Saturday, September 27, 2003

My driver from Tabriz was happy that in Shahin Dezh he could buy tea from Rayat (in Iraq).
Over the last few days, I visited Tabriz, Qareh Kelisa, and Takht-e-Soleiman. Qareh Kelisa is an extraordinary church located near Maku, far away from anything else. Perhaps only isolated buildings can survive long periods of time, as there were many buildings to see in Tabriz but earthquakes have damaged or destroyed many of the famous ones there.

Takht-e-Soleiman was like Persepolis without bas-reliefs, really. I loved the setting with the lake in the middle. I didn't really understand the significance of the place, but I bought a book there which should help. If you want to visit either of these places on a day trip from Tabriz, it will cost you about $US40 for a round trip, which is 500km or more in both cases. It is good value for foreign tourists!

The car situation in Kabul sounds similar to Tehran - a few are very rich, with the BMWs, Mercedes, and Maximas. (The Maxima had a terrible accident and became a Minima!!) Mahboubeh told me that the Afghan Health Minister Dr Saddiq makes about $13 a day (I think?) so I don't know what kind of government officials they are talking about in the article.

sorry if I didn't get to your email - spam and travel are distracting. another catch-up session soon!

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Ali Dizaei was a London poice superintendent born in Iran, cleared of all charges recently after an expensive investigation. Newspapers thrive on controversy so they've interviewed some of his ex-girlfriends. Like mojtaba I find I can't stop reading about it.

Ex-girlfriend Mandy is relieved her traditional Iranian beliefs helped her fight off the twice-wed Casanova cop's romancing. It sounds like he followed the advice on Iranian courtship traditions to a tee. And somehow her ``traditional Iranian beliefs'' didn't stop her from working as a stripper.

Weren't his death threats a crime in the UK? His salary of 52k pounds a year sounds like a lot in London, I don't know if it is in reality.


Iran to cut nuclear co-operation. The attitude of the government: Iran is like a cat in the corner, nothing left to do but to attack all comers. This doesn't make sense, but the foreign policy never did to me. It's a diplomatic catastrophe.

Montazeri condemns US embassy seizure. What's wrong with US media, why don't they cover the critics of Iran's government? He also called for immediate renewal of relations with the US government! (links from iranvajahan.)