Wednesday, December 31, 2003

more about Bam

khorshid khanum had asked us to put this link here.... go check it for yourself.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

So it's my BIRTHDAY!

I'm turning 24! Can you believe it? I always consider myself as some 16 year old & now that I'm facing adulthood I can't say I really like it.
Tonight I'm going to dream of the way I want to be & tomorrow I will wake up to face my 23rd birthday & start the 24th year. & I'm trying to avoid any kind of parties. I want to spend tomorrow in complete peace....
Alright I can't quite avoid it! My aunt will drop by tomorrow & I will be out to have launch with Katrine. & there will be the cake & birthday traditions… except for the gifts which I don't like.
What are birthday traditions? Well, in a nut shell there is nothing as birthday morning tradition! We just celebrate the birthday eve. But there will be the cake & candles & wishes & all! I'm not really in mood to write about it by it's one the subject I plan to write more about. I will tell you all about the family tradition & friends hang out & the parties being held, everything that might be there to tell you about it!
Right now I wish there would be no surprise party!!!!!!
I will be back to tell you how I feel being 24... till then goodnight.

Saturday, December 27, 2003

help the earthquake victims

well, if you wanted you can donate in here
Relief International is some where else you can donate!
& here is another link
all thanks to Eyeranian

Friday, December 26, 2003

Bam earthquake:

I'm fine & most of people over here in Tehran didn't feel even a shake but we are all shocked & things are a bit hectic here.

It was announced that 70% of the city had been destroyed & over 20000 lives are missing. The phone lines are disconnected & the electricity & water supplies are limited.

The rescue committee is biased in Kerman the nearest large city & 5 states around Bam & Jiroft are in stand-by state to help. Blood of all type, food and blankets are needed.

I've head that donations are enough to settle the victims for the night... I can't donate blood cos I got vaccinated in the past month & when I contact Red Cross, I've been told that volunteers' help in long distance is not needed right now cos it's impossible to send us over there & that we would be more trouble than help (not this much impolite of course!) the lady in charge was very nice though!

As you may heard the largest brick-building in the world, Arg-e-bam (castle of Bam) had been damaged completely! It has been one of the few sightseeing I never got the chance to visit. My family was planning to travel there in spring holidays; but I guess now we must plan on somewhere else.

Alright; I'll keep you informed if anything new happened but meanwhile I think I must thank Turkish government for they had been the first to offer their help.

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Merry Christmas;

& happy holiday to everyone… with best wishes…

French law?

So what is all about? I mean, come on, why can't people wear what they want where they want?
It's rather strange that in a country known for the freedom, Hejaab is forbidden! I thought freedom means the government doesn't interfere with people's private lives. & religion, in my humble opinion of course, is personal.
How do you behave if government forbid going to churches? Or announce that you shall not wear cross around your neck? Wearing veils are as simple as that. Although I, myself, don't wear them as Islam says, but still there are ladies who believe in that... & it's insulting to them their belief is [how may I put this] not accepted.
What's the difference between Taliban & French government anyway? Both of them oblige ladies to wear what (some of them) don't want to. How may a scarf offend anyone anyway? Wearing it or not, it's just the matter of belief & taste.
One friend told me it's just the majority doesn't want women to wear Hejaab! Well, maybe the majority wants them to wear it in Afghanistan so what was all the mess about women's right there? If we've got the right to wear anything we like then why scarf is banned? & if there are limits to it, whereas not to offend majority, so why it's only for so-called privileged developed countries?
It has been just my personal point of view... It doesn't mean I support Taliban or any other government (as Iran's) who force Hejaab. Obligation in any case is considered wicked in my opinion, whether it be wearing or not wearing what you want.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

yalda night

Wow, it's yalda night at last! Tonight we're going through the tradition of passing the night...
What is yalda night? Well, yalda is the longest winter night at 1st of Day, The longest night of year. Thee are some myths associated with this night but it's not my place to write about them... actually some of mythologists believe that Christmas is sort of derived from yalda & Mitra (God of Mehr & sun) myths & celebration. I am trying to find some sources & put the link here so you may know more about it! Meanwhile I can tell you the story I was told about it & my family tradition....
When we were young we used to listen to the story of how light fights evil through this longest night & how she wins & by the end of the night she walks back to earth....
It's been said that by keeping fire alive & lighting our houses we help light to fight & then find her way back to us! The lights are not supposed to go out all through the night & if there is fire place the fire must burn all night long. & most people tend to stay up till very late & chat...
I guess this night is eating-what-you-want-night! You know folks sit by the fire & while chatting, spend the night eating all kind of snacks! The first one to mention is Ajil-e-moshekgosha! This is kind of nuts which has some sweets along & it's very delicious! Folks eat them & think of their problems & they believe that the problem will be solved somehow.... It's a good thing to cheer up. I mean you think bitter but taste sweet & it reminds you that there is still sweetness & happiness around the corner.
Watermelons & pomegranates are very popular for eating during this night! I don't know why we have this RED fruits but there should be some kind of red fruit on the table for this night. Frozen fruits like cherries & strawberries are also very appealing. How do I love this night, just sitting there, eating snacks & listening to stories!
Enough from the eating part! Yalda is not all about eating! One of the main traditions of the night is reading Hafez! Fal gerftan as we call it. you light the candles & say a little prayer for Hafez soul & you ask him what would be your future & then open the book & read the first poem on the right side... You'll probably find it amazing that he actually hints about what you asked!
Yalda is what I call a family gathering. Most of the time folks gather in some older family member & stay there till 2-3 in the morning.... Somehow thanksgiving may be compared to yalda on this account. No one stays alone in this night.... This is a night to be thankful for loving & being loved....
Guess what? I have to go make some snacks ready for the night.... Enjoy your yalda
this is a cool link for knowing more about yalda.

Monday, December 15, 2003

Saddam captured!

Wow; you can't imagine hoe happy Iranians are! It's like fairy tales when the evil die...

You know over the past 23 years, he has been one of the most hated men in my country. Most people tend to think of him as the cause of Iran- Iraq war; the imposed war that killed our nation's children & enforce economical crisis on our country. & there are people over here who curse him for being indecorous toward holy-places like Karbala & Najaf.

I don't know how I feel about him.... Well, for sure he had been a dictator & so many had been hurt during his time & he on top of all brought misery & heartache to my nation. Yet when I was watching him with his family & then the time he was arrested, I felt sorry for him. The man who is arrested, in my eyes, is not the vindictive cruel dictator; he was an old insulted man who had lost everything in the world: his power, his family & most of all his respect. When he was examined like beasts, I thought that was the worst punishment for a ruler...& that's what he himself causes: heartache & pain! Let him taste what he baked! Death is better than disrespect! But who is to blame but himself? He made his bed & he must lie in it!

Most westerns don't understand the joy Iraq feels about this... I watched Bailer & Bush talked about the capture! what do they know about his brutality toward Iraqis? & IN THE NAME OF GOD why American military stays over here? Weapons had not been found yet & Saddam is captured... Now it's time to let Iraq decide for herself!

Another political post.... Oopss! I forgot this blog is about my own life not politics but you know what? Politic is every Iranian's second job!

Saturday, December 13, 2003

It’s snowing!

So at last winter is here! Officially winter starts on 22 December which is the first of Day (the first month of Persian winter), but today Tehran is white covered by snow….

Winters… the time to make stories, time to feel easygoing & time to be a fairy in real life! This is how I see winters, nice & slow like romance & wild & unpredictable like isolated islands at the same time. It’s got the wisdom of a mature aged leader & yet mischievous laughter of a 5-year-old. It’s young as snow & old as time. I always wonder how it could be so complicated & simple simultaneously….

Right now I’m sitting by the window, looking over the city I love so much. A blanket of snow covers Tehran’s body. It covers viciousness & gloom & leaves the city pure & virgin. It seems to cast away all differences… there is only one color White, silver, or what you may call it… nothing but spotless clarity.

Winters holds some kind of a feminine character if you know what I mean. In Persian myths, winter fairy in an old woman. But I love to consider the winter goddess as young beautiful fairy, dressed in white robe… with jasmines in her hair. She passes by & spreads silver flakes of snow… or simply she sits by fireplace narrating tales which never ends.

This season is sort of family season too. Over here in Iran we sit around the living room & safe in the security & warmth of houses we spent long winter nights together. Folks tend to spend more time at home & stay close to the one they love. It sounds winter bonds us all together….

Children love this season! Schools would be closed after heavy snows & kids just go out to play, make snowmen & enjoy their unexpected day off! As a kid I used to pray for heavy snow… not that I didn’t loved the school but the temptation of staying in my bed under comforter & watch snowflakes melt hitting my window was so strong; it would erase the school from my mind!

