It's always been a mystery to me. Every time I go to any restaurant in Karachi, the place is full and there is a long line of customers waiting for their turn (even on week days). Since it's been obvious that the economy has been going downhill and people are getting poorer and poorer, why do even lower middle-class people spend so much on expensive food? Outside the restaurants, motor cycles tend to outnumber cars and SUVs by a ratio of five to one. So it looks like even those who earn fifty thousand rupees a month eat at such restaurants.

I read that there is such a thing called the "lipstick" effect. It seems that during times of economic crisis (as in those months during which Covid had rendered many people unable to earn as much as they used to), people tend to spend on small luxuries like lipsticks and restaurants. I suppose a woman likes to say to her neighbor, "Look, I bought this lipstick for a thousand rupees, do you like it?" Or a schoolboy telling his friend, "We had dinner at Nandos last night, delicious food, you should ask your parents to eat there". 

Then there is the obscene amount spent on weddings. The filthy super rich people can easily afford to spend two million on renting a wedding hall and feeding more than a thousand relatives and friends, but why do the poor do it? I've heard that they beg and borrow to get their sons and daughters married so expensively just so their families can say to their relatives, "We are richer than you are!" There were less than a hundred guests at my marriage dinner fifty years ago and we didn't need a wedding hall, we just set up tables and chairs on the street and served the guests. But then, we didn't have to show off to our friends and relatives. Those were the good old days.