Big cities grow on you. As you navigate your way through the years, they teach you valuable lessons about life. You acquire skills you’re not even aware of, many of which would actually look quite impressive on your CV. Here’s a few things living in Karachi does to you.

You never get nervous in big crowds. Jostling is a body movement you’re most familiar with. Whether at Dolmen Mall or Saddar bazaar, walking with your elbows out is a natural posture.

You’re comfortable with ethnic diversity. Bengali maasi, Pathan fruitwalla, Sindhi peon, Punjabi milkshop owner are all part of your daily life. Muslims, Christians, Parsis, Hindus all feature on the city landscape, the finer colours added on by Aga Khanis and Memons and so forth.

You’re never fazed by obstacles. If you can navigate a traffic jam in Karachi at rush hour, you’ll pass a driving test anywhere in the world. Patience is a virtue best learnt on the roads of Karachi; if you’re an experienced minibus or Qingchi traveller, you’ll yawn on roller coasters.

You develop an almost superhuman immune system, thanks to the constant cloud of dust you move in, not to mention the diet of chaat, bun kababs and spicy rolls you live on.

You learn how to accomplish tasks in total darkness thanks to  unannounced load-shedding spells by K-Electric, preparing consumers for excellent careers as Bond-like secret agents. Also, another agency you can be grateful to is KWSB, which gives you just enough water to survive, so you become master of the three-minute shower.

You know how to cut a deal. Haggling over prices in Sunday Bazaar, Tariq Road and Bohri Bazaar make you a master bargainer. Nobody can con you into giving in to a swindle.

You have no fear of tsunamis and other sea-storms; you’ve lived through so many warnings it’s all ‘blah blah blah’ now. Besides, you know there’s a force in this city by the sea that’s stronger than any tsunami, and you learn to depend on it – it’s called Abdullah Shah Ghazi!