I must declare I’m still praying for snow…. & still I spend most part of the morning (if I would be free) in my bed, watching white flakes, sipping my cup of tea & daydreaming! Alright I guess I never stop the daydreaming part…. What else I do in winter? Hum? I play with snow…. I gathered winters bring the child inside of me back! Sometimes I just put on my warm overcoat & grab umbrella to go for a walk, the best thing you can do in heavy traffic. It’s amazing to watch people hurrying around, trying to get home as soon as possible.

Wow, enough for now! I will write about winter costumes in Iran next time… till then enjoy your winter….

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Lots of rain

It rained non-stop last week & I absolutely loved it! Like winter is tiptoeing to the city…. Rain & snow & wow it got rather cold. But this week again it’s sunny & warm, almost 15`c. yet it wont stop me from writing about winter next time & SHAB-E-YALDA costumes! Believe me I figured I’m falling in love with every single season in Tehran over & over again! Remind me to tell you about winter hang outs; ski; snow; & for sure late night winter stories….
Christmas? New Year? Maybe I find some friends who write about them over here….

My forgetful friend!

Guess I never talked about my CLC (Conversation Language course) English classes. Wow we had a really nice gang there & I was the youngest. (Alright there was just one person younger than me!) I loooooovvvvved being pampered by them! Joking! But really we understand each other & despite the age gap we got along very well. I used to nickname my friends… names like “p the pampering”; “B the beautiful” & even “A – anti-woman” or …. (I used to be Philanthropic!)
After 2 years, we still meet each other sometimes specially with one of my best friends P-the-pampering (great 32 year old guy, chemical engineer) & H-honey (26 year old sweet girl, environmental engineer). There’s this friend of ours M-money minded (31, chemical engineer; I owe my nickname to him!). Well he is really forgetful & must be reminded about gathering every once in an hour so he can show up! (Ah, did I forget to mention he is a flirt? Though once you get to know him it won’t bother you!) & he had not showed up for the last tow meetings….
Last night I was in math class when he called me out of the blue & left a message…. It was not clear & I just could recognize few words: “hey… about tomorrow date… make it tonight… give me a call….”
What on earth was the reason he called? What date? Did I miss something? I just couldn’t help feeling tense; the thoughts were pondering on my head while I was calling him….
“Hello?” He said surprised! “What’s up?” I asked frightened! He paused for a moment & then burst out to laugh… & between laughter he tried to explain what was wrong! “You… another… tonight… sms…” was all I could get! At last he managed to breathe & told me” goodness, I wanted to call someone else but I didn’t have the number so I decided to call-back on his sms & it seems I dialed your number instead!” Can you just imagine me? I was flying off the handle but before I could shout anything, he said: “have you ever been in love?” & I was like huh? He said: “well, you can tell how I feel right now!” He is lucky I like him or else he had been dead by now!

Why I moved to blogspot?

I really loved m-blog, though it had been rather simple & one couldn’t change the layout & if you weren’t a paying member you couldn’t put links in your posts…. But still I made really great friends there & it gave me an opportunity to exchange ideas with wonderful people with different cultural background. I shared my fun, my fear, my emotions with them…. I’ve learned so much & it’s amazing how my own view have changed toward the world.
M-blog has this advantage that you can be notified of new posts by checking the main page. So it was easy to keep up with your friends. But I had this buzz for sometime that I should become a paying member to be able to update blog! & simply it’s impossible to pay from Iran so you got it! I moved here!
But I really missed everyone…. It’s like leaving home somehow… you move away from those you’re acquainted with & had to make new friends. Well, let’s face blogspot!

Sunday, December 07, 2003

hey did you noticed my friend new adressess!

well, I will write more in few days! right now I'm just adustin'...

Saturday, December 06, 2003

What dreams do to you?

Well I have this very funny cousin who got married few years ago. We used to be really close & have kind of strong bond between us. He used to be like a big, protective, funny brother to me & as he himself refer to it; we used to have our moments! Though we grew apart for sometime but still we know we can rely on each other. (Good that his wife understands the relationship)
Feeling dizzy could be a great gift; dismissing you from clean-up work after the party. So last weekend in my aunt’s house after supper all I have to do was to sit on the sofa & use my imagination…. Then he showed up & sat himself comfortably by my side & start joking about my dreams….
“So are we gonna elope to a cliff- cottage by Pacific Ocean & live happily ever after?” he joked. “Maybe we should take Mar too! Me & you & Mar (his wife)! Just think of the humid whether & you’ll forget your headache….” He suggested knowing how I hate humid whether!
But the hint was enough I was immediately drifted to a reverie visualizing the cottage & envisioning the surrounding! He kept talking & pulled me in for a brotherly hug…. I didn’t even notice! Feeling much better I murmured “not a good idea! I may go there alone, live away & you can just pay visits every once in a while.” I could almost picture myself standing by a railing overlooking the ocean… the salty warm wind blowing & the silence…. “Wow,” he said “come back sis! We’re in Iran still!” He just ruined the dream! & even worse he joked about it all night & still every once in while he sends sms to remind me of MY LITTLE SCERET COTTAGE!

What am I up to?

Thursday, December 4, 2003
The subject is hanging around my mind for quite a while. As I sit here & try to define what my thoughts are, it’s dancing in my brain like a naughty child.
Where did it first come to me? I don’t know exactly…. I mean one day I wake up & it was there. But of course I put off thinking about it, just pushing it away so I can concentrate more on study.
Then this dizzy feeling started to creep in my head. & little by little I adapted myself with rescheduling my life, & changing my body clock so I would be asleep in the pick hour of dizziness. (I’m still in the process of recovering though).
What really bother me was the way my friends acted toward my personal problem… they just freaked out, scared & tried to help me by worrying about my health. Which I do appreciate but it gave me some sort of a feeling that my privacy is invaded…. So foolishly I got into a fight with them over nothing! & well, Ava suggested that I must reconsider myself, my behavior &….
Then it came to me once again & stronger… what am I doing? Not that I really don’t know, but it just doesn’t seem right anymore. This whole Masc. exam thing is just a cover to get me through another day. Actually I’m not even trying to study… & that’s very surprising! I used to dream myself being a professor teaching! & that means I have to work harder!
Yet it doesn’t seem right anymore! Yeah, if I’m to live for another 50 years, that would be what I should do. But if I die tonight, I would think that it was all waste of time! I do like Food Science & for sure I can handle factory or research jobs…. Still it wouldn’t satisfy me.
What I really want to do is wake up late, take my cup of tea & cookies to my bed & read the whole day (Like in summer vacations). & also I love to unleash my imagination, set it free & write down my dreams… or maybe get lost some where in dream-land & never face the reality of cold sabotaging life. Find it ironical?
So I’m still bewildered not knowing which way to go. Choose the decent life line & do as what I’m supposed to do, being the perfect first-borne, go find some cool job & rule everybody’s life till the time I find enough power to rule mine. Or fulfill my lazy dreams & take some time off & lower the chance of Admission in Masc. program?
The point is I’m doing the latter but it’s a burden on my conscience & I can’t enjoy it! What would you have done if you were in my shoes?

content with life?

Saturday, November 15
It’s kind of weird…. I’m sitting here in my room & though the weather is really nice, I don’t feel like going out! Tonight is a praying-night. We call it Ahya. It’s been said that the real meaning of Koran had fallen to Mohammad’s heart on a night like this. So people spend the whole night praying & ask God to forgive them.
I find the religious gathering to pray rather boring. I feel I can’t pray when all these people are around me. They just cry & if you don’t they think you’re not praying! So I rather spend the Ahya nights on my own talking to God in my own language instead of repeating some incomprehensible verses. Well, maybe it’s not right but that’s how I feel toward praying.
Wow! There’s this cool breeze blowing in the night but still we’ve got lots of sunshine. The weather is lovely like the spring time. It had not gone below 10 centigrade degree & you know with sun & … you just need nothing to feel happy. It seems the laughter is in the air, just breath & bliss fill you…. Wind just give me the feeling that nothing is eternal; so I seize the moments & enjoy myself. Why worry about the time which had not come? Each day is a gift; I may spend it in happiness or ruin it with anger! & you know what my choice is…. Let’s live!
Hey, Ava’s birthday is in tow weeks! She is somehow upset & doesn’t want the band to get together for her birthday. We could have planned really fine day but she is not in the mood for that. So I’m wondering if we could find a way to celebrate her birthday without hanging out & stuff. Though I find a cool new place to hang out I want to try right after Ramadan! (Guess what? I think this study agenda is never gonna be fulfilled!)
You know gotta get back to study some Food Preservation & then some awful Canning Process….

Tuesday, November 11, 2003 1:48 AM
hey I'll be back soon
I don't know why I can't post long entries here! but I'll be back soon!


