Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Let them Eat Cake!

Today turned out to be interesting. About an hour before my class, we got a phone call and it turns out that the Tehran correspondent for the big French newspaper Le Figaro was in Qom for a couple of days and found out that some Americans were here and so she wanted to interview us to see what we were doing here.

The interview ended up being light and fun and she brought along an Iranian photographer. The photographer, Niusha, is only 24 but has been working professionally since she was 17. That’s the advantage of starting careers in these countries; you don’t really need to have the degrees and advanced degrees and portfolios and stuff. So anyway, her photograph is on the cover of the book Lipstick Jihad (look it up on Amazon). She was born and raised in Tehran and is married to a Dutch reporter who came to Tehran for some assignment, met her, they fell in love and happily ever after. So cute.

The reporter, Delphine, is actually a French woman whose father is Iranian. He moved to France as a child and was raised there and married a French woman. So Delphine didn’t really grow up knowing Persian. She has been in Iran for 4 years now and her Persian sounds awesome to me. She is married to the Baghdad correspondent for the Los Angeles Times who’s an Iranian raised in the US.

Anyway, the girls were very nice and invited me to Tehran for some fun parties. They found Qom to be boring and dull. In Qom’s defense, it’s not all bad but it’s just not a big city. People who are interested in religion come here. Pilgrims come here (temporarily). For everything else, there’s the rest of Iran.

Anyway, I am more than excited to go party with them but I have no idea when I’ll go and I have a feeling they might find me quite dull, since I won’t end up drinking and I don’t own any really hoochie party outfits. Ah well.

Then they came up to our apartment and took pictures of us “relaxing” at home and after that, the Khanum Elahi, who had stayed throughout, took them back to the University, where they were going to interview Dr. Elahi (it was like 9 at this time).

AliBob and I had dinner and I made us tea and we were just getting online when our bell rang so he ran downstairs to answer the door.

Turns out, it was the Elahis, having remembered it was AliBob’s birthday around this time and they brought with them a fantastic cake from an awesome bakery. (I’d tasted some heavenly cream rolls from there last week when the Khanum took me grocery shopping and she picked up some rolls because her son Mohammad would be home from college and it had been his birthday. This was also the same day we went shopping for birthday presents and they got really nice shoes for Mohammad but I didn’t see much for AliBob. Anyway, I had asked the Khanum about their cakes so I could try and get one for AliBob, but I had no idea how to get to that bakery and I don’t have a car either.)

What makes this surprise cake visit even more touching is that here in Iran, they don’t really celebrate birthdays for adults, just for children, and they don’t do cakes for birthdays that commonly either. Also, Dr. Elahi has a very very long day tomorrow, from 6am until late late at night, and he had just come home from Mofid at 10:00 tonight, and they came straight to our place with the cake.
So here we are, cutting cake and making merry:

Here is the cake, in all her chocolatey and creamy goodness:

Today was a good day, then.


Blogger huma said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:41 PM  
Blogger huma said...

happy birthday Albert :)

10:42 PM  

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