Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Once you go black...

So there is so much to talk about... not one particular event, but so many little things that would make long rants. I'm already a "wordy b----", as my friend so aptly put it, and so what to do?

Let me make this a blog post of random things. First of all, as you all have noticed, it is equally a blog about Iran as it is about my domestic ineptitude, particularly in the kitchen. In that spirit, let me sort of quote something funny I saw on a britcom a few days ago: "Not being able to cook has its compensations. You can't become a bored housewife until you actually become a housewife." How true. So there goes my desperate housewife scenario.

Also, last month sometime, AliBob didn't tell you, but I will, he was interviewed by Mofid University's student run newsletter...or literary magazine...or something. This is significant not only because people are that interested and he's that special, but also because this particular publication won an award for being the best student run publication in Iran. I'm sure I should have capitalized something in that sentence, but I couldn't figure out what. Anyway, that's pretty cool.

They asked him questions like... "in one word, what is Islam? what is Iran? what is life?" and other meaning of life type questions. They also, as usual, asked him about his conversion to Islam. It's funny how people expect him to have profound answers to difficult questions right off the top of his head because he's the white foreigner. I think he did alright because this white foreigner *is* in fact smart and thoughtful.

A few weeks after that, we were interviewed by Mofid's public affairs magazine. They came to our place, 2 (female) student journalists and 1 (male) student photographer, along with Robertali's tutor, friend and translator, Ali G. We had tea and snacks (I'm pretty sure, no I know for a fact, that I made the Iranian tea incorrectly...because I learned later that night how to make it from the 11 year old Hanieh.)

They asked questions about his conversion, our opinions on Iran, America, Islam, society, etc. The girls were excited to hear about AliBob's and my "love story" as it were and then they said I'm very happy. It was kind of random, but I guess because I smile/laugh a lot when I'm nervous... and they took it to mean I'm just inordinately happy all the time.

The girls actually also asked me, interestingly enough, why I was wearing black. I wasn't sure what to answer. I had read somewhere that muted colors are better here, and that red is especially inappropriate, and we've all seen the Western media's portrayal of black chador-clad Iranian women. If I asked you what color comes to mind when you think of Iran, I'm sure black would be up there in your list of choices.
I happen to love black and find it practical for everything, especially since I didn't bring a lot of clothing and figured I should bring durable stuff that doesn't show signs of wear and dirt easily.

Turns out, other ladies would ask me this too as time went by. They all seemed to notice that I wear quite a bit of black. (I only have 2 pairs of pants here, both black, and black warmup pants and 1 black skirt. That's it.) I was genuinely surprised. They all seem to dislike black, think it's a sad deathly color that shouldn't be worn except for in chador. I pointed out to the ladies, as I had to the girls, that the chador is black. They all had similar responses. Chador is just something you throw on on top when you go out, but that doesn't matter, your clothes should have happy light colors.

So yeah, the ladies here really don't dig black as much as I would have thought. Of course they wear it, especially since black pants and coats are considered professional here too, but they don't really have that affinity for black that I do. I also have no sense of style, so black is foolproof.

Oh, also, I finally took pictures of our little grocery store, called Supermarket Valiasr. Here are the man who works there (Muhammad, left) and the man who owns it (also Muhammad, right). The other guy, Mortaza, who also runs it, wasn't there then. They love AliBob and in fact Mortaza introduced AliBob to his mother and wife, and we got a dinner invite from him too. The pic is blurred because we were in a rush and I have another one that's in focus, but not with both the men.


Blogger huma said...

i'm taking it you didn't bring any of your uva sweatshirts

3:08 AM  

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