Hello friends, How are you? Hope life is treating you well and you are enjoying every minute of everyday. I know I am, I'm back from my month long trip to Iran with lots of amazing memories and so much to share from the places that I've visited, the people that I've met, and the incredible pastries that I've tasted.
Today I'm not posting a recipe, I'm just sharing some photos and memories from my days in the beautiful Iran, in hopes that one day everyone can visit Iran freely.
August 8, 2015
The trip to Iran was long, tiring, and filled with mixed emotions, being sad for leaving one family behind and excited to meet the other. I thought if I travel more and spend my time equally between the two countries, it will get easier but I was wrong!!
I have to admit I have a love/hate relationship with Iran. Am I alone feeling this way?
I feel a sense of calm, a sense of belonging, a sense of happiness when I'm here. When I'm away, I miss it with my whole heart and soul. I love this country and this culture that has so much love and joy to offer. I'm not sure how familiar you are with Farsi, the language that we speak in Iran, but it's very poetic. Every word and expression has a poetic meaning, for example, when I arrived in Tehran and friends and family come to visit me, they said: " YOU have brightened our eyes." as to say you have brought light to our eyes now that you're here. Love and generosity is as much a part of everyday language that people speak as it is in their actions.
Things that I incredibly value in Iran are situations like this:
Me in a taxi, realizing I only have a large bill and no change.
Me: I'm sorry I only have 100 thousand Toman, do you any have change?
Taxi driver: let me check, oh no I don't.
Me: would you please take me to a shop so I can get some change
Taxi driver: Na khanoom (no Miss) don't worry about it, you can pay me tomorrow
Me: Frantic.... no I can't ...what do you mean I pay you tomorrow, we might not see each other ...
Taxi driver: I'm sure you still need rides to other places and I come to pick you up, then you pay me
Me: shocked and humbled by his act of kindness. No please, what if something happens, what if I don't see you ...
Taxi driver: No worries...I'm sure we will. & of course we did, but ....
Me: Lost at words; accepting his offer, walking away filled with so much love ...a total stranger trusting me and not getting paid for his service....where in the world you would find this?? It's mind blowing how kind and trusting people still are in Iran.
No this is not an isolated incidents, I've encountered countless conversations like this.
Then, you hear the heartbreaking news that a kind and generous woman who had dedicated her life to fostering stray cats was killed by a fire that was set at her house and took her life and fifty of her cats :( You wonder, why?? Why dogs ...why cats? Why the kind people who go out of their way to protect them? Why are they, the victims of this hate crime? Where does it come from? Religion? Old believes? How can we tolerate this? How can we change this? So I struggle....
But then, I'm so proud of Iranian women who are inspiring, courageous, and without a doubt a force to be reckoned with. I met so many amazing woman who with their make ups, their colorful head-scarfs, and their "Stealthy Freedom" show they are leading the change.
There was one woman in particular, a taxi driver, I know I met a lot of taxi drivers ;) that had me incredibly proud.
It was a super hot day in Tehran when Farzaneh came to pick me up, at first, I thought she was waiting for someone else because I had never met a woman taxi driver in Iran.
Driving in Tehran isn't an easy task, traffic is heavy and very few people follow the driving laws, that's why most people travel with metro, bus, or like me call a taxi. But all that aside, I was dying of curiosity, I wondered why had she chosen this career? A career that is so dominated by men in Iran.
I told her how happy and surprised I am to see a female taxi driver in Iran. Farzaneh smiled and thanked me, a modest thank, she said it hasn't been easy. She went on telling me how her husband didn't approve her choice at all. He was so furious with her decision that he threatened her with a divorce. Farzaneh continued that she was determined, she was not going to give up on her dream of being independent, of making her own money, of doing what she loved to do: "driving". She had brought her birth certificate to her husband, and told him to go ahead divorce me, but I'm going to work!!
"Change hurts. It makes people insecure, confused, and angry. People want things to be the same as they’ve always been, because that makes life easier. But, if you’re a leader, you can’t let your people hang on to the past." ~Richard Marcinko
Can you guess the rest of Farzaneh's story?? She is doing what she loves to do and is still happily married to her husband who finally gave up on his stubbornness and let Farzaneh be who she is.
I have many more stories of the food and pastries that I will share with you on another post, but before I leave you, please don't forget to:
Subscribe to my email list, as I'm going to announce some awesome giveaway for Mehregan.
Visit my Etsy shop as I have a few new products coming to the shop next week.
Be well, enjoy life, and connect with me via Instagram