I've only got two weeks left before we leave for Iran. We've bought our tickets, and our ru saris. We've got someone to stay at our house to take care of the dogs and cat and collect the mail. We've lined up people to take care of business while we're gone. We've filled up our dining room table with soghati to bring back with us. I have to thank everyone for the suggestions for soghati. The suggestions from “DaRealOne” were especially useful. Though I didn't find myself buying any lava lamps and my budget wouldn't allow for the hundred dollar plus sunglasses many of the other suggestions were very useful.
Of course, the most important preparation for this safar (journey) is my Laptop. The laptop I'm bringing is about the size of a small book, weighs about 3 lbs and has a battery life of about 7 or so hours. It will probably be obsolete by the time I leave for Iran in 2 weeks, but for now, it will do just fine. It's got a 20 Gig hard drive, a 800 Mhz speed Mobile Intel Pentium 3 CPU, and 256 Meg of RAM. It runs XP Professional. I'm also bringing a digital video camera. With the video camera and laptop, I can create video clips, instantly turn them in to MPEGs and send them back to you “Presto” we've got “Not Without My Laptop – The Movie”.
Khar-e Ma Az Pol Gosasht – The Eighties
The eighties were good years. Slowly, but surely “khar-e ma az pol gosasht” (our donkey passed the bridge). I suppose we had many donkeys passing many bridges during those years, though I'm sure we will have many more donkeys passing many more bridges. We spent 1980 to 1982 getting the immigration donkey over the bridge. Jamshid's student visa had lapsed in the time it took him to change schools. This combined with his Iranian citizenship apparently qualified him for immediate deportation. I'm not sure whether it was the teary-eyed scene I made in the immigration office or his friends who were using phone outside the door to organize a demonstration. Whatever is was, we managed to get the immigration officer to stamp Jamshid's permission to work on his deportation papers. He worked just long enough to make enough money to leave the country. While he lived on the beaches of Italy, I worked on his permanent residency status in the US. The process was only supposed to take a couple of weeks. Nine months later he was finally able to return “Greencard” in hand.
We spent 1983 to 1987 getting the babies through the diapers phase donkey over the bridge. In 1983 I gave birth to Joleh, the most beautiful baby girl in the world. In 1985 I gave birth to Jamshid Jr., the most handsome baby boy in the world. During this time we were both working around the clock to pay for everything that comes with the diaper phase. We both worked double shifts. Jamsheed worked days at whatever work he could find. He started with the jobs that most of the Iranians those days were starting out with convenience store clerk, ice cream vendor and taxi driver. Finally, he tried his hand at landscaping. I watched in amazement as he turned lawn mowing jobs into a very profitable commercial landscape design and maintenance business. While he was building his business, I jumped on the computer craze bandwagon. I started in data entry and worked my way into programming. Before long I was actually using that literature degree writing computer software manuals. When the Internet came along, I was in the right place at the right time for web development.
In the eighties I continued my struggle to learn the Persian language. Visits from my in-laws and especially Mama Jun and Baba Jun helped more than anything else. They gave me the opportunity to make quite a few more mistakes and learn a few more unforgettable lessons.