13 July 2006


I’m excited, but at the same time, until Bababozorg comes downstairs, I’m scared to leave the house and miss my bag.

So far today, I’ve put my pictures into a folder to burn to a CD, but now that I know my bag is coming soon for sure, I’ll wait because there are more pictures I want to print in it. But I already have 187 pictures picked out. I don’t have enough money to print them. What’s the best place to print digital images?

I’ve made the sharbat for the faloodeh, and so now that my starch is coming, I can probably make it after my orthodontist appointment.

I will upload my pictures, soon. It just takes a while.

Still No Bag

13 July 2006

I’m still waiting for my bag.

It has my CD of photos in it, which means unless I want to go print photos twice, I have to keep putting it off. It also has my rice (?) starch in it, so I can’t make faloodeh until it comes, or I’d have to go buy more starch.

I’m sore today. I listened to Dad and stretched yesterday, so this is annoying.

My hair’s exploded from the humidity. Oh how I missed it! Though I realized yesterday how nice the smell of fresh cut grass is. It’s not a smell I smelled often in the last month. Outside here smells like going away to Mamanzari and Bababozorg’s garden, possibly even cleaner since its not right off of a highway.

I’m Back!

12 July 2006

I’m back home.  The only bad thing is I’ll have to wear my grimy bra again tomorrow.  My suitcase liked London so much it didn’t make the plane today. Since it isn’t lost, I should hopefully get it tomorrow.

Other than my notebook getting all sticky from some unknown substance in the seatback pocket of my first flight, my flights went pretty well.

I watched three and a half movies today. Possibly nearly a record for me. I watched The Benchwarmers on the first flight, She’s The Man, then fell asleep halfway through Ice Age 2 (it would have been around midnight in Tehran at that point, and I’d gotten up at 4:30, so it made sense), and then watched Take The Lead (I think that was the name. The dance movie with Antonio Banderas.)

It’s 9:01, and I’m ready for bed. All my arrival energy wore off standing waiting for my suitcase.

In 15 hours from now, I’ll be on a plane leaving Tehran.

I think the last few days are the hardest, because you have to pack, and for me, if I pack, I’m pretty much limited in clothing because its hard to throw the dirty clothes on top, and I kind of haven’t done anything because I didn’t want to get the clothes I was wearing dirty (which makes no sense) and so these days have been a tiny bit boring (yesterday and today). It was also supposedly really hot both days, but being in air conditioning, I wasn’t aware of that.

Ame Fereshteh offered to let me help make dinner. We’re making dinner out of whatever’s in the fridge/freezer/shelves, which I think means ground beef, eggs, potatoes, bread, strained yogurt, and hopefully we’ll find some veggies.

I should get off the computer so we don’t eat too late, since its almost 6 and we have to get up early tomorrow and I still have to shower and pack my dirty clothes.

I guess this is my last post from Tehran since Bababozorg’s going to do whatever he has to do to his computer when I get off.

But one last thing: Amu Farhad’s office is pretty impressive. It has plastic and live plants!

Mom told me that Uncle Larry was expecting me to make dinner next Friday when we see him for the usual Friday night dinner.
So I’ve been thinking about what to make that would allow me to go out during the day and still have time to cook, and since Uncle Larry’s kitchen is better for cooking with other people around, could be easily transported and made at his house. In addition, I wanted something that if the weather was hot would not put anyone into a food coma.
So I have the solution: Kuku Kedoo for dinner and Faloodeh for dessert. The faloodeh has to be made ahead of time, and kuku is probably the quickest thing I’ve learned with only about 30 minutes of cooking time. And in my opinion, with the squash, is perfect for summer.

Faloodeh will make Dad excited, and me since while it is still one of those things that is yummier away from the house, it was still yummy homemade. Which made it very hard to believe that Ame Fereshteh had never made it before, and figured it out just so I could go home and make it. We had fun trying to make the strands though, since at first it came out as goop. But other than the sharbat she made for it turning out too sweet, it was really good. When I get home, I just have to play with the sharbat and finding something to push it through, and it’ll be perfect.

Friday night I went to آب سرد, (Ab Sard, literally “Cold Water”) or right outside of it, to a family friend’s villa. It was really beautiful. Inside the walls there were a couple of villas, and the first one that belonged to someone else, was a mix of old an new that was gorgeous and amusing at the same time. Such as the outdoor bathroom that was in this hut that you would never expect to house working plumbing, with a really old door. Since we were stuck in traffic and didn’t get there until nine, we stayed up until (actually, I stayed up until 1, I’m not sure about everyone else since I was the first asleep) and left in the morning. When we got back to Tehran (which took an hour, which was almost 3 hours less than it took to get there), Ame Farideh, Bababozorg, and I went rug shopping for a rug for Granma Bunny. We found one. It’s really pretty and I hope she likes it.
Then we went to Tavazo, to get the nuts we were missing and so I could get some packaged lavashak.
Ame Farideh mentioned kabob, and I said the kabob place I like where they made the kabab on one side and the lavash on the other was closed, according to Solmaz, and that’s why I hadn’t had any. I described it and she said it moved.
Where it used to be there’s a pizza place now, and its over a bit in a more discreet, but larger space. It looks fancier now, with the big pots for making khalim in the winter, and it has one of the more modern, easier to use, more efficient tanoors now, not the older-styled smaller one they used to have that I was amused watching. But it was still good.

