Welcome. Khooneh-ye khodetooneh.... consider me a good friend -- or
a kind aunt if you prefer. Tell me what's on your mind. I'll listen carefully
to whatever is bothering you and try to give you some honest advice. Let's
have a chat... email me at email@example.com
May 31, 2001
* Taking people's packages to Iran
Dear Kobra Khanom,
My faith in you is growing every single day. I believe you are wise
and very logical person.
I have completed my education as high as possible in three major universities
in the world; one in Iran and the other two right here in the U.S. But I'm
getting my real education since last month when I started reading your column.
The question I have for you this time is: I'm going to Iran next month,
after being away for almost 11 years. The only one who is not aware of my
trip to Iran in my big southern California community is Khajeh Hafez Shirazi.
Last week a neighbor of mine came to my house and was saying that
she has a very small package full of vital medicines for her mother who
lives in Tehran. She asked me to deliver the package. My answer was, yes
I would be more than happy to take the medicines to Iran.
She came back a few days later. The small package she was talking
about had became a large one. When I looked inside, guess what were the
"vital medicines"? Five perfumes, skin and youth lotions, Vitamins
from A to Z (you name it), shampoo, Armani purse (I'm sure it's fake, she
purchased it from downtown), some pens and pencils for her nieces and nephews
and two video tapes of her nephew's wedding...
And god forbid, if I see her mother in Tehran, and she wants to give
me a container full of piaaz e sork kardeh for her daughter in America should
I bring it to or not? Her mother's life is in your hands. If you say no,
no power in the world can make me take the so-called medicines to her.
P.S.: If you want to send something to your mother, I would be more
than happy to take them even if they are the said items. If your mother
or relatives in Iran want to send you something even like piaaz e sork kardeh,
I would be more than happy to make an exception and bring the soghaatis
Your situation is a familiar one to most Iranians. Here is what I would
do. Take the cosmetics since you have them in hand and you have technically
accepted to take them. To some people a cream for restoring a youthful look
to the skin IS medecine. So act like a good fellow Iranian and take the
old lady her cosmetics.
But when you see the woman in Iran, or anyone else for that matter, do
not accept to bring any foodstuff back. Tell them that it is illegal and
you do not want to risk taking these things. Even if you lie a little and
say, "Oh I knew so and so got stopped at the airport etc..." it
is okay. A little white lie for civility's sake is worth it.
I have one very blunt relative who has announced to everyone that she
simply does not take things back and forth. I think that is not the right
approach. In our culture, taarof has a very real function of preserving
civility and allowing people to refuse without humiliating one another.
So take what you already accepted (also the cream being for an older
lady has a certain charitable value but foodstuffs that can be found in
the U.S. is not a matter of necessity). Also if they give you any heavy
and outsized things to bring, tell them that you will have excess luggage
weight (ezaafeh baar) and cannot do it. But easy light gifts you should
accept and look at it as part of the whole package of going to visit the
Have a nice trip, eltemaas-e doaa,
May 30, 2001
* Study or have fun?
Ba arz salaam khedmat e shomaa. mamnoon az in kaar ghashangetoon.
vaaghean iraaniaa be ye hamchin kaari ehtiaaj daashtan. vaallaa man age
bekhaam hame soaalaa va moshkelaatamo baraaye shomaa begam ye chand saaly
ro baayad sarf neveshtan email konam vali khob in yeki az hame baraam mohemtare.
hamoontor ke midoonid too iraan daaneshgah raftan kaar har kasi nist,
baa in vaz e kaaro inaa ham ke age aadam daaneshgah ghabool nashe dige kaari
nemitoone bokone. manam az hamoon bachegi too goosh maa khoondan ke to chehgadr
baahooshi, cheghadr eli cheghadr bel. albatte age az hagham nakhaaym begzarim
doroogham nemigoftan vali khob dige...
moshkelat e maa az oonjaa shoroo shod ke oomadim saale sevvom az ye
taraf konkoor o dars o inaa az ye tarafam mibinam ke vaaghean har kaari
mikonam nemishe ziaad dars bekhoonam. chemidoonam, belakhare maa tafrih
ham laazem daarim dige.
albatte man fekr mikonam ziaad be kaarhaaye motefarreghe mipardaazam
vali vaaghean nemidoonam chejoori inaaro mahdood konam. chemidoonam, hamin
biroon raftana baa doostaa boodan o az hamin chizaa dige. albatte bishtar
man negaraan e saal e aayande hastam ke chejoori mishe inkaara ro mahdood
konam yaa behtar begam tamoom konam.
lotfan mano raahnamaayee konid. ghablan az shomaa mamnoonam.
