suppressing one of key aspects of healthy character building in both men and women. It’s just like you disallow a child to use one of his limb through out his childhood, and the result is would not be able to walk without crutches for the rest of his life. The same analogy in my opinion can be attributed to this case in hand, because men and women in a suppressed society simply do not know how to interact positively. That’s why you see scores of men and women who feel nervous in an alien company, and then the illiterate behavior of men-women on how they treat each other when some one throws a line. They simple have no clue how to respond to the situation at hand, The confidence of saying “NO” comes from the opportunity to meet people in the first place.


  7. mansoor (unregistered) on June 11th, 2007 @ 1:04 pm

    interesting article backpacker.

    nice read.. i would’ve never thought of it. :p

    asma: lolzz!!! :D


  8. Vaqar (unregistered) on June 11th, 2007 @ 6:29 pm

    Good post especially because you are pointing all guys away from markets, restaurant and hotel because it is becoming impossible to take your families out for shopping or to have a decent meal.
    So guys go to these clubs and junctions where females come for interaction.


  9. UBD (unregistered) on June 11th, 2007 @ 6:46 pm

    Y this lambee choreee tahmeed before starting topic backpacker. scared to talk or what? even ppl seems to me scared to talk in their responses, i agree it is a very sensitive and touchy topic. But someone has to talk about it for the sake of our society afterall it’s part of our life and everyone has the rite to choose whatever is good for him/her.

    jayjah and 1967: If u go back 40 and 50 year back how many places u can find for such type of social activities, how many cases of harassment u can dig at that time. Men and women interact at that time as well and they r more happy than us i bleieve. It not the atmosphere or lack of confidence and socialization. There r two main things one is “simplicity” which v don’t have now a days @ that time ppl thanks what they got and the 2nd thing is “izzat nafs pah qaboo”.

    lol @ pine apple comment.


  10. Aysha (unregistered) on June 12th, 2007 @ 8:28 am

    Whooow!!! Hold your horses people!!

    For me this is all good and dandy, until you wrote this piece. All of a sudden those places sounds more like a preying area for men! Now tell me…how am i supposed to sip my coffee without feeling consious that someone is looking at me.

    Its a good thing i always keep my trusted Mr. Pepper Spray around.

    Kidding aside, this article would have sounded good exclusive to men. But since you posted it here. All it did in my opinion is cheapen the women who visit those areas and those establishements. I mean women go to those places to do their liesure businesses and not to get hitched. I believe in every city there is this notorious street where distateful men go to visit wanton women. Lets not make more in islamabad. Let keep it clean. Its our home and the only one we got! Amin.


  11. 1967 (unregistered) on June 12th, 2007 @ 11:24 am

    I disagree Ayesha. First of all I am not saying that men should frequent these areas for wanton women. Your argument is based on logical fallacies – secundum quid and petitio principii. The post is just a tip for those guys who seem to be interested in interesting women.

    Some people like to enjoy the serenity of the solitude during leisure. Well fine, they can simply say no, or as you suggested call the good old pal Dr Pepper for rescue. I can understand that perspecitive but to simply believe that just because men are present in the vicinity of women, or have politely expressed interest in women, or simply appeal as intresting package to a woman, render those men, or for that matter the woman in question to an inferior pedestal probably does not make sense.


  12. Aysha (unregistered) on June 12th, 2007 @ 1:48 pm

    @1967

    if i understood the article correctly. It was to indicate places of abundance in female presence, in laymans term can they be termed as preying spots!

    As i have stated awhile ago, has this article been discussed in privacy with your…i suppose…well-intentioned companions. Then it wouldnt have been a problem. But displaying this information openly atracts many different sorts of people…and i mean both men and women… with questionable intentions. So now you cant say for just men to go there since the women know, definitely theyll be there to size up the types of men who goes on the prowl.

    And if i must stress, that’s why they call it girl talk and boy talk, respectively. So as to indicate its clear divide. Its not supposed to leak to the other camp. Im a girl and i cant help it if that is how this writer makes me or us feel. We are not commodities, we have emotions, and quite delicate to emphasize.

