It was late night in Tehran. I was sitting at my laptop thinking what I could do to entertain myself. Porn would be so out of the question. The lines are probably monitored. Imagining a police showing up at Mamani’s door step with photos of Kirs hanging right out — the thought gave me shivers.
I thought of the late night parties we had in Melbourne. I missed getting smashed and rolling in the hallway of my student apartment. There was this time I had thrown a party at my flat and I remember being the best host I could be, however my friends had other interpretations of the night, they were too drunk so they said I was laying on the concrete door step while it was raining and apparently they had tried to pull me over the fence to avoid embarrassment. How far fetched is that! Iranians just love blowing things out of proportion, as if I would act like.
At my parties Persian music would be screaming in the background while I mixed some SmirnOff with a few ‘drops’ of pink cordial. Vicky always made fun of my drinks; she said my drinks knocked people out right away. Isn’t that the whole point of drinking? People just distract themselves with useless chatter and friendly pretences when all they want to do is get drunk, so all I do is speed up the process. It’s about maximizing effect and minimizing time and I’m just the right person to do it. Two words for you, efficiency and effectiveness. Cheap drinks that get you off your face fast.
Once I met this Turkish guy at one of my parties, he was a good target; he had a nice built body, char shooneh, tall. So I asked him if he wanted a drink, and he said sure why not. So me being the friendly sociable host, I took out a couple of shot glasses and I was very generous with the Vodka. He looked hesitant but I convinced him with my Persian charming flirtations and we did about 4. The next thing I know, he is telling me I’m too drunk and that he doesn’t want to take advantage. My luck had hit a stone.
So again back to the story. I was sitting on the bed thinking what I could do to entertain myself in Tehran. Not knowing anyone, not owning any friends or any life of my own, I had to wait for a miracle. If only I had a Vicky (or a Vodka either one would be fine) here I could call and organize to go down to a pub have a couple of beers and a smoke, okay replace pub with coffee shop (the hang out place of Tehran’s cool kids) and replace beer with tea — but I don’t want tea I want BEER.
If only I could walk down the street and buy a pack of cigarettes without getting told by a guy that he wants to kiss me or another pedestrian guy trying to touch me while walking past… if only! What has happened to our kids, so desperate for some serious you know what.
While I was fantasizing about all these great things like drinking and getting extremely high, the phone rang. I picked up, first I didn’t recognize the voice but later I realized it was Armid. He was the last person I though I would get a call from. He is like the coolest kid in our chain of relatives. I started with the usual chatter like “how are your parents and what are you doing with our ‘troubles'” — you know the usual nonsense, every time I say those things I feel guilty because I mean none of it, I say oh “ba zahmataye ma chi kar meekonid” and I think to myself yeah what zahmat? What am I on about?
Anyhow he played on too like any normal Iranian would. After five minutes of exchanging the usual; I asked him why he had called. He said Bita there’s this really awesome party at one of my friend’s villas in Karaj and you should come.
Of course it was all a bit odd, because Armid was my dad’s cousin’s kid and we hardly had any close encounter. The only time we really hung out was almost a decade ago in Shomal on our family vacation, the time where Armid lost my sand spade in the Caspian and I got really mad at him. I remember my sister and I collected lots of snails and kept them in match boxes in the trunk of the car, later they had felt warm and had crawled out on mum’s clothes, felt so sorry, the snails were disgusting as you can imagine. I’m getting side tracked again, but even back then I wasn’t close to him, I was always hanging with his brother who was the same age as me.
Considering my desperate social state I accepted the invitation right away and we decided to meet in half an hour. Usually I would take over an hour to get ready but this time I just wanted to get out of the house immediately. I put on my jeans, a stripy shirt, my pointy shoes and took a small purse that could only fit some Tomans.
I heard the buzz and walked outside. He got out of his seat and walked towards me to shake hands; I wasn’t sure if I should do the three kisses thing, I had never kissed him before, what if he got the wrong idea and thought I like him. Oh well me being the professional “Westerner” I put a lid on traditional thinking and kissed him. I was thinking of my German exchange kid, what he would think if he saw me with Armid.
A sudden feeling of guilt embraced me and I contemplated with myself for a few seconds not to go, then I decided I’m just nervous and I have nothing to worry about because Armid was a trustable guy and I had to experience getting drunk in Tehran so I could tell my friends. Some how experiencing smashed-ness in Tehran would make me feel equivalent to my Western counterparts.
