Thursday, December 15, 2005

Lunch at the Mirmoosavi's

Today, we went to Dr. Mirmoosavi and Ms. N’s house for lunch. We took some hazelnut toffee that looked good in its packaging and went on over. The lunch was delicious (what is it with all these Iranians who are amazing cooks??). We had chicken and rice and salad and potatoes and a sour pickle (like picked vegetables?) called “torshi”. We also had non-alcoholic beer, which I’ve seen quite a bit in the markets here.

Not a fan of even the smell of beer, I’ve never had the inclination to try non-alcoholic beer either. I tried one and it was pretty good, citrusy. Turns out it was the lemon-flavored one. I had the malt-flavored one and couldn’t get past the first sip, so I let AliBob finish it for me. He thought it was weak.

Dr. Mirmoosavi (ayatollah garb alert!) is the head of the political science department at Mofid and he and Ms. N will be going away for a month for Hajj (Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca). He changed out of his ayatollah garb and just wore a regular pant-shirt outfit when we were there. He’s as great as his wife and we had a fun time chatting and looking at photos of him when he went to London for 2 months to study English with some other Mofid faculty members.

They had a woman teacher named Lucy. It was odd enough for them to be instructed by a woman, since things are gender segregated here. He said she was very nice and a very good teacher and once, when they were taking a photo of the class and Lucy together, another more conservative faculty member asked her to please cover up for the photo.

Apparently, he asked very nicely as it would be difficult to develop or show the photos to people if she stayed in the sleeveless top she was wearing. Lucy was a great sport about it and was more than happy to go put on a cardigan over her shirt.

There was even a picture of the inside of a pub, with people drinking and happy-hour-ing. The pictures reminded me of us Pakistanis, or international students, when they go to a foreign place and take pictures and are smiling and having a grand old time but they still look out of place.

Like one time shortly after I moved to the US, a bunch of my family was together during summer and we decided to go for a picnic for 4th of July. So we got there and many of us were wearing Pakistani clothing and we had strong smelling Pakistani food and we spoke in an Urdu-English hybrid and at sunset, we all got up for prayer and had everything cleaned up and done in time to enjoy the fireworks (which we LOVED).

And it all seemed so weird to the white people around us with their shorts and baseballs and barbecued pork ribs and beer cans, but many of them also smiled and raised their beer cans to us, probably proud and happy that even we came out to celebrate Independence day (although honestly, we were there mostly for the fireworks). And in some ways, it was weird to me too, that we were doing this, but in a good way. It’s things like that that make America great, I suppose.
Anyway. Sorry, I was off reminiscing again. So we had a good time, and we stayed for a few hours and had fruit and tea and then Dr. MirMoosavi changed back into his ayatollah garb because he had to go to a thesis defense and we left.


Blogger huma said...

maybe combine your english lessons with cooking ones and forget the american history.

10:39 PM  

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