Happy New Year on storefront grill (bottom right)
During my other days in Tehran, I took a number of relaxing walks around the city and visited with some wonderful friends. I was also hoping to return to a teahouse I went to during my first visit. Back then I met with the owner and had a very nice time “Thanks so much for the photo of Takhti!”. However, after a few hours wandering around the downtown area, we had no luck finding the shop and I was resigned to the fact it was probably closed due to NoRooz. “Guess, I have a reason to return now!”
Visiting my friend Mojghan at her new apartment was a highlight and not only did I enjoy a wonderful lunch and dinner but also met her sister.
Mina, a friendly, warm, and very cheery woman was also quite pregnant. It was amazing to hear the incredible story of her husband successfully battling a drug addiction which ultimately saved their marriage.
Mojghan's favorite biscuits
Along with the election, the other news about Iran that I was most interested to hear about was the economic situation .. The effects of rising inflation was joked about by Mojghan as she talked about price increases of her favorite biscuits. But more poignant was the story of a taxi driver who picked us up while carrying a load of fresh bread for his family. “Don’t you want to get the bread to your family while its still fresh?” “No, they are still sleeping anyway.” he replied with a smile.
But the story of his former business of running a sock manufacturing factory was not something to smile about. He blamed the government for causing the sanctions and the increase in the price of raw materials that resulted in him having to close his plant and start driving a cab. This made me think that the sanctions against the government were really affecting the people most….a sad reality.
Taxi driver's fresh bread for his family
However, a very positive experience occurred while walking in a park where families were enjoying the nice weather. I happened to meet a friendly group of ladies who shared their lunch with us. The eldest woman had come to relax at the park with her husband, son and cousins on a lovely New Years day. This young family really brought home the side of Iran that is never shown by the media in the West; the side that makes one realize Iranians are no different from most of us!