Arash az tehran
Arash Khan-e Aziz,
Agar az bachehgi az hoosh shomaa tareef kardan baraaye in ast ke shomaa
hatman baahoosh hasteed. Albateh saaleh sevom boodan kaare aasaani neest.
Va hameh meedaanand ke konkoor dar Iran cheghadr moshgel ast. Shomaa ham
javaani, va hatman deli por ehsaas, va energi-e ziaad daareed. Az tafrih
agar khoshataan nemeeomad tabii nabood. Vali shomaa hoosh inraa daareed
keh bedoneed tadris shomaa dar haal haazer az har cheez-e digaree vaajeb
Donbaal bahaaneh naravid. Gaahi sakhti tanhaa chaareh peeshraft ast.
In raa bedaaneed keh aayandeye shomaa be tadris shomaa bastegi daarad. Agar
meekhaahid movafagh baashid alaan baayad az tafrih va tafanon doori konid.
Dar aayandeh vaght baraaye khoshi ziaad khaahid daasht vali baraaye tadris
alaan behtareen mogheiyat ast.
Ghadre hoosh va javaani raa bedaaneed va azashaan estefaadeh koneed.
Be doostaanetaan ham rok begooeed keh baraaye aanhaa taa etmaame emtahaanaat
anghadr vaght nadaareed chon shomaa masooliate beeshtary be aayandeh khod
dareed. Aanhaa agar doostaan vaaghehee hastand meefahmand. Agar ham na,
behtar ke baa aanhaa moaasherat nakoneed.
Man be shomaa ghol meedam keh hameen doostaan agar shomaa yek roozi,
khodaaye nakardeh, movafagh nabaasheed va mohtaaj baashid, tedaadeshaan
foori kam meeshavad. Vali yek javaan tahsil kardeh movafagh heechvaght tanhaa
Pass yaadataan baasheh, "tavaanaa bovad har keh daanaa bovad / ze
daanesh del pir bornaa bovad." Bazi az goftehaa heechvaght ghadimi
Be omid movafaghiayet shomaa. Khoshaal meeshavam agar khabar az emtehaanaataan
be man bedahid. Agar baaz ham soaal daashteed baa man tamaas begeereed.
Agar ham nomreh khoob nayavordin va khaasteen dardo-del konid man goosh
shenavaa khaaham daasht va shomaa raa ghezaavat nakhaahm kard. Meekhaaham
komake doostaaneh/maadaraaneh bekonam na mobseraaneh
May 29, 2001
* Getting over first love
Dear Kobra Khanom,
First let me begin by saying I absolutely love reading your advice
column. I was wondering if you could help me also with a particular problem
I have been having lately. I am a very traditional 21-year-old girl with
very strict parents. I have never rebeled against them but have always tried
to be true to my heritage and respectful of my parents.
To make a long story short, this past year, I fell in love with a
man from a different culture. He was my first love and the strain and pressure
caused by my parents ultimately caused us to part ways. I now wonder if
this man was the love of my life that I let slip through my fingers. I know
I am very young and the feelings I have for him are probably in part due
to the fact that he was the first man I ever cared for, and who ever genuinely
cared for me. To conclude my sad story, he is now dating a girl from his
own heritage and I am left by myself.
So my question is to you, how do we recover from our first loves?
I do not particularly like leaving things to chance so should I actively
be doing something right now? Do people ever actually recover from this
to find a person they love more? It has been almost a year since I last
saw him and I still think of him every day and often cry at the sweet and
innocent times we shared together.
I apologize for the long and depressing nature of this email. :)
Dear Naz khanom,
First of all your letter is very eloquent and not as depressing as it
may seem to you. A twenty-one-year-old recovering form her first love is
not so sad and in fact brings a slight smile to an old woman's face! You
will recover very rapidly from your first love. Time is the best healer
of broken hearts!
Let me point out that you should not feel regret or blame your parents
over the loss of this person. If this person was genuinely in DEEP love,
he would not have let you go so easily and he certainly would not have found
another girl so soon. If he was truly and deeply in love he would have put
up a bigger fight for you. So remember the good times but do not brood over
having lost the "right one". You are young and still have plenty
of chances to meet someone.
Your parents sound like they are conservative but they want to protect
you out of love. So their intentions, at least, are correct. You, on the
other hand, are an adult and while listenting to them, should not allow
them to meddle too much in your affairs. You should be able to draw the
lines between your needs and their wants in such a way that both of you
still respect and learn from one another. Ask them to sit down for a talk
and without bitterness explain to them how you need them to allow you to
live your own life and make your own mistakes. If one of them is more approachable
start with that parent and he/she can try to convince the other.
