I will soon be able to resurrect my other Blog “Persian Posts” as we have now booked our tickets for our next visit to Iran. This time we are taking William with us and I am relieved that his Visa came through just this week so we can plan properly.
It will be an amazing experience for him especially as it is his first time in Iran but we will try and prepare him as best we can. Of course, nothing can prepare him fully for the different culture, food, weather, family, customs etc but there are certain things we do need to go through with him before we land in Esfahan.
William is looking forward to his trip, as am I, and I hope he loves the country and its people as much as I do. There are not many Western boys of his age that get this opportunity and we will try and show him as much of the country as is possible in the 3 weeks we are there and in temperatures up into the 90’s.
The good thing is that Feri’s nephew is exactly the same age and they will be housed together on the self-contained second floor-God help us! I have packed a spare English-Farsi vocabulary book so here’s hoping they manage to communicate! We will be there during the World Cup and as both love football I am sure that we will witness the evidence that football is a truly global language!
In the meantime, Will has his A Level exams to finish and his last school Prom to navigate so he is going to be busy. I have marked out a few things and places that I would like to see this year so look out for more Persian Posts coming soon!
Paper, brushes, glue and brads. Flowers, butterflies, crystals and buttons all woven together make the universal language of play.
Who needs to speak Farsi when you can commune in creativity?
5 year old Parneon loves to play and to make things so Decopatch and decoupage are proving to be a big hit with her. I think it’s the naughty business of being able to make a mess without being told off and you can’t Decopatch or decoupage without getting sticky fingers and bits of paper everywhere. Unlike at home however, I need to be careful that we don’t spill anything on the carpets…….the family heirlooms are priceless and can’t be scrubbed down like my laminate flooring.
Parneon is a lively child and, as both her mum and grandma say, loves to mind other people’s business! She is into everything and is hard to keep track of although if lost she can usually be found in the kitchen munching away at something (lemons are a particular favourite). I am concerned therefore that she won’t want to sit still and Decopatch, or make cards and pictures from the stash I have brought for her. I needn’t have worried as she can’t wait to get started and it looks like the papermache piggy bank, teddy bear, heart box and letter “P” I brought with me will be done by the end of week 1!
I try to temper her enthusiasm for “glueing” by hiding the bear and the box and get her to make some cards instead. She loves this too and within 30 minutes I have 2 cards sitting on my table ready to give to her mum and dad! She loves the stickers, the brads, the paper flowers and butterflies and the stick-on crystals. She also loves the candy, patterned paper and the decoupage Princess with her castle. All I have to remember is to make the cards back-to-front as they read from right to left rather than left to right.
I hope that the stash will last until the end of our holiday but at least I know what to bring next time. More of the same.
This time next week I will be in Iran. Being the second month of the Persian calendar year, “ordibehesht” we can expect gorgeous spring temperatures of between 70-80 degrees with plenty of blossom on the trees and a general feeling of positivity following the end of winter. I have resurrected the Farsi lessons on my iPod, my case is 3/4 packed and I have chosen the places and sights that I want to visit whilst there.
It will also be interesting to see how the economic sanctions imposed on the country are affecting families and local businesses day-to-day. How much extra do we have to pay for fuel, rice or meat? Are there obvious shortages of certain food stuffs and what do I get for my Rials this time round?
I don’t want to spend all my time with family and friends talking politics and it is something I usually avoid but the opportunity to hear out their views on the current situation and how it affects them directly puts me in a privileged position of seeing things how they really are and not how they are portrayed on the news. It also gives me a dilemma. Undoubtedly the bullish attitude towards the sanctions would be to deny their impact on the Iranian people and to “Keep calm and carry on” regardless. However, this is unrealistic and a bit more transparency and openness will go a long way to us understanding what is really going on behind the façade.
In the meantime I know that I want to see more of Esfahan’s famous pigeon towers, go down to the Gavkhuni swamp where the Zayandeh-Rud (river) at places 800m wide dissipates into salt marshes, and visit the Flower Garden (Baq-e-Gol).
Today when you read this post I will be on my way to Iran. This coming week we have Valentine’s Day to celebrate, Feri’s niece gets married and it’s my birthday. Fairly eventful but if prior experience is anything to go by it will all pass smoothly and I will be able to relax and enjoy the spectacle.
Previously I was concerned that spending two weeks in a foreign country with a vastly different culture, reduced at-your-finger-tip communication with my support network and the obvious language barrier and being out of my routine would put huge pressure on my ability to cope which would spiral me into a depression. Was this a genuine concern?
The reality was that everyone made me so welcome, I could speak enough of the language to get by, the way of living is so easy-going that I was able to relax and re-establish normal sleeping patterns without medication and at the end of a wonderful 2 weeks, I was reluctant to return to the rat-race.
I’m looking forward to a similar experience but I think this time will be more difficult. I hope I get through it with good grace and patience.
In the meantime, as I have committed to Postaday2011 I have scheduled some posts to be published should I be unable to use the internet. During my last visit, I was able to post regularly but I don’t want to miss a day if I can help it. Apologies for the basic approach to some of the posts, but I am hoping to supplement these with more interesting pieces when I can.
The flights are booked. The Farsi lessons are back on the ipod and the headscarves and manteau are piled up ready for packing. I’m getting ready for my next trip to Iran in February when we will be celebrating a family wedding and my birthday, Iranian style.
I’m not sure what to expect from either event but if previous experience is anything to go by there will be plentyof fun, great food, dancing and fantastic people around intent on making these few days very special for everyone. On my previous visit to Iran in October, I was very impressed by the Iranian people and their kind and generous hospitality-I’m sure it will be the same this time.