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June 25, 2003
The Iranian

Part 18

30 December 2002

Going back home... Yes, I made the phone call. It was official now. I couldn't back down anymore. WHAT HAD I DONE? I gave up my freedom to move back with my folks! For what? Oh yeah, to GET A LIFE!

My mom had never been more happy, the poor darling. She really is the most caring and wonderful person I know, with a heart of gold. But like most parents and children, we had our differences. I was proud to be a rebelious young woman (at the age of 17).

My mom and dad tried to slow me down, but NOOO! As stubborn and determined as she is, Awi couldn't possible listen to her parents. She had to go her own way, she had to have her own experiences. Well I DID and I fell flat on my face....

To tell the truth I was a real horror in my teenage years. I had done everything that was a big NO NO in the Iranian Parents Book of Culture. When I was a little girl I thought my parents were weird. I remember the first time I was invited to a birthday party by a Dutch classmate. I was 7 years old and had been in Holland for almost a year. I was trying to fit in with the rest and I remember feeling really out of place.

When I walked inside the room, dressed up by my mom in my yellow girly skirt and yellow girly blouse, with a big yellow flower in my hair and my black shiny tapshoes with yellow bows on it and seeing all of my Dutch friends in their regular jeans and shirt. In response to my complaint my mom said that this was our culture. I remember I didn't give a damn about culture. I just wanted to make friends. In the years after, my parents became more and more used to the Dutch way of living.

The first time I understood why my parents acted the way they did, was the time I returned to Iran after 12 years. We went to a birthday part and it was as if every one was suddenly walking on a red carpet. Everybody was acting as if they had been nominated for an Oscar or something. The trip cleared another issue as well: why we always pack so much food. I think it's DNA-related.

I have to say honestly that I was really scared of going back to Iran after all these years. I remember feeling out of place again. But that changed the minute I stepped out of the airport. It was summer and the air was warm and dry. I remembered the scents, strange yet familiar. The tap water was fresh and thirst-quenching.

The only thing that scared the hell out of me were the monsterly huge bugs and roaches. The weirdest thing was that I couldn't walk outside without being talked to by every single stranger that passed by (matalak mindaakhtan!). I felt at home.

So one day before New Year's eve, I moved out and in again with my parents. Just before I was moving back in, my dad took me aside and said, "Awisa, just remember that even though you are an adult and you've been living on your own for the past 2 years, it doesn't mean you can do anything you want. Remember this is still my house and I have my rules."

I felt a rush of rebelious electricity screaming thru my brain (bargh az saram parid!) but I held back. I needed these rules to get back and in touch with reality. So I just noded and left the room.

That evening I sat on my parents' balcony on the 13th floor, with a cup of coffee, overlooking Amsterdam. It was amazing, you could almost see the whole city. It was quite and relaxed. Nothing like my appartment downtown. Where every night was full and crowded.

I had taken the first step and I was feeling proud of this major decision. But the question was, what's happening next? What should I do with Omid? And Negin? Should I stop cold turkey or should I decrease the time of which I'm spending behind my computer? I knew where to start but I didn't know how to keep on going.

Suddenly I heard my mom's voice, "Azizam, khaabet nemiyaad?"

"Na maamaan, daaram fekr mikonam."

"Beh chi?"

"Maamaan, engaari residam be yek koocheye bombast."

"Hattaa toh yek koocheye bombast, there's always a way out. Of course it takes more time and effort. But you will come out of it more experienced and POKHTEH TAR."

She was telling the truth. I had to spend some time thinking about my next move and the most important thing on my to do list was to re-arrange my priorities.... and hey tomorrow night it would be New Year's eve... year 2003...a new year a new chance ... maybe...


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