    According to you my argument is based on logical fallacies. Well you must have been blessed for your ignorance. The sad truth is i know certain facts i cannot dispel. That means i cannot elaborate to defend my case. Furthermore i have visited quite a number of countries –though accompanied –still i dont go just anywhere in fear of the unknown. Better safe than sorry i always say.

    So, you see its not hard to brand areas. a party girl can easily start fequenting nice girl spots just so she can fish a more serious kind of guy. And vice versa. With any luck!

    And if you have more to say i suggest you keep to yourself coz youre loosing major gorgeous points here not unless of course your married. Then your useless. You can blabber all you want.


  13. 1967 (unregistered) on June 12th, 2007 @ 2:08 pm

    Ok Aysha, so now you have resorted to Argumentum ad Hominem. Instead of comming up with a sound reasoning for a useful debate in a discussion, you have started attacking the person who is engaged in an argument with you.

    If that be the case, so be it. I can say safely, once a desi always a desi no matter which corner of the world they have been to or “boast of” having travelled to. In most of the cases they don’t have the mental capacity or the intellectual stamina to engage in a serious minded debate. And that’s precisely why we don’t see many key issues that are important to us being discussed openly in public.

    If you wish to impress people about your travel repertoire, I am sure it’s useless because A)It’s off topic and B) There are many well travelled and well read people who visit this blog.

    I wouldn’t even bother responding to your myopic comments further. Please feel free to enjoy the rest of the blog.


  14. Aysha (unregistered) on June 12th, 2007 @ 3:38 pm

    you wish! but im not a pakistani, neither by ethnicity. Isnt it ironic me having a conservative stance??

    it appalls me to find pakistanis who tries so hard to be or present themselves open as a westerner. KHuda ka hof karo! yar!

    knowing as such. Would let your daughter hang around in those places?? Use the head above your shoulders man!


  15. maria (unregistered) on June 12th, 2007 @ 5:09 pm

    can’t find the body talk gym in f-6…


  16. 1967 (unregistered) on June 12th, 2007 @ 5:30 pm

    Sorry Maria. Exact name is the Ultimate gym. I have corrected it now.


  17. Phil (unregistered) on June 13th, 2007 @ 12:50 am

    Well, to be really honest, I believe that the Pakistani Socio-Economic setup cannot support the individuals discussed.

    Probably a single man can live a relatively easier life in Pakistan, compared to a single woman, who either gets wedded off quite soon, or is barred from public and private mingling, or is not educated enough to have a decent job and live as a single.

    The concept of the ‘independent woman’ hasn’t really caught up yet – except for a few circles where women are encouraged to strike out on their own. Even with the empowerment bill out, and the all talks of rights of women in the workplace, its still quite hard for them out there. Which leads most of well-paid women to quit jobs and home-sit. Hence losing quite a bit of their financial independence, so to say.

    Generally, and in the liberal Islamabad too, there are very few people from the fairer sex who would like to walk the path of promiscuousity (sp?), and independence. ‘The fear of social acceptance is the driving factor here.’ And, for me, is a very good reason for anyone to choose their paths. Social acceptance, how? People talk, and they love to talk about ‘affairs’ and ‘involvements’ of people, as Backpacker said, “desi’s will be desi’s”, well, this comes with the package. A woman who is NOT married, or is no keen on getting married, is condemned. Where as it’s totally different for men…

    Human beings are insecure animals. Men and women seek security in different ways. Men seek acceptance in the other sex with wealth, looks, and power, while women seek social and economic security no matter what the cost, most of the time. Having that said, it is quite possible that the lady might end up rejecting 99 out of 100 of us. While at the same place 99 out of 100 of us would say yes to any one from Venus.

    In other words, a society that is still quite locked up and conservative with ideas like these, there is a high degree of failure. But I wont stop people from trying… and would I also recommend men, and ‘stags’ in particular not to be found in groups of more than two, thanks.

    A nice discussion issue, backpacker, and I would be happy if we could use this channel for getting some ‘beneficial’ ideas across.

    Sorry for the long post, eeek!


  18. maria (unregistered) on June 13th, 2007 @ 12:29 pm

    apart form theses places what do u think of meeting the opposite sex online and then continuing from there?…is it ok?