Saturday, November 1, 2003
The holy month has just started! This month is like a escape for me… there’s this divine feeling in the air! Like you can feel the God near you!
Fasting in Islam is different from other religions; we don’t eat or drink anything from sun-raise to sun-set…. But this is only the superficial part of fasting. In more profound layers, when you look deep in the fact of fasting, you see that the whole body goes through it… one must not lie, backbite or swear for example. You go on practicing the real Islam in a month! Don’t break a heart! Give away gifts & pray!
Maybe it’s kind of weird but while on fasting I feel God had taken me in his arms & he is taking care of everything I’m doing. He guides me to choose the right decision & it seems I don’t have to worry about anything…. When I pray he really listens & no matter what would be I’m asking he gives it to me.
Islam says wash & put your best dress on, wear your make-up & perfume then head to say prayers…. I love doing that in fasting month, just to drift away with angels….
Maybe some people out there don’t believe in God. But they would believe in some super-natural powers & this power is really working in Ramadan!
Anyway everything is just going great over here! We’ve had some rains & most days are windy… I love the weather! One day I will set off & I would go on & on till I find the end of the world, if the weather would be like this! Then I will build a hut there & live happily to the end of my days

Childhood sweetheart?

Friday, October 24, 2003
Well, I met this guy few days ago. He was a tall, well-built cute guy & I just couldn’t guess that he would know me somehow!
I was just walking to school; the weather was so fine & I was just drifting in my dreams…. Suddenly someone called my name; better to say scream it! I turned around & found the guy looking at me. “Hey this is Abtin” he said.
I still shocked asked him “what?” & he said “Abtin; the gym?” then I was able remember him…. He was my classmate in gym, couple of years younger than me. He & a friend of his, Ahmad, used to be partners in practice. I was so happy to see him again, though he was far changed… no wonder we hadn’t met for 12 years.
He asked me if I could remember he & Ahmad was always fighting over being my partner. Of course I could, they were in total agreement with each other but when it came to choose partners for practice… it was like they can not act morally! They would cheat or simply pick fighting! I always thought it was because I had been the quickest girl in gym & also I was the leader player in practice….
He said “did you know we were in love with you?” it was unbelievable! How could 8-9 year-old boys fell in love with a 10-year? & what more they could still remember every little thing we had done…. I’m flattered right now! He said his girlfriend is one of our classmates & that she can remember how they used to act foolishly when I was around….
It’s a really good feeling to find out you had been someone’s sweetheart! He made my day….

Shirin Ebadi; who is she?

Tuesday, October 14, 2003
Well I guess you have heard of her enough for sure. But let me play my own part, telling you what I know of her… not much though!
The first time I ever heard of her was in 1998… when tow of her clients stabbed & killed savagely in some sort of a series of political clean-up murders…. We knew about them & for sometime every body that was actively or even passively involve in political reformist party like nehzat azadi, has the fear of being murdered! She started to speak up for her late clients (Daruish & Parvaneh Foruhar).
She is 56 right now. & she has been the first woman judge before revolution. But she lost the title after 1979 due to Shari law! So she began her career as a lecturer in university, at the same time she was a lawyer….
What she is more concerned about is children’s & women’s rights! Along with other lawyers she established an NGO the Centre for the Defense of Human Rights. & it’s been said she is going to donate the prize award to it!
As far as I can remember she had spent some time in solitary confinement for she had been involved in putting a videotape in spotlight which contained statements of a spy in intelligence ministry I guess!
She is banned from attending the court for 5 years…. But none of these actually stopped her. Over here in Iran the radio & the TV keep silence about the prize just mentioning it in cultural news. No wonder they are controlled by some hardliners! But everybody is talking about it….
I have always been very proud of being born as Iranian, yet now I feel sow I can be more confident in announcing my nationality!
Some people stated that pope was more eligible for the prize. I see their point of view & I know he is a great man. Yet I don’t like to think of the selection as a humiliating act. I mean why it is looked like an Iranian Moslem woman has defeated pope? I hope he will understand what the prize means to a country like mine….
You can read the noble announcement in the address below:

I had been to a concert…

Saturday, October 11
t was perfect! My favorite Iranian singer is Alireza Asar…. He has a very strong voice… & miss poetess had bought us the first row tickets! He was singing in front of me! Very great time I had there tonight.
& yes Shirin Ebadi won the noble prize for peace! She is a lawyer & she had done so much for children welfare & manages some NGOs over here…. Tonight Asar had special thanks & well wishing for her….
Today seems very good day for me the news of the noble prize & listening to noble music is really charming! One of the songs played was “that’s not the shape of my heart” OSD of “specialist”… my friend briefly told me about the story… I can’t tell you how I felt … very much moved by that!
Actually it’s always like that with me. I let the music to take control of me…. Sometimes I feel I had traveled in time & space when a melody is in the air. I know nothing of music. I don’t ply anything. Yet it doesn’t stop me from drowning in notes, floating with rhythms or breathing with the beats!
Though melody & harmony are very important, I find lyrics (for the song only) as fundamental. Just some words & you feel your heart starts to race…. Tonight there was a song played about death… very moving. First I started to tremble but by the end of the track I was shivering holding my friends hands tightly… & my heart was beating like a bird….
Asar played some of his old compositions & there was one special song I really loved it goes like this:
Who is totally mad?
Who dies for your tune of laughter?
Who, when you are thirsty
Explore all the clouds
& dies but won’t let you in?
It’s me!
It’s me who sang your eyes poem
There are tears in my eyes still,
When I remember you!
You still strode in my dreams
In my dreams
In loving nights
I whisper to the lord above
I wish she would be back!
This music, this special song makes me wonder if any one can love me like this…. Except for my dad! (This is a song from a dad I guess)
My, we met one of the best songwriters in the hall… Shahkar Bineshpajhoh… (His name means “well-done” in English)!
Got to go to bed I cant lift my eyes… good night!

schools begun

Monday, September 29, 2003
It seems every one get a career to do & so there is no time to play! The strange thing I’ve never noticed is the nights! I mean it tend to be very quiet after 9 pm around my place…. Like everyone stays home!
The weather gets kind of cold & yesterday evening when I was walking home, I felt really chilled! Guess I picked up cold! I have sore throat & feel a little bit dizzy. So I’m taking pills & I slept all day long! You see can go studying this way & tomorrow I have my first session of classes!
No more nagging! I hope I will get better in a day or tow. Right now I want to tell you about my study agenda. It’s nice to let others know what you’re doing! I’m so lazy; don’t study on my own so it’s really cool to have others asking about my progress ;).
I have to study at least 80 pages per day to be able to study all the books & notes in 3 months! The most important courses are food chemistry & food microbiology which I have to study each day & food technologies are going to be divided into 2 sets for every tow days. Then there are math & food engineering & sure English text comprehension!
My days will start at 7. I may go walking for half an hour depending on my mood or I would plainly lie in my bed day dreaming. Then I will have breakfast & at 8 I will start studying taking breaks every 45 minutes for a quarter an hour. 1-2 pm would be my launch time & again I will work till 5. (This part may change due to my classes every day). Then 7 or 8 I will have dinner & study till 11 or more. & I will have 2 days off in a week! IF I would ever hold to this agenda I will study more than 9 hours a day!
Believe me! I’ve never been such a hard working person! I used to take my time at leisure, having fun during my school time. So I gathered if I could stick on to the agenda for 50 working days during these 3 months, I will achieve my goals!
I like complicated & flexible agendas. Using this method I have to set my daily plans myself & depending on my mood. But sometimes it become somewhat tricky; like when I’m unconsciously avoid studying the lessons I don’t like or the time when I spent too much time on little useless parts.
You may notice that the breaks are too close together. Catgirl believes this way she can’t concentrate on her study. She says it takes her half an hour to focus on the subject & if she has to take a break in 45 minutes, well she will never get on with what she is reading!
I’m totally different. I can ponder easily for a short time; in other words my concentration works rather temporarily! & I get drifted easily… give 5 minutes to study something & ask me what it was about, I will explain everything you want; then give me an hour to study the same thing, I need to review the whole text in the last minute cos I already forgot where it had been started! (Sorry, it’s really hard to explain it…) my concentration is like lightening I may say quick, short but very powerful. So I use lots of breaks to avoid being distracted! Tricky, huh?
Besides, I will go on a trip in 3 weeks! & then it will be our fasting month, RAMEZAN…. Who says I will hold on this agenda? ;)

Autumn In Tehran:

Tuesday, September 16
Yeah, fall is here at last! What a wonderful feeling it is to…. Officially autumn starts on September 23rd, yet you can feel it in the air. The cool breeze blows & days start to shorten. Autumns are truly beautiful here, full of colors! You may sit by the window & look at the city in the last crimson rays of sunshine or you may go walking under gold & brown trees, enjoying leaf-rain! Did you ever notice the music of leaves beneath your feet, singing: “nothing is eternal”?
Autumns are perfect time to fall in love… just wake up in an autumn day & you may fall in love with the breeze or pale morning sky, or you may fall for the rain, or simply it could be weather you’re in love with! & you can dream perfect dreams as long as you want and as far as your mind can fly. Keep floating in the air & nothing will be impossible for you….
Mehr, the first month of fall, is the beginning of school time! So to me it is a reminder of joy, anxiety, & sure friendship. People over here start rather routine life with the onset of autumn. Laziness & drowsiness 0f summer fade away as it start to get colder! One may notice some kind of movement in every creature… like every one tends to establish new projects! & before long you find yourself involving in one, not remembering when you had started it!
Tehran is filled with joy these days… to welcome the beginning of the season! Kids go shopping & in a week or so you can hear their laughers & roars going to school & back! It seems everyone is hanging right now before a race to start. The only thing I don’t like in autumn is this racing mood! You suddenly find the world revolving faster & the heavy morning traffic… one never gets used to! Tehran can not handle transportation of more than a million students every morning! If you ever come here to try going anywhere by car at 8 am, you probably won’t get to the place before 10.

