An anecdote from bazaar bozorg
August 18, 2005
I was in the bazaar bozorg, waiting for my parents to "chuneh" with
a certain vendor, when one of the young workers, who couldn't
have been older than eighteen, grabbed my attention.
He pointed to the logo on my scarf and asked, "Do you
like Besiktas?" referring to the Istanbul-based soccer club.
"Yeah, I like them." I answered.
"They are the hole, man," he said with a cynical
smile. "Do you like Persepolis or Esteghlal?" he asked.
"Esteghlal," I answered.
"They are the hole too, man! The only good clubs are Persepolis,
Bayern Munich, and AC Milan. The rest are all the hole, man!"
Then he paused for a few seconds while he looked me over. "Where
are you from?" he asked.
"The United States."
He reflected for a moment, and then he asked, "Do you
eat a lot of sex in America?"
"Well... ," I started slowly. But he didn't even
give me a chance.
"Here, in Iran, I eat sex, three times a week," he
"Well, good for you man." I said.
"Next year," he went on, "I will move to Germany
to stay with my uncle. There, I will eat sex everyday."
"Well have a great time," I answered.
But he didn't hear me. He had been called by his boss to help
a customer out and he took off. I waited a little bit for him
to come back and finish his conversation with me but I think
he had forgotten about me already. That happens pretty easily
in a place like bazaar bozorg.
Later that day, I asked my cousin what the kid meant by the
phrase "eating sex." Was it just having sex he was
refering to, was it sex with a prostitute, or maybe it was just
slang for oral sex?
He laughed out loud when I mentioned it. "I have never
heard anything like that in my life!" he exclaimed.
"What do you think he meant?" I asked.
He reflected for a moment before answering, "Well, he
could have meant eating something else... yeah, that's probably
what he meant... either way it's pretty obvious that he's full
of shit, I mean, if he doesn't even know how to say it right
I'm sure he's not really eating it."
Six months later, the joke is still very alive in my spirit.
I have shared the story about the Persian pervert with my friend
Ali, and it has created an ongoing insider joke between us.
We go to a restaurant, sit down, flip through the menu. I look
at him with my thick eyebrows up, like the Iranian player-want-to-be's
do when they dance at social gatherings. "Yesterday," I
tell him, "I ordered a filet mignon with a baked potato.
It was very filling. But today, I shall order sex. No, make that...
sex on a roll."
Ali dies laughing. He leans back on his chair. In a thick Middle
Eastern accent, he asks me, "Tell me, how many times a week
do you eat sex?"
I give out a great bellow of a Middle-Eastern laugh. "You
must mean how many times a day!"
"Yes, yes, please forgive me for underestimating your
"No offense taken. Well, currently I eat sex... three
times a day, on the weekdays that is. But ever since I was a
kid I could only have two meals a day on the weekend, because
I usually wake up pretty late you know. So Saturdays and Sundays,
I eat sex only twice."
"Only twice! You are a great man, for withstanding the
"Life is all about the sacrifice."
"Yes, I agree."
"We must always thank God."
Six months later it is Christmas, and I go back to Iran. I
go back to the bazaar, this time accompanied by my cousin. I
find the Persian pervert, that player-want-to-be, still working
at the same vendor for nickels and dimes. Of course, he doesn't
remember me; too many people had come and gone. He probably bullshitted
with all of them, some about his false sexual conquests, others
about how the soccer team they supported was "the hole."
I intentionally wore by Besiktas scarf around my neck. When
he saw his opportunity his eyes lit up. He approached me with
a wry smile and asked me, "Do you like Besiktas?"
"Of course not," I answered. "They are the hole,
"That's right, they are the hole! Hey, do you like Persepolis
"Persepolis all the way man. Esteghlal are the hole, man!"
"I'm with you brother!" he said with genuine excitement.
He looked me over for a few seconds, and then he asked, "Where
are you from?"
"From the United States," I answered.
Then he asked, "Do you eat a lot of sex in America?"
"Hell yeah!" I said. "In America, I eat sex,
three times a day."
He looked at me with astonished eyes when I said that. He was
awestruck. Oh, how he dreamed of coming to America then! But
he quickly recovered his pride, put his eyebrows up, smiled smugly,
and said, "that's nothing man, here, I eat sex, five times
"Oh really?" I asked. "You must really get your
"Next year, I'm going to move to Germany, to live with
my uncle. There, I will eat sex, ten times a day."
"Well be careful out there." I said.
But he didn't hear me. His boss had called him and he had run
off to help a customer. This time I didn't bother waiting for
him to come back to finish the conversation. After all, the conversation
was finished. I mean, how could anyone top off that display by
the Persian pervert, that player-want-to-be, that depraved sorry
soul of a nation of lost youths, longing for a beautiful blonde,
a blonde with gigantic breasts, so he could eat her sex, ten,
fifteen, even twenty times a day over. The boy was in over his
I looked at my cousin, who was thoroughly entertained by the
events that had just passed. "We got to get ourselves to
Germany," I said.
"Count me in," he said with a grin.