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Doctor... Doctor...
Dude! Eeverybody is a doctor here

By Siamack Baniameri
September 19, 2000
The Iranian

I was in Los Angles attending a seminar. It was a week-long event which ended at in the early afternoon on a Friday. Maziyar, my old high school buddy lives in Los Angles. I always get in touch with him when I'm in the neighborhood. I called his cellphone from my hotel room. I told him I was in town and leaving for the airport in couple of hours. I asked him if he could meet me for a cup of coffee and some gossiping. He tells me that he is working late but he insists I stay an extra day. He was having a pool party on Saturday and had invited friends over at his house. I kept telling him that I was leaving in two hours. But he insisted and insisted till I gave up. What the hell. I can handle another sunny, beautiful day in L.A.

Maziyar has been living in L.A. for more than twenty years. He always complains about the traffic, cost of living -- and Iranians. But when I ask him why he doesn't move somewhere else, he looks at me like I just kicked him in the nuts. I could never figure out what exactly he did for living. He's been a car dealer; next day he was a lawyer. He worked as a real state agent, stockbroker, marketing manager, investment banker, premed scam recruiter, computer salesman, etc. But one thing for sure, he always drives expansive cars, wears nice suits and lives in beautiful houses. When I ask him about his situation, he tells me "it's L.A. baby. In this town you can't afford doing the same thing all the time. You have to expand and network."

Yeah, whatever.

It's Saturday morning and I am driving to his house. I am soaking in the mild California sun and the cool ocean breeze. For someone like me who lives in a small town in a small state, the view of a luscious and healthy landscape and nicely decorated old houses by the water is refreshing.

I was late, I mean really late, but it didn't matter since most of the guests were Iranians and they were all late anyway. The door was unlocked. I walked in and looked around. There were a few Iranian-looking guys standing in the kitchen circling around the margarita maker. Most of them were in there mid-thirties with bushy eyebrows, a bit out of shape with receding hairlines. They were all joking around and laughing at something.

I scanned the living room for Mazi. I made my way to the family room and from there to the pool area where I finally found my boy. He was in a deep conversation with two Anglo-looking individuals. He was holding his stylish cellphone in one hand and his cordless on the other.

I stood there by the pool and looked at him for a while and finally got his attention. He approached me with a big smile, picked me up and walked towards the pool. I thought he was going to throw me in the pool. But at the last moment he puts me down and gives me a big hug. After a few minuets of small talk, he takes me inside and introduces me to some of his friends.

Okay, starting from left "this is Dr. X, this is Dr. Y, meet Dr. Z" so on and so forth. The house was full of doctors and it was getting more crowded by the minute. There were a number of over-dressed and over made-up Iranian women mingling with the crowed. I told Mazi that I was tired of meeting Iranian doctors and would have liked to meet some Iranian girls. He looked at me with the strangest impression -- something between a question mark and painful hemorrhoids: "What doctors?"

"You know, all these Iranian doctors that you just introduced me to."

He lets out the loudest laugh. One of those laughs unique to Mazi when he is truly entertained.

"These guys are not REAL doctors. This is L.A. man. They just call themselves doctors. Don't you know? That guy is a dental hygienist, the other one is a chiropractor, that guy has a Ph.D. in some cheesy subject like ancient Greece, that guy is a pharmacist and that bald guy is a massage therapist."

He laughed again and said, "Man, do you think a real doctor would show up in a party like this? Iranian doctors don't go to parties because they get mobbed by other Iranians who want drug prescriptions for their relatives in Iran."

He continues with sarcasm, "Dude! Everybody is a doctor here. The guy starts first year of dental school and calls himself a doctor. The other guy lives by a hospital and calls himself a doctor. Welcome to L.A."

By now the margarita was kicking in and I was feeling pretty good. I looked around and found myself a good looking Iranian girl who was kind of looking at me. The courage liquid was in my system and I had nothing to lose since I was a total stranger in this lala land and probably would never run in to these people again. I walked to the good-looking Iranian girl and introduced myself.

"Hi I am Siamack, what's your name."

"Hi I am Sima, nice to meet you," she replied politely.

"Are you a friend of Mazi?" I asked.

"No, I am a friend of Tania. She invited me."

The conversation dragged on for a few minutes. She kept looking around while I was talking to her, which was not a good sign. She finally asked what I did for living? I replied "I am an engineer." She stepped backward an almost tripped over the coffee table. She gave me a look of empathy and disgust. The kind of look you get from a L.A. waitress after she counts the tip you just left her. She immediately apologized and claimed that her friend was calling her. She walked away with quick, unhesitant steps.

Well, that's the way it is. I was deep in my thoughts analyzing what just happened when Mazi grabbed my arm. I turned around and saw him and a beautiful Iranian girl standing besides him.

"I would like you to meet Yasi," Mazi said with his devilish smile. She was a real beauty I thought.

I looked deep in her eyes and said with a deep voice, "Hi, my name is Siamack...DOCTOR Siamack."

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