Growing old:

Saturday, September 6
I was reading TIK’S blog. She is a great writer & I always enjoy her posts but the post about the final hour of being 34 was something else, wonderful!
It made think about what that really means… the passing of years! I mean as I look back I don’t think there are lots of changes in me since my 16-year-old life. & when ever I read TIK blog I feel she could be the same age as me. My birthday is December 31st. So I always had kind of feeling that the world steps into a new era with each birth day I have. Yet each year when I wake up to say good morning to January 1st, I look out the window & I see the same comforting, familiar view. The only thing that is really changed is my pine tree! When I was young I used to dream that I would get downstairs to the yard by the means that tree. (It was rather short then, just up to the 3rd floor; we live in fourth!) Then out of the blue it grew taller & about three or four years ago, I found out the tree is up to my bedroom window. Guess what? This year it has grown over the roof of the building!
& to tell you the truth, I feel that’s a small sing of me growing old…. My dreams grow old with me too; they change from now & then. & it seems that everything is growing with me in a way that makes me ignore my own ageing.
Yet the progress is so slow my brain doesn’t notice it… the point is the person I call me is changing for sure; but I hadn’t change ever since I can remember. Do you see what I mean? People don’t understand their own changes.
My very dear TIK, what is it like to be 35? You achieved so much & there is so much to gain yet! So I wish you a bright, hopeful year! May your dreams grow in this year & the sense of being wise & young at the same time lingers in your heart!

Where to dine out in Tehran:

Thursday, August 28
Different people surely have different tastes. So there is not a single rule for telling you where to go. Yet I may be able to show where we hang out as students!
Fancy restaurants are the least expected place to hang out with friends. They are expensive & you can’t laugh loudly or do whatever you want to do there. I know some places where you can go as couple but not when you are with a bunch of wild free young boys & girls. Hotel lobbies are like that (though I, myself, have had some cool friend- gatherings in Sheraton). I’ve tried JAM-E-JAM too. But to tell ya the truth, it was like you have to be the princess there. SORENTO is even worse! I know some etiquette rules yet practicing them don’t appeal to me!
On the other hand, old shabby GHAHVEKHOONE (cafés) are not what you may find desirable to go out to. They are located in older parts of Tehran & well I get the sense that the environment is kind of MANLY. A girl is not supposed to be seen there (I am an exception once again, being at least in one with my uncle). Another kind of these places is KALEPAZIS. They serve a special kind of food; kind of soup by lamb meat which is served mostly as an energetic breakfast. I don’t know is it because most girls don’t like the food or something else that I’ve never seen one inside one of these cafes.
So where do we hang out? There are lots of cafés around the town where they serve light meals & stuffs like coffee, tea, &…. & there are the fast foods. & some of SOFREKHANE HAYE SONTAI (traditional restaurants) is fine.
I’ve tried some cafes over here. Some are ok, some perfect & some are plain rubbish! Some the famous ones I don’t like. They are unfriendly & crowded like GHROOB, SADAF, TOOTFARANGI, ARIAN, &…. I used to hang out there but now…
DIDANIHA is my hang out right now. But it’s getting crowded & I’m looking for some other place. You know the have risen the price without reason. I used to say the price is reasonably high there but now it’s not fair! Yet I’ve got to declare that I had very good cappuccinos there that make me go back for more. Chicken Fingers are really delicious & other things are quite ok! I go there with 3 or 4 different bunch of friend so they really know me!
We used to hang out in SHEYTH it’s a very quite, rather small place. No one would drop by accidentally there so it used to be our secret hang out. We, the girls, would go there at 12 have the most delicious pizzas & fine coffees & talk for 3 or 4 ours about useless, small things. It had been very deserted I used to think why they don’t close it! My, I long for our private talks there. We used to read poems by HAFEZ (who is one of the best Iranian poets) & interpret the poems. We call this FAL GEREFTAN. Guess we shall go there again when Miss Poetess (who is away to seaside) get back!

Iranian foods:

Monday, August 18
Well, my grandpa is writing about breads & foods. So I decide to write about some of the Iranian foods. But I won’t write about recipes cos I really don’t know anything about cooking. In my opinion cooking is an art one shall have the talent of. & I do believe that people shall not cook when they don’t want to. It makes the food taste awful! Mom used to say the mood is shown in the food & that’s really true.

Any way, Iranian foods are so different from western ones. It takes much more time to cook them & the smell is sharp. (You can smell a food Like Gormesabzi from a far distance.) They are really delicious but there are tricks to cook them correctly. & the same food may be cooked in different styles in different regions of my country.

My favorite one: of course Gormesabzi! It’s a kind of stew we eat with rice. The stew consists of herbs (including leek, French marigold & fenugreek) meat chops & kidney beans. It smells wonderful. If I had to choose just one kind of food Gormesabzi would be my choice. Tehranian Gormesabzi is green & the liquid part is somehow serrated one may say. The meat chops may contain bones too. But my dad likes the herbs to be fried until they turn blackish green & we use more beans. Our stew is more solid & meat chops doesn’t consist of bones. This is the only food we don’t cook in tehranian way.
The next stew is Geymeh. It’s a light brown stew consisted of cotyledons, small meat chops, kind of lime & of course tomato extract. Cooking it is easier & when you want to serve a lot of people it’s a good choice. I’ve never met any one who didn’t like this stew. Well, I like it but it won’t be my first choice.
Fesenjoon is the next stew. I don’t like it at all! It has nut, onion & meat balls. Though you may use meat, chicken or turkey chops instead. It’s a dark brown stew & in official ceremonies you find it as an important course. God knows I can’t eat it! So many people just love this food. You may like to have it sweetened with sugar or have it sour.

Rice is a main food here. But it is cooked in special ways, not like Indians or Far-easterners. We eat plain rice which may be called POLO or CHELO or KATE, depending on how you cook it.

There are some kind of mixed- rice. I mean they are POLOS mixed with other kind of herb, vegetables, and meats and….. BAGHALI POLO is one of them which is mixed with broad beans & served with meat chops or chicken. LOBIYA POLO is my favorite mixed food. It has string beans & small meat chops. AADAS POLO is another one I don’t like much. It has lentil; & is often served with a dressing made of small plums/raisins grinned meat & onion.

Still, there is a food I haven’t told you about! It’s KABAB! If you get in one of these Iranian restaurants you find too many kind of it! It’s, let’s say, our official food! You may call it barbeque. Yet it’s different from the ones you have over there. Try it once & you never forget the taste.

There are so many kinds of food I haven’t talked about. Like the soups, ASH, ABGOOSHT. You see, I can’t tell you all about it! But I promise if you ever wanted to come over here, I can show you how they taste!


Wednesday 6th August
Yesterday was spent riding, all day long riding. Yet I don’t feel tired at all! The road was so spectacular, I thought it would lead to heaven (which unfortunately doesn’t). We set off in the morning to KHALKHAL, where my young cousin was taken to hospital for food poisoning. In my opinion it could be E.COLI or Salmonella; he had eaten too much of the ASH-DOOGH (kind of Iranian soup) I guess. Any way, he feels much better right now. But the injection made him asleep & he missed the views!
The road between KHLKHAL & ASTARA is a mountain-road surrounded by frost. & some gypsies are living there. Parts of the road are near the farms & since you’re looking at them from above, they look like hand-made quilts, different colors, and different shapes. The whole surrounding was like it had been sketched & painted by hands of a professional painter. I wish I could stay the rest of my day there just going up & down the road, appreciating the Divine beauty. & if it was ever possible to stop the time passing by, I would have cut those moments, make them eternal! We stopped in a misty hill to have something for lunch. One feels she can get lost in the forest & explore the mysteries forever.
Enough! I wish I could post the film my cousin had taken from the road. Then you would understand what I’m talking about. As we were on the peak, my aunt said something that is carved in my memory: “up here I feel closer to God.” This is really true. Beholding the harmony that exists in the nature makes you believe in some kind of power in it; you may call it fate, Mother Nature or… but I like to call it God.
In the evening we left the misty forest & got to the seaside. It seems to me that no Divine feeling can stand the hot humidity of the Caspian seaside! You see, when you can not breathe, thinking gets impossible. & I can’t breathe in humid weather. So I really don’t like the bay. & I won’t go swimming like others. Actually we are at the seaside & I’m staying in shade & others have gone to the protected areas to swim…. & they will be back as brown as a berry.
We’ll be home tonight; this is the only thing I can fix my mind on right now. How do I long to sleep in my bed, hugging my doll! My, I forgot, I’ve bought a light yellow dog-doll yesterday & I called it stupid! It looks rather bewildered & foolish! My sister had picked it for me…. That’s all!

