How to: Lahore After Iftar
Whether you’re fasting or simply pretending to, after iftar is a kick ass time to head out.
In Ramzan, a weeknight looks more like Saturday, minus the traffic (so far; can’t promise the same closer to Eid).
Contrary to popular opinion, ‘going out’ doesn’t have to involve food. That’s rich coming from a food and travel platform, but it’s true. Excursions sans food are not only possible, but also refreshing breaks from the same old ‘going to a restaurant, chilling and heading home’. If you’re covered for iftar, done with taraweeh and are looking to kill time till sehri, here’s what Lahore has in store for you:
LOOSE, NOT TIGHT
People underestimate the power of a good hang. Done right, it overrides the wildest of road trips and the nerdiest of movie marathons. But hanging after iftar, outside of coffee shops or away from best friends’ couches, is unthinkable.
If you’re basic b*****s like us, choose a park that’s good for you and that too preferably at night.
Pick up a few people you vibe with, find a perfectly-ventilated corner in Race Course Park, or walk through the dense trees of Model Town Park; this qualifies for the perfect hang. But wait! You can spruce things up. Pair your ‘hang’ with portable speakers, an all-round playlist that could match any mood, even some board games if you wanna go all out.
Similar territory: Gulshan e Iqbal Park, Pakistan Park, Greater Iqbal Park, Shalimar Bagh, any local park (so long as it’s not too shady)
Watching a movie is a no brainer if you don’t want to try too hard. Pick a good 11 PM show at Cinestar, or any of the other cinemas around town. It doesn’t matter if the movie has terrible reviews; with the right company, an otherwise sh*t film can turn into an experience you’re not likely to forget.
Similar territory: Bahria Cinegold, Universal Cinemas, Cinepax, Imperial Cinemas, Super Cinemas
BECAUSE WHO DOESN’T LOVE SOME RETAIL THERAPY?
Bit obvious, we agree. But shopping after iftar is different from regular shopping. It’s more of a communal experience, even if you’re on your own. If you’re searching for the perfect lace for your Eid ka jora (Eid dress) around Liberty Market or Auriga Center, chances are that the hundreds of women around you are doing that same.
Get with the program, dude.
Similar territory: Ghalib Market, Main Market, Anarkali Bazaar, Karim Block, Paradise Center, H-Block Market
While these markets are for more… intense individuals, malls are better spots for a comfortable shopping experience. Now, Lahore was late to the mall scene in Pakistan, but it has more than compensated for it with Emporium and Packages. In one air conditioned (YES) destination, you can flit from store to store, put your (increasing numbers) of shopping bags in a Hyperstar trolley without the annoyance of constantly bumping into people (here’s hoping). God knows we can do without these annoyances after iftar.
Similar (though not quite as good) Territory: Fortress Square Mall, Amanah Mall, Xinhua Mall
BECAUSE YOUR CITY IS LEGIT
Yep, dust off those jogging shoes, fill up that gas tank and head on out into the city. The night is always young during this month.
Step out of your comfort zone while you’re at it: plunge headfirst into the unfamiliar. If you live in Bahria Town, consider going around R.A. Bazaar or Choong Pind near Cantt. Will you find anything there that you couldn’t around Bahria? Probs not. But you’ll live a little, and that’s gotta be worth something.
Similar Territory: Barkat Market, Urdu Bazar, Mozang Road, the farthest point from your home.
SERIOUSLY THOUGH, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE
Lahore can be overwhelming. What, with the over-the-top family gatherings in your house and the children upon children floundering on escalators and elevators in the malls- it’s exhausting.
Luckily, the city comes up with its own solutions.
Bookstores are your kindest friends in this situation. Almost everyone is a loner at bookstores, so you don’t stand out. Readings is perfect: isolated, and with shelves that create sequestered spaces within the store. Someone we know has spent six hours at a stretch here. Said person shall remain nameless.
Similar Territory: Liberty Books, Books n Beans, The Last Word