  19. 1967 (unregistered) on June 13th, 2007 @ 12:49 pm

    @Maria: Well when it comes to online hitch, I haven’t heard many people out here in the capital who have hooked up really from the realm of cyber space. Needless to say if I talk of my personal experience, I have made many new friends from both camps online, who I got to know in real life, and it was a great experience purely from a perspective of acquaintances. In short they usually turned out be great, when it comes to making new friends in Isloo, but not always.

    When it comes to finding your dream mate, I wouldn’t really vote for doing it online, but then again it’s just an opinion. However there are many things that comprise attraction, and I would be the last one to downplay the importance of mental attraction, but the factors that can’t be accurately evaluated online are myriad. Why’s that, because :

    Human pheromones play a large part in attraction to opposite gender – and scientists believe that couples pheromones can “match” and “clash.” Relationships that begin online don’t have this information.

    One way to judge your potential mate is to see how he/she interacts with other people in social situations (friends, family, workmates, etc.). When relationships are largely online/on-phone, it is difficult to get a feel for interactive personality.

    How does your friend handle day-to-day stress or stressful situations? When a relationship is online, the hours of contact may seem like a lot, but it is not a substitute for observing someone in everyday life.

    Further more, you may never know when to trust a person who you are talking to online, because when you are face to face you can make judgment by facial expressions, body language, and change in pitch of the voice, which is missing online


  20. maria (unregistered) on June 13th, 2007 @ 1:40 pm

    but what about people who don’t have much time to go out and socialize or in our culture many famlies do not allow going out then?..they only have the online option…but then u r right in saying that its difficult to trust people online plus online relations have a very limmited interaction


  21. Omer Farooq (unregistered) on June 13th, 2007 @ 4:15 pm

    Interesting read…


  22. hawkeye161 (unregistered) on June 18th, 2007 @ 4:21 am

    I have lived in Islamabad for over a decade and seen it grow from a small little town into a lets call it a small city…the guys and girls , the way they interact or have been doin so … I have been noticing that over the 14 or 15 years that I have lived here although I did live abroad aswell inbetween…as I see it today guys and gals have picked up a lot of confidence ..I mean it is not unusual witnesing couples smooching on the roads or in the parks and all…I would regard it as a evolutionary process ..I mean frequenting all the sites the author has mentioned to look for “interesting” ladies well I think Isloo has come of age now there is little need to go to these “watering holes” for prey now…just be yourself, courteous and you shall bump into interesting females every now and then…and for all those who think its un-islamic…are ya kiddin me…you don’t wanna know whats goin on in the city…so just relax and enjoy…..religion is your personal domain please dont impose it on others by telling them what’s right and what’s wrong…as I am quite sure people who can read and write good english and use the computer know what’s right and what’s wrong according to the religion they follow.
    For once put the religion aside and keep it personal…this goes out specially to this ayesha lady….no offence please….
    Islamabad is a terrific place to live …immensely romantic, serene, quiet, yet buzzing, if I had my way and cud fall in love again I’d do it with this city…..reminds m of all those wonderful memories I have here….absolutely fantastic is the word I have for this place….so all you guys and gals go out and enjoy life for you only live once….and Ayesha PLEASE no religious sermons we all know whats right and whats wrong let religion be your private affair …not to be imposed on others.


  23. SM (unregistered) on June 29th, 2007 @ 7:51 pm

    .. interesting.
    I just came across this thread while i was lookning at the local gyms for women.

    Just wanted to let you know it was quite an entertaining read.

    So in a nutshell, a gym or a yoga class is only found in F-8 markaz & Ulimate Gym in F-6 or a spa Nirvana in G-6 next to the Afghanistan Embassy? .. really ? ONLY 3 gyms!?


  24. A for [pine]apple (unregistered) on June 30th, 2007 @ 12:29 am

    SM, regarding YOGA … there are certain NGOs (they call themselves that at least) and beauty parlours in Islamabad who arrange yoga classes. At times, a group (10-20 ppl) gather and ask yoga instructors to come. Such parlors are in F-7 (one opposite to mee lee), Depilex (F-8/1) – DepilexMen (not in F-10 anymore but in F-7 (the rana market road)) and a few other places if you’re really interested.

    Few of them have gyms as well.



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