saga 3

Monday 4th August
Hadn’t been writing for 3 days! & the last 2 days was great! Some times people surprise you with their potential power to delight others…. Anyway, Saturday was bank holiday & we decided to go to BABAK’s Castle, a very beautiful hillside (is the word correct?), 200 km from Tabriz. My right leg was hurting so much (still I have trouble walking & I keep putting off my appointment with doctor!). I thought the pain would fade away as time goes by, but it didn’t. & by the time we got to the place, it was aching so much I couldn’t even walk! Guess I shouldn’t have run on the hills the previous day. I climbed down to the place others had settled themselves in, but it was rather cold & desolately I climbed back up to the car. Not long had passed when my Tabrizian friend (my cousin’s cousin, the same age as me) joined me in the car. I was totally depressed & you feel it from the previous post. & here he came to me, sitting there, we talked for hours…. Actually he made my day but I don’t think he himself had good time with me nagging.
It had been a very cool talk. There was kind of misunderstanding in our relationship & we had drifted apart & the distance makes it rather hard to overcome. Sometimes you know something is wrong but you can’t stop it! He had changed & me too; so we surprised each other a lot.
In the evening, he suggested we would go up to castle by car. The castle is located on the peak of mount & you have to drive to a hotel up on the road & there are 1000-something steps waiting for you to get in to the castle. (Not a surprise how BABAK has been fighting in it for 10 years!) To tell ya the truth, I like the idea so much I ignored my hurting feet! However my friend’s brothers had gone up there by another car & had taken our car’s key with them! So the plan dumped :P. (we went up to hotel later with others.) it was 1o’clock when finally we got back home & we were to set off early in the morning to Astara; that meant we wouldn’t come back to Tabriz again!
Guess what the next day nobody really wanted to hit the road. We had enjoyed ourselves so much; it didn’t seem fair to leave the FRIENDS in Tabriz! We spent the morning packing but in the afternoon Maragheh (a town 100 km south Tabriz) was where we ended up! Folks went shopping in bazaar. I had this feeling that our group was kind of freak there! The idea of us being aliens was a popular one there, I may say! We had dinner in the town & went back to Tabriz to spend our last night there. I don’t think anybody had slept last night. We were up till tow in the morning & I could hear whispers before I fell asleep at 5 am.
Today at last we set off & left the friend behind. We’re staying the night in SA’REIN, a town with natural warm springs. I never really liked water (don’t be upset about me TIK). So the town is rather boring & I keep missing these friends of ours. Mom just called them & they were out to a party…. No more complaining; I’ll be home in 2 days & they will come to visit us in September.

saga 2

Friday 1st August
We went to Marand a town in west side of Iran. Late last night we decide we would hire a bus to take us all there. So we had to wake up really early this morning to catch bus at 6:30; but we waited for some friends to join us till 8:30. Then we move out of town; the driver was an angry guy, I can tell you. He told us not play music instruments in the bus. But who cares! Some friends had brought SETAR (kind of string music instrument) & TONBAK (percussion). & they played some Turkish songs. It was perfect. We had brunch in a remote area. Going up on a hill by bus, we had a 10- minute walk to a small spring. The weather was so beautiful & everything was so calm. (I’m sure you would have loved the place grandpa!) We stayed for a while enjoying ourselves, listening to good music… at least we set off to Marand. There we had a minor problem with the bus, so we head back to Tabriz.
Sitting in the yard, I’m trying t tell ya how I feel. Still there is something wrong; I don’t know what it is. Anyway, I try to make myself at home. I’ve talked with Ava this very morning, yet I miss her. I miss Tehran & my bedroom. I have not been adapted. It seems I can communicate with even my close relatives. When I look back at the days I had been 16 & I was here in Tabriz; seems like ages had passed by without me noticing it. The whole town had changed & I have changed too. Guess I am homesick! ;) What I really long for is a company of some one who would understand my morals…. What bless is to have a friend to talk to & a home to return!

my journey sagas 1

Thursday 31st July
Well, the journey wasn’t really supposed to be like that! We had headed straight to Tabriz! & lets-play-it-by-ear journeys are not my cup of tea! Any way we set off at 5:30 am. & there is these 3 days of bank holiday; so too many people had actually hit the road, mostly heading north to seaside. It was really strange to see the highway jammed with cars at that time of the morning! As we moved to the west, crowd disappeared.
I really didn’t feel ok about the journey, however, little by little, with the Westlife song “miss you nights” the sun started shining! I wish the road would never end! Tabriz … is a completely different city. Sometimes you feel you’ve walked in another country. People speak Turkish & I don’t even know a word! I feel rather like a stranger here, sort of overlooked. Speaking Persian is weird here & you are treated like a nice guest who would never be part of the society; if you know what I mean. Not all the people are like that; still the atmosphere seems rather unfriendly! But I dare say I like Tabriz more than Isfehan. (You may have heard about this town….) We are staying with some acquaintances over here. And this bunch of 20 humans will have fun together!


Tuesday, July 22, 2003
I hate shopping! If you ever wanted to hurt me, make me do shopping. The only thing I like to buy is book. You know I rather die than to go shopping, talking to sell assistants, and asking about something &…. I always make a fool of myself doing them! Anyway, it’s an important part of living. I have no idea how on earth the shopping habits could be different from one society to another. & I consider it rather personal than social. (I have a totally different shopping habit than the rest of my family.)
Buying clothes is the worst part of shopping. I hate trying on dresses in shops & it is impossible for me to find the right suit & sometimes it gets on my nerve when sellers try to advise me about some rubbish ones. I don’t care about my looks, thereby most of the time I’m wearing the same old cloths that I have; yet I really like colors to go with each other. My mother does the shopping for me all the time & I’m satisfied with it as long as it doesn’t mean I have to try them on! ………. When I go shopping, I rather know the exact brand, mark & etc. this way there would be less chaos & finding the right one is easier. My folks like to go window-shopping. I mean it’s a kind of hobby. You go window shopping & you have fun! So most of the time it’s considered a good refreshing act.
Where to shop? It depends on how much you want to spend & what you want to buy! There are cool shop centers where you can discover so many beautiful things but the price is so high you rather watching than buying! The point is you can go to GOLESTAN shop center, just to have fun. (Although I found very nice things at very low price there! But that’s a secret how!) You can find almost everything there & if you feel like it, you can have something at on of the cafés there. Some folks date out there & the street “IRANZAMIN” is one of the most famous ones for joyriding.
Another shop center is GHAEM! It’s not a bad one but I find it a rather boring place. It gives me an unfriendly feeling; yet if you’re looking for weird kind of things, tries it. I forget “SAFAVIEH”, though it’s smaller than the others, there you may find really cool stuff (especially “dating stuffs”)
Well, there are some areas where you can go for shopping too, like MOHSENI square, VANAK square, VALIASR Avenue & bazaar for sure. The price is lower relatively. I like shopping in VANAk; maybe because I can get there in 10 minutes from home. But it also got an inviting environment. (Well, these days it becomes so crowded; & I don’t feel like going there anymore.) I used to go to a café there, but it was closed. On VALIASR you may find some cheap stuff & some rather expensive ones.
Bazaar is the main marketing place in Tehran. It’s been said that most of the purchases happen there. Yet it still has a rather traditional look! You may walk in one of these old dark chambers & find someone purchasing via internet! It is located in south part of Tehran on a large area. & the architecture plans are so complicated, you feel like you’re trapped in a maze. I’ve been there just 2 or 3 times, & I assure you I may have got lost if Katharine had been around! But there’s this “SHARAF O ESLAM” restaurant which is also called “ISLAMI”. (it got nothing to do with Islam, it’s the name of the owner.) I have had a very delicious CHELO KABAB there. What’s CHELO KABAB? Wait until I write about Iranian foods!

These are words of a blind guy, talking to his bird. How do you feel about it?

Sunday, July 20
What’s that in your voice makes me turn to you? What’s that makes me hypnotized, not knowing what to do? Make me feel like holding you close, giving away everything to hear your laughter chimes around me. Tell me what fills the air when you’re near; how do you shake my heart caressing my hand. Don’t tell me anyone else could do it! I’m not buying that. Call out my name; the rhythm is saying so much. & don’t run; it’s here; it’s me!