In the afternoon, I went to Ame Fereshteh’s, where we made faloodeh, she carved a watermelon into a flower, and taught me that even when accidents happen they can be salvaged. I helped her with her little bundles for a bit too while she was in the shower and I was waiting for my clothes to dry and the faloodeh to harden. I put all my stuff in my suitcase and came over to Babazorg’s around 9.
I was going to watch the football (soccer, whatever, this is confusing me now) game, but I fell asleep on the couch half an hour before it started.

This morning I packed my suitcase, but a couple things don’t fit, and I need to charge all my batteries (camera, phone, etc) so I can finish packing those. I’m spending the night at Amu Farhad’s tonight, so the only chance other than today I’ll get to do any packing is probably a couple of hours Monday night, and I’m getting up at four probably on Tuesday morning, (which is still Monday in the US), so I don’t want to leave much for Monday night. Though if I do forgot anything, it would only be 3 months until I could get it back, though it could be forgotten then too.


8 July 2006


1 cup (200 mL) starch
3 cups water
a bowl of ice water
sharbat (see recipe [which isn’t here yet because it was sickiningly sweet])

In a small pot stir starch into one up of cold water to dissolve.
One dissolced, and remaining water and continue stirring. Place pot over high heat, stirring constantly to keep from becoming too stiff. After 3-5 minutes, whet it becomes gel-like and binds together, remove from heat.

Fill a bowl with ice and ice water, place someting with holes (that isn’t a sieve) such as a steamer insert, over the bowl and push the starch mixture through it with a spoon or your hands. (Warning: Things are going to get a little bit messy/sticky.)
Stir the strands of starch in the ice water (make sure the water remains really cold.) Let the starch sit in the ice water for at least 5 minutes to firm up.
Remove the strands using a finely slotted spoon or pouring through a sieve.
In an at least 600 mL bowl that fits in your freezer, stir the strands into the sharbat and place in the freezer, stirring occasionally, for at least 5 hours, or until firm.

Wednesday afternoon I went over to Naghmeh’s. She made the batter for nun panjeriyi (literally Window Bread), which are these fried batter things that are hard to explain and I don’t have a picture of with me right now. Well I do, but not on the computer, and since the computer and I are getting along I don’t want to do anything to jeapardize our relationship, such as having more than one thing open at once. For the sweets though, you heat up a stamp-like thing that’s on the end of a stick in hot oil, then dip it in the batter for five seconds, place it back in the hot oil, and you end up with these thin crisps that you then sprinkle with powdered sugar mixed with vanilla powder.

While I was finishing them up, Naghmeh was in the shower, and her phone rang. I have problems with phones and cell phones here for some reason. It was my cousin Arezoo, so I decided to pick up, but accidentally hung up. She was at my grandparent’s house, so Naghmeh gave me a plate to put some of the treats on, and I walked over to Mamanzari’s. I felt bad leaving Naghmeh’s kitchen in the state it was.

Arezoo and I talked for a bit, and had dinner, a yummy خوراک Bababozorg made (essentially vegetables, meat (in this case chicken), and potatoes in one pot). When Arezoo left, she dropped me off at Ame Fereshteh’s, and we made plans for lunch on Thursday.

At Ame Fereshteh’s there was company for Naghmeh, work-related. I’d already eaten, so I said hi, excused myself and went to call Mom. The phone cards were acting really weird. I finally managed to call Mom, but then neither phone card worked (though both had money on them) when I tried to call Granma. I eventually got fed up and was too tired to stay up and watch the France v. Portugal game like I wanted to, helped set the table, and went to bed.

Thursday morning, Ame Fereshteh had to go to Tajrish to get some stuff to finish what she’s working on (she sets up weddings, and she’s making the little pouches that are given to the guests). She needed these little sugar things, fabric, ribbon, and a few other things. Arezoo was ready around 11:15, so she called before Ame Fereshteh and I were done. Ame Fereshteh handed me off to Arezoo and continued her shopping. While I was at the bazaar with Ame though, I managed to find نان خرما (date bread) that was fresh and really yummy. I was going to get a different bread (نان تا فتون), but they weren’t making it for another 30 minutes.

Arezoo was ready early because her mother (Zanamu Mina) and grandmother were joining us, and Zanamu Mina was hungry.
We got to lunch around noon. The place was Shandiz, which is a Mazandaran Kabob place. We had shishleek (I think its lamb). They had a tanoor, so that also meant yummy bread.
During lunch, Zanamu told me she was taking me to Baghe Gohl for the afternoon. As much as I like Baghe Gol, I didn’t want to go because I already had my afternoon planned (and Mamanzari had made me pomegrante ash that is too heavy to eat late at night). Instead I went back to Mamanzari’s so I could go get the pictures from Ame Farideh and help her fill out her visa form. I’m not sure why me.. the form is in French and Farsi, and I’m better with the Farsi than the French, but not enough to fill out an official document obviously.

