go to Ardabil
Iranians are good at enjoying their lives.
Their amusement is summarized in chattering and dance
By Kaoru B.
April 15, 2004
Just got a email from John Mohammadi recommending
created by a Japanese woman with notes and photos of her
trip to Iran. On top of the page it reads: "Persia is present
Iran. I received such a heartful and warm hospitality when I visited
Iran. This homepage is the travel note that a Japanese
woman who married an Iranian spent some months with
his family in Iran." Here's her notes titled "Let's go to
Ardabil" and "Pleasure in Iran":
Let's go to Ardabil
We went to travel to Ardebil of Azerbaidjan province
where [my husbamd's] Parents were born. We will visit the uncle.
He is Father's brother
live in Ardebil with his family.
We went with all family, Parents,
Brother, the eldest brother's family, Sister's family. There were
20 people traveled with us.
Three cars were full of us.
If we pass the town in Japan,
we can find a lot of houses in the country side. Many people live
But when we passed Tehran city, we found only a wilderness
and no one was there. I could see the mountain far in the distance.
Those mountains were different from the ones which a Japanese imagined.
They were mountains where the wilderness swelled from the ground
as they had few trees.
It was the world of ocher color including
the mountains to see in the distance. It was not a desert, but
it was like the plain
where it became rough.
The middle east has many deserts. Tehran
is in the northern part of Iran and has no desert. The climate
is almost the same as Japan.
Iran faces the north border with the
Azerbaidjan republic of the ex-Soviet Union. There were many areas
which are colder than Japan.
Ardebil is one of the coldest areas
Out of Tehran
Each town is isolated
in Iran. We hardly found a house between the towns. Tehran is a
megalopolis beyond the population of 10,000,000
If you compare with Tehran, the scale of other towns
is very small. The atmosphere does not change at least in the surroundings
As for going from Tehran to Ardebil, we need one
day by car. We drived freely with taking a rest once in one or
it was long distance.
When we passed through the next town of
Tehran, we took a rest. We stopped the cars in the shade of green
trees at the side
of the road.
We laid the mat on the grass, and had a tea which
Mother and Sister packed into the pot at home.
There were no house and no shop in the surroundings.
a party of a family trip like us a little far from us. Mother
went to chat with the party's women and she did not
come back for a long time.
Though Iranians never trust strangers soon, they
often talk to the person who sat on the neighbor in the restaurant
We finished the first rest, and went more to the
north. Though the air of Tehran dries, damp increases in facing
sea in the north.
We found wheat fields near Tehran, but they changed
to rice fields near the Caspean sea. The scene of ocher color dyes
gradually. Because it rains and there is much damp. When the
climate looks like Japan, the houses and the scenes also look like
I felt the illusion that it is in the country of
Japan. It was falling the rain which was never seen in Tehran of
When we looked for the place to have lunch, we found a cabin beside
the road. It seemed to be a small restaurant or Chaikhane
(tea room) because there were some tables and seats in front of
When Brother went in, it was Chaikhane.
Sister brought the meal from the house. Because we can not have
meals in the country which has very few restaurants
and we do not know where it is.
My husband and Sister's husband negotiated
with Chaikhane owner, and he borrowed us to eat lunch there.
guests were there. They had no sign to get custmers. I was afraid
the shop can go well or not. We begun the lunch in the
The menu was Ghorme-sabzi (Herb and meat stew),
Yogurt, Istanbli (Tomato piraf). They packed in the morning, the
Children began to play and ran after the hens that
were pastured in the neighbor when they finish eating lunch. The
were fine and fast runing because they were kept in the outside.
Here was Chaikhane
and we had Chai at last. [Note ends without describing time spent
Pleasure in Iran
The Iranian has a few amusement because of religious precepts.
is no bar because alchol is prohibited. There are neither a club
nor a disco because it is prohibited that a man and a woman
have a date before they marry.
There is no Karaoke because they
are not interested in singing. There is no habit that stays long
in the restaurant, and they only
have meals there.
But the Iranians are good at enjoying their lives.
Their amusement is summarized for the chattering and the dance.
they often go shopping and a walk with the family. Whichever park
we go to any time, it is strange to be crowded.
There are more
adults in the park than children because there are more placed
like a garden with the walk way than parks with playing.
do not go for play with the friends very much because they are
busy with the relatives association even if they are children.
go to park with the family and the relatives. I went out many times,
too. We enjoyed chattering with taking a walk.