July 16
The last post was terrible. My daily life during last 2 weeks was very hectic. I thought “the exams are over” & so peace & comfort is here. Conversely there’s no rest for me…. I AM RESTLESS! I have been out almost everyday, & still I haven’t done what was planned. I have to go shopping (which I hate!), set an appointment with my physiotherapist (my leg still hurts & I can’t go jogging…), meet some of my high school friends (I miss them so), & plan for studying my M.S. exam…….. The point is I hadn’t done anything useful all this time. & my plans for Graduation Ceremony are totally changed due to the financial problem I mentioned before. More than 60 students were supposed to join up for the ceremony & there are only 48 names on registry list. Most of our friend took the ceremony for granted. They just throw ideas at us & then leave us helpless. What’s more they think it’s their right to go around saying we’re doing a mess, as though we’re not trying our best. But right now I’m feeling ok with anything that may come around, the comments really cheer me up & writing helps me to overcome every misfortune. Hey, my dad just brought me a mug of cold banana milkshake! Life is wonderful!

What is love?

Tuesday, July 15
Really what is it? I would never be able to tell you, ‘cos I’ve never been in love. & I don’t know anyone who really is capable of loving me….
I received this email about kids who define love & there are lots of nice words, still I can’t figure out what love is. Sometimes I can’t even tolerate my intimate ones, so how can I love some one I don’t know? It’s silly. I love human beings but that’s not “love” if you know what I mean. …. The matter has always been sort of taboo for me, a border I never step out of. The more I think about it, the more I understand that love is something I can’t get near to. People tend to run away when they get to close to me, because they are hurt. Even my close friends can’t bear me for a long time. On the other hand, I myself can’t start a relation & if any one does that, he/she would be turned down! What’s more I tend to give more in beginning, and then I start demanding more & more. Most people cease their friendship there….
A friend once told me that it’s about me not giving others the chance to love me! How can I give anybody a chance when there is no demand for it? By the way, as I tell others about my bad temper; those who know me a little don’t believe it! Like I don’t know myself. However as I reveal the characteristics they’ve been told about, I’m accused of being deceitful….
Strange, yet true; I’m not capable of loving & being loved…


Wednesday, July 9, 2003
Well, Mat is writing a Persian blog. I am dieing to know what he is writing about! Actually the blog idea was his. We were talking about it for some time. & now that we have more free time I push him to start bloging…. He is a good writer & I’m sure he can do it………
Blogs in Iran & in Persian are much different from these ones we have here. Most of bloggers are teenagers, so energetic & they write about almost anything… like their daily life, Politics, movies, even computer training, & ….
Persian is the 4th language blogs are written in. it’s amazing to read the blogs. Different tastes, different points of view but still they got something in common. They try to express themselves to prove they are alive, they exist. Over here in M-blog we have a rather closed group of readers; only those who write here check other blogs (or those who know about a special blog). It is cool somehow. & has some advantages like I’m sure some people will never find my blog! But tow main blog space providers in Persian (blogsky & persianblog) are often searched by non-bloggers or better to say blog readers….
Blogspot as a known blog provider is hosting lots of Persian blogs too. & recently persianlog is joining other providers…. Most of blogs have these links to other similar or non-similar blogs, so sometimes I start checking a blog & end up finding new blogs better than the first one. Unfortunately, most bloggers don’t update the blogs regularly which means you have to check in once in while. I myself check more than 30 blogs. Some are my M-blog friends; some are other English Iranian blogs & some Persian ones. Guess what? I think I’m addicted doing that!

More about books:

Saturday, July 5,
I declare I am a bookworm. Any readable thing appeals to me. Sometimes I pick up a book & start reading it then when I put it down, I find out some hours had past & I don’t even notice it.

Right now I’m reading 3 books together & I think they will be finished by Saturday night. The first is “Catcher in the Rye” by Salinger. I have read it before by another translator. I quite liked it. The other one is “la palais des solitudes”. It’s been written by Soraya Esfandiyari Bakhtiyari, ex-queen of Iran. The book is written in French & I’m reading the translation. (Though it’s not a good one.) The book is an autobiography & some historical events misinterpreted but it sure worth reading. The last one is a book about Persian myths “Persian Mythology” by Hinnells. I love to know about my ancestors. It’s amazing reading about the myths…. I mean almost everybody know about Roman or Greek myths but no one knows about ours. Even most Iranians don’t know anything about MEHR or EMSHASPANDAN or things like that. All they know is about SHAHNAME & the myths mentioned there….

Do you think I have “flight of idea”? It’s said that changing subjects is a symptom of the disease!

There is some point I don’t understand. People keep wondering how I can handle too many different subjects! & I keep wondering why they can’t. It’s really simple I have different interests so … the books are dissimilar.

Reading books is like a revere. I get lost in the books… finding myself as a character of them. I remember by the end of “Harry Potter & Goblet of Fire”, I closed the book & sit straight in my bed wondering why every thing is normal. You know it was 3 a.m. & silent was the only thing I could hear. Guess what? I sat there for half an hour trying to understand why there hasn’t been an earthquake or something. You see I expected everything to be upside down, since the dark lord had found his power back!

My favorite place for reading? Sure it’s my bed. I love to lie down on my bed & put one of those big cushions under my head & read the whole day. But I can almost read everywhere else. I used to take books to bath. (I’m not kidding!)

Summers in Tehran:

Friday, July 4, 2003
At last summer holidays are here! Though I still don’t feel the summer….summer is a bit drowsy over here. The heat makes you feel sleepy in the afternoon & usually people prefer to stay home & enjoy air condition fans.

When I was younger summers was really HOLY days. You know right after my last exam, I would go to warehouse (in the basement of the building) & bring all my toys to the house. As a child I used to have a lot of toys so at school time in order to make room for my books & notes, the toys would be packed in warehouse. Only some of my favorites were kept…. It was wonderful to have them back; the whole next week would be spent cleaning, putting, and repairing the toys. The result was a complete change in my room’s look. This was the beginning of a 3-month holyday….
We used to wake up at 9, I’d rather stay in my bed for a while daydreaming then I would have something & most of the days I had these classes like English conversation classes, swimming, dancing &… so I would attend them. (It was really fun!) In the afternoon, nap was an obligation… although I never took a nap in the afternoons. I would wait till my granny (who took care of us as my mother was away on work) fell asleep; then I would start playing roles, dreaming. In these dreams I used to be an explorer finding new lands, a witch practicing magic, a rocket scientist, a shop keeper, a gypsy, a princess, and almost everything else…. In the evenings we used to play cards with my parents. Or we would simply go downstairs to parking & the yard to ride bikes, play hide & seek & etc.

The best part of the summer was the books. I carried them everywhere with me. It didn’t make a difference to me, I was reading books all the time…. Philosophy, novels, and scientific fictions &…. You know people here don’t read much I mean the kid just have these study books. Our culture is rather verbal, so people rather hearing thing than reading. I was a totally freak then, better to say a nerd! Books were the main reason I found Katherine….

Things have changed since I was a child. 10 years ago war was nearly over & everybody was trying to build a better life for their children. Now we are settled somehow & well, I have grown for sure. So the summers are too different… during university time I had summer classes; most of them were labs. & God knows they were demanding & kept me connected to school… summers didn’t mean summer like that. Summer jobs are not common in Iran. Just students with financial problems or those who have year-round jobs work. Folks don’t like their children to be working over here…. I myself love to have a summer job but one can’t find a proper, suitable job for summers. Well, I wish I could find a job in a book shop! Then I could read all the time & I could be lost in books forever.

Forget about it. Sun is shining & if you feel like a seaside it’s time to be packing! Ava’s back again…. She sure enjoys seaside… & I will meet her soon! Strange; I miss her like she hadn’t been around for a year but it’s just a week!

bach from exams...

Wednesday, July 2, 2003
So the exams are over. It means that I had my last B.Sc. exams…. Rather sad because I had very good time studying with my friends… also it means that I step in a new era of life. Strange; I don’t feel I have changed! & the only thing I’m thinking of is the long summer holiday & God knows I deserve it. Although I haven’t been studying much but this last semester seems longer than any other one…. My; the very last exam (Food Storage) was pushing on the edge. The professor is a really good one, but when it comes to grades, he seems rather tightfisted. ;) I had other courses with him & to tell you the truth I’ve never got good marks! This exam was completely different. (Maybe because I know the way his questions are.) It was a very cool, easy exam. Actually I wonder why I knew every question’s answer! So I hope I would get an A or at least B+.
The next project in my life is Graduation Ceremony which is going to be held at September 4th. Most of the band members will be graduated the same day & well, we are in charge of the ceremony. (Actually I’m not in charge; but Ava is & also Mat & Mr. President are too. I would only be a helping hand if they need one.) The point is we really don’t know how this ceremony should be held…. I mean we’re looking for others opinion. Any body out there has any idea? Will you let me know how your graduation day was? At least it will give us a rough scheme to start…. Tell ya a secret? I missed writing & I miss you all. :)


