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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Important People and Big Fish

So last night, we went to Agha Fazl’s (ayatollah garb alert!) house for dinner. He is the head of publications at Mofid University, and he was an unofficial adviser to Khatemi, the former President of Iran. He’s such a jovial man and speaks what English he knows with great zeal and confidence. His daughter is in my conversation class and she’s just delightful. Again, she’s only 14 but she was in the kitchen w/her mom and taking care of her neighbor’s baby and running around making sure everything was alright for everyone.

AliBob's tutor/friend/student (they exchange Persian and Arabic lessons for English lessons) Ali G. brought his wife and 2 children. His older son, 4 and a half years old, couldn't believe that I don't speak Persian, so he proceeded to tell me the very long and very Persian sounding stories of Noah and his Ark, and of Jonah and the Whale. I understood big fish in the whole discourse. I have trouble with adult Persian, let alone the lisped Persian of an excited 4 and a half year old. He did speak well though. So cute.

The food was fantastic, as usual. I’m beginning to wonder if there’s such a thing as a bad at cooking/domestic stuff Iranian woman. Much like the question over the existence of the abominable snowman, one can never really know, but the 8-ball points to no.

Anyway, there was fish, chicken, lamb fesenjan (which was delicious, by the way), salads, rice, doogh (a yogurt and water and salt and mint drink…very refreshing). It was all fantastic.

They had asked their neighbor, who is a doctor, to come see me and make sure I was alright. I said no really, I don’t do the doctor thing… because eventually, it goes away, but she came and she was nice, so I relented. Good news, it’s nothing.

As usual, there were questions about the existence of children. I told (or tried) telling them how Iranians are always amazed that after 4.5 years of marriage (Oh. My. God. Has it really been *that* long?) I have neither children nor cooking ability. She joked that at this point Iranians would start worrying over my infertility. That could very well be, but I’m just not willing to test out the theory in case I end up proving them wrong. And judging by the size of my big brown rambunctious family, I can safely guess that infertility might not be a problem on my end.

I also feel bad because the dinner was at 8 tonight, a weeknight. This meant that dinner was really more like at 9 or 9:30. When wondering why it was so late, it turns out that they thought *I* had wanted it so. Agha Fazl’s daughter had invited us for dinner when she came for class on Sunday, and I had asked her what time, so I could see if I would have to move my Monday night class. She said “anytime you want” and so I then thought that maybe it was just an open invitation like a “come visit us and eat snacks and have tea etc.” type of thing so I told her, in what I thought was an apologetic tone, that I had a class from 7pm-8pm on Monday night because of a temporary change in schedule. She said okay, no problem.

I thought that was the end of the conversation and she would assume that it was a “sorry I can’t make it because I have class” response.

Yesterday afternoon, Bobo came home from the Uni and said “thanks for telling me we’re going to a big dinner tonight”. I told him we weren’t going, that we were invited, but I told her I had class around dinnertime. He said that well , apparently it was interpreted as an acceptance and 2 other families had already been invited. Oops.

So, I felt really bad and guilty that because of me we were having this late dinner that went past everyone’s bedtimes.

I also felt bad because they had called their doctor neighbor and apparently she had come by while we were having dinner so they sent her away and asked her to come again. So she came back at around 10, just to check my health. Yikes. I feel really really bad about that one.

Boboli and I just hope that people don’t think we’re snobs who must have things our way. I know people are trying to be nice but when everyone tries to be overformal and overnice it can get messy and unwittingly imposing on our part.

Anyway. Live and learn, I suppose. I think I ate more last night than I have in the past 4 days combined. AliBob also managed to eat some fish, some chicken and some fesenjan. I'm impressed, especially since he's really really not a fish person. There were lots of sharp little bones though, which made it hard to eat. We didn't find a Jonah in any of the fish.

~s

1 Comments:

Blogger huma said...

you're a guppy in this social scene

10:58 PM  

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