I spent the night here (my grandparents) and this morning Bababozorg and I went to the Jomeh Bazaar (its in a parking garage every Friday). I liked it better the first time I went, with my aunt. I also left my wad of money on the bed when I switched pants, so I had to get money from Bababozorg once we got there.

Then we came back here around 10. Since then I’ve been… well, not really doing much.

This afternoon we’re going to one of their friends places in Damavand, I think. It’s supposed to be nice.

6 nights, 4 days, and counting…

I’ve been back in Tehran since Monday afternoon (our flight was delayed, or it would have been at noon.)

As soon as I got back, I sat down with a piece of paper, a pen, and a pencil, and wrote out the days remaining. There were 7 then. I decided to not let anything overlap and have days where I sat down and did nothing.

Of course, there were those unexpected factors I couldn’t take into account.

On Tuesday Ame Fereshteh taught me how to make omelet-e panner (onions, homemade cheese, and egg) and khoroshte ghemeh. That afternoon, Kiana, the girl my age I’ve been supposed to see since I got here, came over. I felt bad because I’m sure she would have had more fun if she’d been with her own friends. My language skills and shyness make the conversation dull.> “So, what do you usually do when you aren’t in school?” >”Hang out with my friends. My friends and I go out to eat, go to the movies…” > “Me too. Sort of, well, yeah. Never mind.”

Naghmeh took us to Tajrish Bazaar (she was ready to go home, she was tired, but Ame Fereshteh kind of made her agree) and then out to dinner. Dinner was at a place near the mountains that had 5 levels, going up the side of the cliff. That was pretty cool.

Yesterday (Wednesday), I got up at 6:30, showered, walked to get some fresh Nan Barbari (stood in line because they were selling faster than they were making them) and brought it to Bababozorg and Mamanzari for breakfast. Bababozorg and I then walked to a bank, took a car to another, and then a car to the metro station. We then took the metro to the Bazaar-e Farsh (Rug Bazaar) to look for a rug for Granma Bunny. We were not successful. We got some seeds, and then took the metro back and a bus.

On the metro, Bababzborg said we’d go on the women’s car because it wasn’t as crowded. I told him he was a guy, and he said it didn’t matter. Of course it did. A couple of stops later a policemen told him to get off. He didn’t want to, I told him to go and I’d stay where it was less crowded, I knew where to get off. He finally did, but he wasn’t happy about it. A nice lady named Zahra whose birthday it was befriended me. She kept remarking on how well I spoke Farsi. I managed to get off on the right stop (it was the last) and just waited against the wall until I saw Bababzborg. Other than the crowdedness, I liked the metro. The bus was separated too, but it was old and creaky and the railing I was holding on to didn’t stay in place as we went over bumps.

I’d keep writing, but I’m tired, just noticed its ten, and I still have to call Mom.

Leaving Isfahan

3 July 2006

(I still haven’t made up my mind on which spelling I like better.)

 My flight back to Tehran is in a couple of hours. I just finished breakfast. Mom would be glad to know I’m able to eat again.

Yesterday afternoon my aunts, Bababozorg and I walked back to Nagshe-Jahaan Square to go to Majed-e Shah (the king’s mosque). Which was quite pretty, and if you stand in the middle of the part with the dome and talk or clap or whatever, its emphasized and echoed throughout. It was pretty neat.

Because Friday prayers are still held there, they have tarps covering the courtyard of the mosque, which takes away from a lot of its beauty.

After that I bought some chocolate covered gaz from Sekeh, because I like it and figured I could have it for my friends then.

We came back to the hotel and had dinner in the courtyard. After dinner, I bought stamps and then had treated my family to faloodeh, but I guess since Bababozorg’s the one giving me money in the first place it doesn’t really count. I was happy to have my second faloodeh ever, and glad that I had the appetite to eat it. It was delicious. I ate it with two spoons, one for Dad. No more faloodeh for at least another year probably.

Isfahan in Pictures

2 July 2006


1. The hotel is beautiful. Just take a look at the room we ate breakfast in, and that isn’t even the prettiest part.

2. Bababozorg making decisions at the bazaar yesterday.

3. The details in old bathhouses is incredible. 4. As are the faucets.

5. This morning Bababozorg remembered his video camera. He took advantage of that to take pictures at Chehel Setoon. (40 columns, there are really only twenty, but there’s a reflection pool outside of it. The picture wouldn’t upload though.)

6. The inside of Masjed Jame (Friday Mosque.) The round columns are part of the original, which was built during the time of the Seljuks, but the square ones are much newer, replacing ones that were bombed during the Iran-Iraq war.

7. Magnificent detial on the outside of Majed Jame.

8. An Armenian Church. It’s really gorgeous on the inside, completly covered in paintings depicting stories, but you can’t take pictures in there.