We went out to the
uptown which the stand like the one in Japanese festival stood
in a line many times at night.
The other stands were a little different
though the one of the roasted corns looks like a Japanese one.
saw many stands of hanging very sour dark red dry cherry. It seems
to be good to eat them with walking.
The fortune teller with Chador
called the people to make a bird quote a sacred fortune-telling.
was good to take a rest in Chaikhane stand. It is pleasant to take
a walk in crawded in the uptown which it is cool.
It is common to
go out with all of the family to such places with the little children
though they come home 1 or 2 o'clock late at
We need one day to search one thing in shopping.
They can find surely Nan shop
wherever they go so they have to go to buy anything by cars. Because there
were not many shops
of vegetables or fruits. we had to look for the good shop around the
We went out to buy the shoes in the other day. We
were looking for them in many stores of a street standing only
It is difficult even if we find the goods we want.
We must surely beat down in the Iranian stores. It is presumed
to put the
They fight thoroughly even for small money. They
sticks to buying it by the correct value.
When Chai was served for
us while negotiating price, I was waiting with having it.
said to me not to come with him when we had to buy something expensive.
If I were with him, it would be difficult to beat
down and he would get high price because they think all Japanese are
We thought pitiful of the children to have a little
amusement, so we bought a tricycle for them on that way home. The
drove around noisily in the big living room every day.
out to look for the books in another day. Ther are many places
in Iran many stores to handle the same goods join in
one place like a Japanese wholesale district. You can go near Tehran
university for the books.
We ate out for the first time at that
night. We ate the sausage sandwich in the restaurant. Because pork
is prohibited in Islam,
both sausage and salami are made by beef.
There were chicken
and sheep meat in the show case. I was surprised that the brain
of sheep was too real. It will be sliced and
make a sandwich.
The beef sausage had smoked smell and it was delicious.
When we came home, we were comparatively scolded by Mother if there
was no food like the sandwich. She does not trust any meal of outside.
Pleasure at home
As I say the pleasure at home, it is the home party. The relatives
or the friends are gathered and have a party readily.
invited by the eldest brother's, Sister's, and the relative's house like
Party menu is very luxurious compared with the usual
meal. The eldest brother liked a fish uncommonly to an Iranian,
he cooked Mahi-kebab (fish barbecue) for us many times.
We can not find the caviars
in the city because they are for the export though Iran is famous
They eat white fish like the stergeons , the parent
fish of the caviar and so on. The salted dry fish is sold in Tehran,
the inland areas.
Young family serve often western dishes like
Lasagna and the Pizza. I remember the handmade tastes of Shish-kebab
(chicken barbecue) roasted on chacoal at home.
made by Mother are all traditional dishes in Ardebil and Iran.
It is such as Dormeh of the grape leaves (the
stuffed meat), Kufte (boiled huge meat balls) and Ghorme-sabzi (the stew
of herbs and beans).
When there were the dish which I
can not eat, Mother cooked the different dish only for me like
the meatballs with eggs
or the hambergers boiled in tomato.
When the guests such as the relatives came home, all were pased
through the living room, but many women gathered in the
kitchen to help and talk with the housewife.
The aunt sat down on the floor of
the kitchen, and she was making salad in this day.
board is seldom used for cooking. They move skillfully small knives
on the big ball and the lettuce was cut.
She quickly cut cucumbers and tomatos by corner.
I tried to help her. I can't
catch up their speed at all because I am acustomed to use the cutting
board in Japan.
The niece also cut the lettuce. arranged cucumbers
and tomatos to make a line, and decorated salads like a cake. She
gave play to her sense like making the handycrafts more than cooking.
not stop talking with moving her hands. Even the Islam women who
care men's eyes can show themselves freely
in this limited room.
I heard about the quilting bee that the housewives
gatherd for patchwork quilt in USA. They enjoy conversation with
sewing quilt all together. I think the kitchen of the Iranian
women look like it.
Nan of every morning
Though householding is women's work, shopping is men's work in
Iran. The father went to buy Nan every morning though
he said that his body was painful.
My husband and the nephew went to buy Nan
if they could. Every day they buy Nan only for the same day if any one goes.
are some kinds of breakfast Nan. One is Barbari that is thick and
has a wavy shape. It is a little hard and tastes
The other is Sangyak that is roasted on stones paved
in the oven. It smells burned and is very delicious.
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