Wednesday, July 2, 2003
Let’s start the story like this: Sunday afternoon we had Quran exam. I mean me, Mat & Pat. I had not seen mat for 2 weeks although we were talking on phone. (I have seen almost everybody else.) & that would be the last time we would meet as students in school, so when I went in the school café I suddenly had this rush of emotion for him…. I could not believe I would be missing someone this much. He had this five o’clock shadow, & it really goes with him. As I was standing there; it came to me that whatever may be around the corner, I want to save the band’s friendship & unity. If I could, I would set the band like this forever not letting them to change. (Am I selfish?)
I know that we have changed, & the conditions have too. At the same time I’m sure of one thing; the friendship is forever. However, the guys will get married & maybe their wives would not like us to be around! Or visa versa. But certainly I will always consider Mat as a very nice, reliable brother. You know there are things one may only tell a brother like secrets; & there are times one need a good brotherly advice or a helping hand. I will turn to Mat for them. & sometimes there are things you hide from a brother but Mat has this advantage you can tell him what you want. Hey! Don’t you think I’m flattering him a bit? God knows, I miss Ava as well. Haven’t seen her since last Thursday, but it seems ages had passed. She is away on vacation right now. (Her last exam was on Thursday.) Isn’t it funny how I get used to people? Ava, Mat, The poetess and you.

last wedensday

Thursday, June 19, 2003
I find this part of my dairy quite interesting & so I decide to share it with you. It is about 10th & 11th of June…
We had been to a birthday party on the night of demonstration. (I mean we gathered in a restaurant to celebrate a friend, Sapphire, birthday.) Actually it was getting late when we get home & as soon as I walked in I heard my father’s radio (BBC), which was reporting the so called protest. I can tell you I was totally shocked because most of my friends had been to a concert (by Mr. President) in Tehran University & no one was saying anything on the party. I thought it must have been a minor demonstration. But then next morning every body was talking about it…. Wednesday was a very hectic day for me. I had class since 8 in the morning till 6 in the evening & meanwhile I had to go to stationeries to get my project typed. So, you see, I headed to school in the morning, attend one of my classes; then me & Ava take taxi to stationary to do the project thing. (I missed my next class due to that.) Then I had to get back to school on my own ‘cos Ava was going home. Back in school I was told that my “nut” professor had gone & I had to hand in my paper on Saturday which meant I could miss 2 points. Then I desperately went upstairs to his room just to leave a message, & to my surprise I found him there…. So I handed in the paper. Guess what it was 12 & I thought well, I would have time to have a sandwich; what a dream! I was reminded that there had been another class to attend. That means I missed lunch… at 1:30 I went through an oral exam & right after that I had another class; so when at last I got home I was to tiered to listen to radio or else…. All through the day I had been chatting about demonstrations & reasons behind it; I’ve argued with almost every body, then as I was lying there on my bed I understand that I was part of the demonstration without intending to. I spread the news & it came to me that I can’t run from it. So in the middle of the night I got up & turned on the radio…. You know what I heard some Iranians were chanting & somebody was saying we’re coming to Iran. Go on, protest! Today our country needs you. Move! … What would you think if you heard that? These people stay away & order us to sacrifice! That was the point.

studying is a hard job

Thursday, June 19, 2003
It seems that I can’t study at all. I mean it’s getting harder to concentrate for me; although I used to do 3-4 jobs at the same time (like listening to music, reading, talking on phone, and counting &…. Now I can’t do that. Studying has been my favorite hobby for the past 16 years so I really can’t see why this thing is happening to me.
Well, it’s not about grades I worry. (I’ve got A for my project!) It’s the mood.
Some university exams have been postponed till September due to the demonstrations but not ours. Most of the dormitories of Tehran’s universities are going to be evacuated in order to prevent more demonstrations for 18 TIR (9 July). I can’t see why some students try to put off the exams. ‘Cos this way controlling them becomes much easier & there would be no reason for demonstration at all.
…. Forget about it! I always go down when there are exams ahead. This morning Ava had told me that Teddy is not attending the demonstrations. It’s a very good news for me; he always been rather daring in this situations so I feared he might hurt himself. I have not heard about Mr. President since last Thursday, & I was wondering if he has been out to protest or not. If he was I would have known, so I hope he wasn’t. This tow is our most political friends.

other realigens

Tuesday, June 17, 2003
I guess it’s time to write about other realigns in Iran. Actually I was wondering what it is all about that people think we don’t have Jews over here? There is a point in Islam which says we must believe in all the other profits like Moses & Jesse, so practicing their realign is legal. We even have parliament members who have other realign. I, myself, had Jewish friends when I was in elementary school. & in application forms you have this option of announcing your realign & you can choose Jew, Christian, Zardoshti & other. Although I gathered that it’s different if someone is Buddhist; ‘cos Islam doesn’t agree with sculptures worship as Gods; so it would be rather hard to claim someone is Buddhist. Anyway one can practice it without claiming to. No one have the right to inquire after the way you living until you, yourself show it & interrupt others right …
Christians have a special stadium here which Moslems can’t enter. & they attend their own churches & if they want they can attend their own schools. In our schools we have realign study & other realigns have their own classes & they have their own exams. We have these NAHAYEE high school exams, which are sort of countywide exams for special grades, and all of the students attend one school in one reign (although they study in different high schools) & I had to attend MARY MANOKIAN high school that belongs to Christians. These schools allow Moslems to enroll…. You see I tried to show what I already knew of the matter & I still search for more information. I called my Christian & Jewish friends to ask them to write something about their life but unfortunately its exam time & they well said they have to study. So as soon as any of them deliver it, I will put it here (without change).
My, I think I shall go back studying. Cross your fingers for me tomorrow I will defend my project & I just feel like an A- grade! ;)

we have demonstration!

So I am back! But it’s exam time over here & I HAVE to study if I ever want to graduate this term…. Well, things are getting rather nasty over here. We had this demonstration thing before you may have heard of it, huh? They say people are dancing & saying things against the regime, well I know for sure that these things are true but I’m not sure that anybody got shot down although there are numbers of arresting so far …. Anyway governor tries to close universities for vacation before 9 July (which is the day we had another protest 4 years ago.) so students don’t really know what may come their way. Right now no one really knows what’s going on; I mean it’s just rumors about the whole thing; so I may let you know more if I find more accurate news! ;) Don’t worry if I won’t write in few next week… the exams are here, besides my project gets more demanding each day so I don’t have time even to turn on my computer, updating weblog! No way!:) Something else I may move to a new blog ‘cos I’m afraid I can’t pay m-blog. You see it’s not possible for me to find a way to send the money! Strange? It’s due to economic restrictions in my country. Enough now I’ve got to get back to work.:( Cross your fingers for me.

A typical day in Tehran

Well, I can’t say it’s typical, but it’s what we actually do: my mom usually gets up at 5:30. She works as an accountant in a company out of Tehran so she has to wake up early… (I adore my mom; she is hardworking & she manage everything really coolly. However I used to nag at her for being married to her job! I. L.U. Mom!) She comes in my room to get dressed ’cos we share the closet & so every day I wake up to say goodbye to her. Then if my class wouldn’t be at 8, I will go back to sleep…. I love this part of my day! Sleeping is my favorite hobby. I usually get up at 8 (or 9 sometimes.) & I have breakfast alone… my dad takes my sister to school (he takes me too when I get class at 8…) & he comes back home, park the car & he walks 30 minutes to his office. He is financial Manager. I would do the house work if there would be no class & being left by myself I usually listen to music… Chris de Burgh, George Michael, Elton John, etc I also listen to BSB, Westlife & recently Eminem (I fell for 8 mile music, the movie was great!) me & my dearest sister frequently have lunch together. I wait till she comes home & we’ll have something… I don’t like to have lunch by myself so if no one’s around, there would be no lunch. Then we may watch TV & chat over the day till 5 when my parents show up. We have dinner around 7. It’s the most important meal in my family; we try not to miss it. It’s at dinner’s table where we talk, we decide the important things, and we share our day experience at the table. That’s perfect. Sitting there with my family I feel that I’m very blessed, very much loved. Just sitting there can heal every pain, can solve any problem, like there is magic…. It’s a miracle to have such family. I usually study after dinner or better to say I do the paper works & I occupy myself with the computer... till I got tired & go to bed….
If I would have classes at campus, well, the day is totally different… I will take taxi to Faculty (I told you that my leg is twisted.) being in time, is a good habit of mine. When you get to the class in time, you have time to chat with others & you’ll be informed of anything that happens… you may even find time to sit over an orange juice to discuss its ingredients! Attending the class could be very interesting if the Professor teaches nicely, but it could turn to a complete catastrophe sometimes…. I consider myself a good student; well I have been what you can call a Straight- A-student. That’s not all, the band do a lot of extracurricular activities. We have a gathering named food engineers 78. (We entered university in 1378 year HEJRI SHAMSI) & we’re planning the graduation ceremony right now…. (Isn’t it great to be graduated?) So we have a lot to do. There are always band members around when I go to school, although I don’t have any class with them; so I’m not alone. & that’s very cool! We are famous in school & almost everyone knows us. To tell you the truth I’ve heard a lot of gossip about the band… like it’s been said that the poetess & Mat are dating & so…
We spend the time between classes in the school café. We sit there & plan our days. I can tell you what happens when tow of us take a sit there, others comes & join us & little by little the table would be surrounded by friends; God knows we tend to speak loudly so almost every one can hear us talking…. That makes us different from others; they tend to be secret & quite. As far as I can say none of us gives a penny to what others do & say…. We’ve got our own way & we’re following our dreams… so what’s the big deal.
Right now that I was typing, suddenly it came to me that I will miss the united band we have when we graduate. I mean we will be seeing each other but it would be completely different. That’s very sad, you loose the friendship & intimacy; forget about it! I’m here to have good time! CARPE DIEM!