I had heard about the police called the “Komiteh”, they gave young people tickets for drink driving. Yah RIGHT, you wish, more like 200 lashes and a 200,000 Toman fine!
Anyway I almost got you there, but a ticket would be nice, wouldn’t it? Would make you feel like the country has rules. The street police give people a really hard time, but I hadn’t seen any in Tehran so I didn’t bother asking Armid about a backup plan incase of confrontation with one. On the way Armid and I talked about his business, Iranian movies and how they are as commercial as the American ones and talked about our favorite things. We both agreed that the girl in the film ‘Taleh’ is a real Googoosh wanna be and that she does her eyes half closed on purpose so she can look more seductive, and we both agreed that she is ugly, she is always playing in roles with Golzar.
It was around 12 midnight, you probably don’t believe me but we got stuck in traffic! Tehran has terrible traffic problem and people still want to drive you every where, I don’t see the point, it’s not like they’re doing you any favors. You would be better off catching the metro, if you are a girl you have to be careful you don’t get your ass pinched, or fingered or all sorts of crazy things… As I was sitting in the dark, the only thing I could recognize in the distance was Tehran’s Milad Tower, I hate that thing, what is it? Another copycat?
I don’t understand why Iranians get so excited about it. Would they still adore Milad if they had heard the conspiracies that Milad will be used to throw bugs into people’s satellite receivers… but I have to admit, I’m SO proud of Iran, always staying updated with the technology.
Forty minutes later and we were there. There were no cars around the residential. I thought the party may have not started yet, which was a bit strange because it was past midnight so I figured it might have already ended, and I felt a sudden rush of disappointment run down my spine. I don’t know how disappointment can run like that but hopefully you get my drift.
The gates opened and we walked about 50 meters until we got to the actual entrance of the house. The place was HUGE. The minute the door opened the blasting sound of music nailed my feet to the ground. There were thick tapes all over the windows to stop the noise from getting out. The place was packed with drunken individuals. Some looked dozy in a drugged kind of way and they smiled at me, they looked friendly — I felt like going up to them and introducing myself. Hello! I’m Bita, I come from Australia!
Then I withdrew the thought, Australia is not exactly fashionable, they would probably say something about the kangaroos, bush or sheep. The guys didn’t look like they could use their intellect at the time with all the smoke hazing around their heads they looked liked angels with halers. I was happy we were late, that way I didn’t have to say hi to people and I didn’t need to look interested. In general I hate socializing and I don’t like people.
The strobe lighting worked really well with the music. The music was a fusion of House and Iranian techno. I really liked it.
Armid asked what I wanted to drink, luckily the owner had everything organized he had a table full of whisky, vodka, beer and some mixers on the other side. It was unimaginable. Wiskey, Tehran? Where is my camera?
He got me some Whisky and coke. We both started dancing, I realized he danced just like me, we had the exact same moves, it was so annoying — I felt like a man. I tried to add some diversity to my routine but it didn’t work so I gave up and sat on the couch next to the dozed out guys who I thought had smiled at me.
And there I was, at this crazy Iranian suburban party with a bunch of twenty something kids who were getting high without me contributing to it. It was a sad moment. I was feeling left out. For some reason I had lost my appetite for drinking and decided I should ‘catch a cab home’. Then I was reminded by Armid that it’s not the West and I can’t just catch a cab — I really hated how my hands were so tied up in Tehran. Where is my independence gone? It sucks how I had to always rely on men to do things for me. Especially Armid, he had this ego of a typical Iranian guy. One of these guys that will probably want his girlfriend to dress the way he wants and act the way he wants.
Thanks to Swinburne Residences, I had met the man of my life. My man is the German exchange kid that had replaced my Mexican house mate after the Iran and Mexico match. The bitch had the flag put up in the lounge. YOU, as an Iranian put yourself in my shoes and you will also feel the rage. So I did what any normal Iranian would do in that situation. I went in my room and started dancing to Farshid’s “Sabzo Sefido Ghermez”.
So yeah as you can see I am very lucky. I have my German exchange kid to love and adore. Good luck girls with all those bald eynaki Iranian engineers, mine is a Scientist. He used to do engineering…