Salom Girls and Boys,
So much has happened, and there have been so many adventures, I don’t quite know where to start.
Everywhere we go people come up and talk to us. We go places where there are many boys and girls on school outings. The boys are all together, and the girls are all together. The boys all wear western clothes like you do. The young girls wear uniforms. I’ve seen the young ones in blue pants and a shirt/jacket top of pink, and other groups of girls in light blue. All girls these ages wear a white one piece scarf that has an opening for their face. I’ll show you one I bought in black that grown up women to wear. When girls are older they wear black scarves and long coats and black pants.
These bunches of children come running up to us wherever we go. Of course, if girls are gathering around, there are no boys, or vice versus. “How are you?” they ask. “Where are you from?” Sometimes that’s as far as we get. Other times they may have more English and then they ask us other questions, “How do you like Iran?” “What is your favorite color?” “What is your name?” Of course, that is more English than I have Farsi.
Then I pull out your letters. Wow! Do their faces light up. They run off and show each other what they got. Then I get them to line up holding their letters so I can get a picture. We are making friends.
At a park in Esfahan I was stopped by a group of young high school girls and their teacher, all dressed in black. They all spoke English, and their teacher was especially fluent. I passed out most of the letters from Mrs. Kingsbury’s class because you boys and girls are older than Ms. Taylor’s class, and so there was much writing for these English speaking students to read. They were so excited. They asked for e-mail addresses. So I gave the teacher Mrs. Kingsbury’s e-mail address. She gave me her address. It is email@example.com. Perhaps she and her students will write you, or you might want to write them.
I don’t think I told you about the passport story. The visa applications had to go to Washington, D.C. to the Pakistani Embassy’s Iranian Room. We had to send our passports with the application. Everything was going fine until the Presidetn of Iran decided to extend the Iranian new year called No Rooz an extra week. For two weeks it was holiday all over Iran. It was also the two weeks before we were to leave for Iran. Would we get our passports and visas back in time to go? It was nip and tuck! My passport arrived at my house on Monday at 8:00 a.m. Two hours later I left for the airport! That was cutting it close. Little adventures like that make traveling fun.
I will answer two questions you asked, one was about food and the other was about sports. The children here love ice cream, in bars, in sugar cone bowls, in ice cream sandwiches. They drink Cola and Fanta. Every meal has rice with saffron. Special yummy sauces are made to go over chicken and lamb. Salads are really delicious and they always come with a pink dressing. Yogurt comes in different ways. There is a yogurt drink that is rather sour to my taste.
We ate one meal in a Persian restaurant. We sat on a raised platform, leaned against bolster pillows and did our best to tuck our feet in and eat from dishes placed on a plastic sheet over the carpet that covered the platform. I watched Iranians eat this way with great ease and enjoyment. They spend much more time sitting on the floor living their lives than we do, and so are more limber.
Sports: Soccer. Boys and girls play on separate teams. For professional soccer, if women are allowed to watch, it is in a special section. Basketball is popular, bicycle riding. Chess in the form we play today came from Persian (Iran).
That’s all for now.
Travelin’ Grandma, Diane