Regula Bubb: Unearthing Pakistan's Mystique

    Written by: Amna Javed
    Posted on: November 06, 2015 | Post your comment here Comments | 中文

    Enjoying a camel ride near Lahore City - Regula Bubb: The Trailing Spouse and High-Life in Pakistan

    Enjoying a camel ride near Lahore City

    A lawyer by profession, who came to marry a diplomat and took on the role of a ‘trailing spouse’, Regula Bubb – Abderhalden is the wife of former Swiss Ambassador to Pakistan. Though the Ambassador and his wife moved from Pakistan in 2014, ‘High-life in Pakistan’ – Regula’s book – brought her back to the country this week.

    Regula Bubb: The Trailing Spouse and High-Life in Pakistan

    Regula Bubb at the launch of her book, 'High-Life in Pakistan

    ‘High-Life in Pakistan’ narrates the spellbinding account of Regula’s observation of Pakistan. The book, a collection of memoirs, reflects the lives of the urbanites as well as villagers of the country, with utmost sincerity and depth. Recollecting her memories from her four-year stay here, Regula expressed that Pakistan and its countrymen compelled her to write on its beauty. Chatting about her trip to the farthest village in Swat, she mentioned visiting a modest household where the warmth and hospitality of the local women not only won her over, but also left a deep impact on her. “They used wood from the courtyard to boil water for tea, and then to boil the only egg at home to offer it to me,” she said. At the same house, Regula came across a bright, 14-year-old girl who spoke immaculate English. This suddenly made her realize that despite residing in remote areas of the country, Pakistani women are incredibly aware and impressive. “This is exactly what I wanted to highlight – that Pakistan is much more than just a victim of terrorism,” she added ardently.

    From her experiences in numerous countries, Regula explained that every country is different, and even within a single country, there are diverse layers of society. The existing literature on Pakistan tells the tales of a country that is on the brink of collapsing or failing, but the book by Bubb is a blend of the political happenings around the country during her stay here and the social kaleidoscope. Upon landing in Pakistan, Regula was pleasantly surprised by the warmth, hospitality and welcoming attitude that the hosts extended to the couple. “The political and security situation in the country was exciting at that time, but not easy; however, now that I am here a year later, I can say that the security situation has improved considerably.”

    Opening up further about her experiences here, Regula remarked that Pakistan needed a book that explores the depth of its society and depicts the average Pakistani’s life; that beyond the mainstream political narratives, there is not only a normal life in Pakistan, but it is also fun and fascinating.

    Reveling in the charm of various Pakistani cities, Regula found out ways to explore more and more areas within the country, and with each adventurous visit, her perspective also changed further. Bubb expressed that it is easy to realize what one can do and cannot do once they start living in Pakistan; for those visiting for a short while, it is challenging to evaluate the situation in its entirety.

    Regula Bubb: The Trailing Spouse and High-Life in Pakistan

    A traditional dress-making workshop

    After settling in Pakistan, Regula busied herself with writing a bi-weekly blog where she shared her experiences with friends and family back home. The blogging continued throughout her stay in Pakistan, and towards the end her friends encouraged her to consolidate the blog in the shape of a book. “I’ve always enjoyed writing, but this is my first book. There is an amazing sense of accomplishment now that the book is being launched officially. The response has been overwhelming so far, and I have received tremendous support from everyone around me,” she added.

    Summing up her stay in Pakistan, Regula gleefully remarked that “Despite all the troubles and difficulties that Pakistani people go through, they are still the most hospitable and warm-hearted people you could possibly meet.” Sharing one of the most memorable incidents, Regula described her stay in Lahore while her children were visiting. It was during that time that the Raymond Davis shooting happened, and she was confined to her hotel room along with her family. However, Nilofer, a friend and renowned Pakistani designer, took Regula and her daughter to see her latest collection and also managed to make arrangements to rush to a local market where they could purchase khussas. This was one of many encounters that formed Regula’s view of Pakistani people and how they have a terrific ability to help change a bad experience into an unforgettable memory.

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