October 9, 2003
My school days in Arak were pretty normal. Luckily,
I was too
young and oblivious to allow such things as moving
from one end of Iran to another -- and a war -- make me a
shy person. So I quickly found some friends to hang
out with during lunch and breaks. The only problem
I had was remembering names, which is something that
continues to haunt me to this day.
Sadly enough, I
don't remember much else about school except the most
traumatizing Pofak experience a 7-year-old could
possibly have. For those of you poor saps who were
deprived of Pofak in your childhood, it's basically
Iran's version of puffy Cheetos. Now, I loved
Pofak. I mean, I really loved Pofak; it was
clearly the greatest thing on earth next to chocolate.
So picture this, a young Houman walking up to the
lunch lady with his pocket money in hand all excited
about purchasing his bag of Pofak. So I give the lady
my money and take the bag of yummy goodness.
As I open
the bag, I begin my Pofak eating routine by waiting
anxiously for the cheesy aroma to penetrate my
nostrils. It seemed a bit off but hey, I was a
7-year-old kid and all I wanted to do was shove the
entire bag into my mouth. I reached into the bag and
grabbed a piece, ate it, and immediately spat it out.
I looked inside the bag and noticed that it was filled
with maggots. Needless to say I ever had another piece
of Pofak again.
During the time we were in Arak, NIOC (National
Iranian Oil Company) told my dad (a lawyer for them)
that he had to travel to Abadan one month out of every
three. I didn't understand the danger of someone
having to travel four times a year to a devastating
war zone for his job, but would notice how restless my
mom would get during those months.
Abadan was still
under siege and very dangerous but luckily for us, my
uncles managed to keep her mind off my dad's absence
by constantly getting into trouble. My mom has
six younger brothers and needless to say my
brother and I weren't her only "kids"; she was the de
facto mom of all my uncles too.
They were teenagers
and interested in dating; a crime in Iran. During the
revolution, the Pasdaran (revolutionary guards) were
looking for any excuse to detain people.
Unfortunately, they had no sympathy for my uncles'
raging hormones (didn't the Pasdaran like girls?).
Anyway, my dad was
quickly transferred to Tehran and saved my from insanity.
I had just finished second grade and now I was going to experience
something completely new by moving to a big city. I
was sad when I left my cousins and uncles behind,
but excited about the new adventures I was going to
embark on. What I saw and experienced in Tehran was something
I was not prepared for >>> Part
4 >>> Index
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