Saturday, October 25, 2003

5,693,584 rials.

I am looking at my last paycheck in Iran, for the month of Mehr. That's $US680. This is what a mathematics post-doc gets here. The question is, why did I stay so long? This is left as an exercise for the reader!

I hate to be harsh, but if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. The reasons for the brain drain are obvious.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Last night I decided to go to Casa Mia in Gandhi shopping center for dinner. The menu was in English. I became curious and asked why it wasn't in Persian, and the waiter said because everyone who comes here is a foreigner!!

On the way back home I decided I simply had to get a photo of the guy who dances all the time outside Cactus Pizza on Bahonar Street near Tajrish. He has lips almost as big as Mick Jagger, and is almost as photo-hungry as J Lo!! I don't know if it is a good job economically, but he is certainly very enthusiastic, frolicking across the road to pose beside my friend's car as well.

Mahathir denigrates Muslims, praises Jews!
In March 2002 I visited Hosseiniyeh Jamaran (Khomeini's old house in Tehran, now a shrine) and the guardian gave my friend a book about "Palestine in the view of the Imam". I see that this bovine excrement is online in English now. Flicking through it, it did teach me a new word, the only word that was completely new to me in the last 18 months, I think: tergiversating.

...these tergiversating pseudo-revolutionaries of little dignity have, in the name of freeing Quds, turned to America and Israel.

Ooooh, someone has been reading the thesaurus!! Words like Quds and Beit-ul-Moqaddas make no sense to most English speakers but tokhme Arabs insist on using them.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Concorde to be grounded. Did you know Concorde used to fly from Paris to Kish Island in Iran? A Paris - Kish memorial card is for sale on ebay for a little while.

I read something pretty funny searching for that. Kish beaches are segregated by sex.

But Saeed, a ladies man who has lived in Paris for a while, seems a bit uncomfortable.

Borzou: What do you think of the beach?
Saeed: It looks like a gay beach.
These signs have been in Tehran for a while, but I failed to notice them until recently.

Father, you arrived home safely!

Of course I did, and it had nothing to with the fact I wore a helmet. Everything is in the hands of Allah, and if something bad did happen you could always blame it on western conspiracy.

Getting back to the earthquake article... this quote is interesting:

Most people think what God wills, will happen. This is absolutely wrong. This thinking is poisonous.

It is a surprising thing to say here (people from Qom must be calling for his head), but one of the reasons 99% of Iranian motorcyclists don't wear helmets is this belief in fatalism.

I was in for a big surprise when traveling through Iran, for some reason I expected little habitation, but found it to be quite modern with numerous fuel stations and very cheap fuel. This was a big change as Turkey had massive fuel shortages that would remain for a number of years to come.[ I did get to have a look in Tehran, the capital of Iran, then still controlled by the Shah. I really liked Tehran, we frequented a great bar with nice mugs of frothy beer, steaks and pizzas. The women in Tehran were beautiful, the ones I noticed were as they had piecing eyes, and appeared to flirt, or was that my imagination. The nice looking ladies at the Tehran telephone exchange were all flirts, but I was aware that playing with these ladies was like stepping into a minefield. While flirting at the telephone exchange, I rang Mick Carroll in London and told him that I could live here in Tehran, I was so impressed with the place.

Trevor Carroll of Australia, April 1978