Saturday, September 20, 2003

Wine-drinking women more fertile! If you want children drink up... combined with Iranian food... (picture of today's lunch with cabernet sauvignon soon).

Australian treasurer visits Palestine.

"We've heard their (Palestinian) views," replied Mr Costello. "Obviously as you try to move forward there has to be confidence building, so that both sides can trust each other . . . My view is that you either can or can't crack down on people that support terrorism. It is a funny proposition to say that you will only do it on a conditional basis."

He's right... but ending Israeli assassinations would improve things too, don't you think? Being a diplomat is tricky, everyone interprets what you don't do as well as what you do do.
Based on the names, where would you rather live... a city where all the street names are Shahid (Martyr) This or Shahid That, or a city where the places have romantic names like "Arefan va Asheghan" ("Gnostics and Lovers")? The long-term future of Kabul should be good. The very names are more uplifting than Tehran. At least my friends from Kandahar think so. I've heard that mobile phones in Afghanistan are affordable for normal people!

French travel advice for Kabul: ``avoid the places with strong concentration of expatriates (restaurants, "chicken and flower streets").'' If you can't visit Chicken Street there's no point in going.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

"Better is the wickedness of a man than a woman who does good;
it is woman who brings shame and disgrace." --
Jesus son of Sirach, 200 BC.

"Women are not loyal, they possess inferior morals. The most respectable amongst them is still disreputable and the disreputable ones are scandalous, except for the few who under the refuge of god have been saved from corruption." -- Ayatollah Meshkini, 2003.

The men of religion have not come very far in 2200 years...

Deported Iranian admits he lied. It's a story about an Iranian who made up a story in order to get asylum. Many Iranians will do anything, say anything, and forge anything in order to get a visa. I think I've talked about this before. What was surprising about this story is for how long everybody believed it! Also, why did he leave if he had a spare $US5000? He must have had serious delusions about Canada, and was suffering from "the-grass-is-always-greener-on-the-other-side" syndrome. Another lesson is that refugee activists in the West are quite gullible. Who is paying for all the lawyers?

A Western diplomat once said to me: "Iranians have three favourite sports. The third most popular is football, the second is tax fraud, and the first is visa fraud. When Iranians are in Iran, they want to leave, and when they are out of Iran, they want to come back." The story about Ganj Nameh below is about cultural alienation, which explains this strange phenomenon.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Oh no, I didn't update! I didn't go to Khazar Shahr this time. Worse, I went alone to Shush, Choqa Zanbil, and Hamadan. Worse because I had the opportunity to visit Tabriz with a diplomat friend and his friends.

Wednesday lunch I went to Monsoon on Gandhi St and it was 12,800 tomans for 2 people. The place was full of foreigners, maybe only non-Iranians can afford it!!

On Saturday I was at Ganj Nameh near Hamadan. And I heard a girl about 20 say "who was ahura mazda? what country was he from? germany?"

Immediately I told her that I was ahura mazda, and to demonstrate my omnipotence I used my power to throw her off the cliff. Just before she hit the ground I demonstrated my omnibenevolence by having her float down into the water.

The last part didn't really happen but I did laugh!!

Some Swiss tourists are visiting Iran, keeping a German travelogue. They said that parts of the Caspian coast are like a big rubbish zone... on the way back from Hamadan to Tehran I looked out the bus window and I saw plastic bags everywhere, particularly where there were shops.