I think there’s a tendency to the idea that Iranians are barber & that they are all terrorists! Or they are all so poor they can’t even feed their children! & I guess most people think time has stopped over here since 25 years ago (when the revolution happened); maybe time even moves back like we travel in time!
You know the image could be so misleading. But we are in a transition era, we’re moving to Modernism. I admit that there are some difficulties; as you say no pain no gain, we’re going at our own pace & pushing forward is no good at all.
The image of Iranian all over the world is based on what media show… & some Iranian artists help the image! Namely, our modern movie makers just show poverty & pain like there’s no happiness here. I don’t want to overlook the value of artistic idea & impression in those films, but the fact remains that they ruin the image of my country. I wish you could see movies about our history or the real state of my country….
We have the oil, (though I wish we didn’t have it sometimes.) & so world needs us to feed the factories & to be running … but instead of treating us respectfully, we’re accused of being terrorist & it’s not just about the governor Iranians are treated like that too. Why?
I mean if you ever come to Iran, to Persia, you see people are so welcoming. They’re warm & loving. I assure you we are civilized too. & we enjoy modern facilities. It’s common here to use cell phones & computers are becoming a must. The fact that economic prohibition (Americans or any business client shall not by any means deal with Iranians or they can not invest in Iran) keeps of from having so many things doesn’t mean we’re starving! I’m not saying that the economic situation is great, but I’m not saying that it is drowning either.
Once I was told that Tehran’s water is the tastiest you can drink, I thought it was a joke but that’s very true… there is something in it you won’t forget. You’re laughing, huh? But I do believe in that!
Maybe you think I’m prejudiced or that’s only my loyalty & devotion to my country, anyway I’m in it & I have the chance too look it inside out! I mostly try to show you what I am as a girl & as a student in Tehran. I don’t know what others do or what they may say… I know there are some of my country mates who don’t believe in this regime or else, & they have moved out of Iran. I do respect them but they are not a very reliable source to learn about us. (I don’t mean your very nice friend Thingsiknow.) They’re looking at the matter from outside & most of them tend to judge unfair. You might have been told that in Iran people could be arrested for no reason at all, but have you ever told that it’s safe to stay out till midnight? Have anyone ever told you that Tehran doesn’t sleep; that you may wake up in the middle of the night & hear the laughers & cheering of party gusts who just want to get back home? Life is like that! It’s like anywhere else. We have joy, we have pain, good days or bad ones & you can choose to keep the nice memories or visa versa. I try to enjoy my life & keep the fine ones….


Well, when we settle down at last, it was time for lunch. We had chicken sliced for us, so the only thing to do was to barbecue them… (We call this food JOOJEHKABAB which means chicken barbecue in English.) The guys start cooking while the girls make other things ready.
Lollypop & Mr. President did most of the cooking & Teddy helped them too. It must have been very delicious, but to be honest I didn’t feel anything when I was eating! ‘Cos Teddy & Mr. President kept telling stories about dirty way of eating & they wanted to make me sick like that. (I’m the hygienist in the band!) These 2 guys are at odds with each other but when it comes to making fun of others, God, they make a united party….
Hadn’t I told you that Pat had music class that day? Well, he wanted to leave as soon as possible, I offered him to pay for the class if he would stay longer but he rejected it…. (However he could not manage to get to the class that day.) As the lunch was over, I guess the Poetess started AB BAZI. (It’s a kind of game; I didn’t know what you may call it in English, the rule is you have to soak others with water until they would be dripping….) I always hated this part of picnics, you know, being soaked is the last thing I want in my life! They didn’t pour water on me ‘cos I couldn’t escape! (One must not be drenched to claim she was the best.) Any way they went on playing, meanwhile Mr. President picked a bottle, filled it with dirty water, mud, drinks &… so no one had the chance to pour water on him! (He threatened us to pour the bottle on anyone who soaks him!) I gathered that Ava was the one who soaked the most & that’s because the Poetess betrayed her! She took Ava to waterfall to pour water on Teddy I guess, but then she & Pat started pushing her through water… I could hear her shouting: Help me! Help me Teddy! Then Teddy told her that he was going to help; he took her up & put her right through the water!!! She was dripping when she comes down. I wonder how come she didn’t catch cold!
Although he missed the class, Pat heads home as soon as we gave the poetess her gifts. He didn’t even wait to have the cake! (That was really strange though.) Mr. President & Lollypop went away with him. As a matter of fact we didn’t feel like getting back so we sat ourselves down over tea & cake & we played cards till it was I think, 5:30… it was getting late so we packed up & drove back to town! Mat dropped Mooshi & the Southerner in one of the main squares of Tehran; & we went to a carwash. I think it was 8’oclock or so when at last I got home! The day was great, but left us so exhausted that when we were offered a trip to KASHAN (a city in the middle of Iran which is famous for it’s Rose Water) to watch GOLABGIRI (making of rose water, the roses are picked up & they’re be boiled to extract the essence), we refused!
well the picnic story is over so you see what we do to have fun!


Tehran usually got dry weather! Most of the time the sun is shining & since April 21st, which falls on “Ordibehesht” in Persian calendar, the air is getting warm & in June it becomes sizzling! Well, for this year (our New Year starts at March 21) we had plenty of surprising rains… I mean I can’t remember that it would rain continually for more than 8 hours in May. The weather is really fine & you can go walking without being concerned about air pollution. I guess I would go out of town to enjoy nice weather. The only problem is I have my leg in plaster cast. My leg is twisted …& it had been in plaster for more than a month but its ok with me! I even went to picnic like this…
Thingsiknow asked me what we’re doing here… so I will write about this very picnic I mentioned. By the way you know what days are weekends in Iran? Over here Thursdays & Fridays are weekends!
I have class on Saturdays, Sundays, Wednesdays & Thursdays.
One Tuesday, which is in the middle of the week & so every body’s at work, we set off to a picnic outside of Tehran in AFJEH. It was about 8 when Mat picked me up at my door. (‘Cos my leg was like that he come up to our flat & took my packed things to his car.) He’s got a grayish black Pride (which is a car brand if you don’t know). We waited in front of the buildingfor a while for Mooshi to show up. & as she appeared we got in the car & went to pick another friend up (who I may call southerner.) we called Ava to remind her to buy soft drinks & drove to the place we was to meet others. Lollypop was next to join us. He didn’t take his car so he joined Pat when he arrived. (Pat’s car is a white Opel CORSA.) Mr. President was with him, too. I guess I forgot to tell you that it was the Poetess birthday gathering. She, Ava & the Poetesses’ sister were with Teddy. (He’s got a black Patrol.) They were late & their cell phones were unreachable! At last when they showed up, we got that the delay was due to soft drinks they were to buy…
We started the trip at 9:30 I think. At first we wanted to go to ABNIK where there is a Plato & I could sit & get there easily, when we were passing the guard of town Pat waved them good bye & they thought we knew them somehow. I was very delighted, we were like a family going to picnics & every thing was so calm & we’ve had really good time.
Mat drives very fast but he drove carefully (‘cos we were 3 girls in his car who may scream! Just kidding!) Pat is a careful driver, & he drives stylishly; though he was so slow that day. We pulled aside some time in order to buy stuff & it was about 10:30 or so when we got to ABNIK… God! The road was blocked by stones ‘cos of flood so we had to drive back & find another place…
In the car, we mostly talked about Men & Women & traditional Iranian way of thinking like we were in a class.
Meanwhile we stopped some where to check if I could get there… it was rather steep so I thought we might find better place! So Teddy decided we could go to AFJEH were he knew some place there… the place was well, to be honest, rather difficult to climb! At first I get off the Pride & Ava drove me in Patrol a bit higher…, and then I had to get off again & climb myself. Did I ever tell ya how proud I am? I didn’t let anyone to help me so I climbed the first part without help then I had to cross a narrow pond of water where a short waterfall was falling & to make it perfect I should go down again to a flat area where we could sit. It was the hardest part; even if I hadn’t my leg in plaster, I couldn’t do it… so Mr. President went down first & Pat heads down with his face to me, in order to catch me if I fell… (Mr.Persident was taking care of him.) I don’t know how I got there at last but if I’d fallen, all three of us would get hurt…
to be continued