This is the most common comment anyone from Pakistan will hear the first time they have a conversation with a foreigner.
People are astonished that anyone from Pakistan, let alone a woman, can speak, read, and write in fluent English.
When you come from a crackpot nuclear nation and hot-bed of terrorism, you get asked this more often than you’d realize. We have a huge homegrown terrorism problem in Pakistan, that’s true, but Taliban heads don’t go on whistle-stop tours of the country like some sort of jihad-loving Mick Jagger. I used to live in an actual house made of bricks and cement.
A lot of people in Pakistan do, and if you happen to know the upper-middle classes, their houses are absolutely palatial.
The world expects us to be either the frothy-mouthed zealots or mini-mart owners they see on TV.