Be firm in your demand for independence. You have shown them loyalty
and been an obedient daughter so far, so they should trust you and your
judgment and give you the benefit of the doubt. Tell them you will consult
them and consider their advice, but that you would like to make your own
decisions from now on. Tell them this is a necessary aspect of growing up.
They would'nt want you not to know how to make a decision if they, God forbid,
should some day not be around.
Part of being an adult is taking responsibilty for your actions and you
can not do that if others make your decisions for you. Remember, however,
that once you do claim your independence then you can only blame yourself
for wrong decisions. But do not let that scare you; stand firm, use your
common sense and logic and you will be fine. Use the good advice that your
parents give you but make the decisions yours.
You will meet the "right person" some day. But do not make
that the focal point of your life. Work instead on making yourself the "right
person", and you will see that your soulmate will find you! You need
to know yourself and your full potential first before you can know who the
"right" match is for you. (Naz's reply)
In the hopes of the rapid recovery of your broken heart,
Damet garm khanom! Thank you for such lovely and honest advice. I
have a smile on my face at this moment.
Best wishes to you and to your family.
Merci khanom jan. :)
May 28, 2001
* "Having it both ways"
I wonder if you can give any advice on a subject that has bothered
me and my family for a long time now. My brother and sister-in-law prefer
her family to ours. They have put her family first over the years and bad-mouthed
our family to my sister-in-law's family and to others. My sister-in-law
said straight out to my other brother "I hate your family. They all
have serious problems. I would rather be with my own."
However, they still take full advantage of all the things my family
has to offer, such as unlimited daily free babysitting from my parents,
good real estate deals and help with their business. They seem to have "kissed
up" to the people on our side of the family with money and they kind
of ignore everybody else that doesn't. It seems like they figured out a
way to "have it both ways".
My brothers and I feel like they just use my parents and then bad-mouth
all of us behind our backs (including our parents). We try to keep going
with the relationship for the sake of our nieces and nephews and in the
spirit of forgiveness. However, we feel betrayed and disrespected. It's
hard to keep being nice to them. My parents and grandparents have no idea
what's going on. What if anything can we say or do?
Thank you for listening.
Your question really asks, how do we keep our love and concern for family
intact without compromising our sense of independence and fairness? Your
brother and sister-in-law are very selfish people who use the family when
it suits them. They get away with it because your parents and grandparents,
being precisely that, are blinded by their love for their son.
I can understand that you are mad because you think this is unfair. But
how does this unfairness take away from you? Does it mean there are less
resources for you? Or do your parents and family somehow have less time
for you? If it does not affect you negatively and directly then what harm
is there in your parents having the wrong impression of their son and daughter-in-law.
I am sure whatever they do for this couple and their children is because
it gives them pleasure.
If they are "bad mouthing" you and are not civil with you then
you can avoid them or ignore them. But do not try to make your parents do
the same. They are mature enough to judge for themselves. Probably the pleasure
that their grandchildren give them outweighs their displeasure at your brother
and his wife.
If you love your nieces and nephews as you seem to indicate then stay
civil with your brother and his wife and try to be there for their kids.
This does not mean that you should take any abuse just a certain distancing
of yourself is enough. Stay cool and aloof towards them. You do not have
to love them to just put up with them.
Do not confront them because this would not solve anything. Remember
extended family is an intricate fragile puzzle of different temprements,
ambitions and problems and if you want to keep it intact and whole you have
to preserve every piece even the ones with the rougher edges. So handle
But do not feel like you have to give unconditional love. Leave that
to the parents. The world is full of people who have their cake and eat
it too -- do not begrudge them. Maybe some day you will find your cake and
have a chance to eat it too!
May 25, 2001
* Responses to "Oily hair. Help!":
-- Forouzan writes: Before I give you any advice I should
say that I am a research biologist working in a company that manufactures
brand products in peronal care product such as facial, shower, and cleaning.
It is true the more you wash, the worse it gets. Prolong the wash
interval. Use some good old sedr and katira; and see what the results will
be. Surfactant in shampo stimulates your scalp, try to use herbs instead.
By the way, don't worry about your eating habit; it will not affect
oily scalp, hair or even acne; this is a scientific fact.
-- Guive Mirfendereski writes: All good advice (less washing,
wearing shorter length hair, diet). May I also add that drinking plenty
of water also helps.
As for shampooing; long ago I converted to Marseille soap (regular
old fashioned laudry soap). Your friend in Nice, may vouch for this. I got
May 25, 2001
* Read classic Persian books
Salaam "Kobra Khanom",
Bandeh az khaanandehaaye sotoone shomaa hastam va az pandhaa va andarzhaayetaan
lezzat mibaram va estefaadeh mikonam. Dar injaa mikhaastam az shomaa khahesh
konam keh be hamvatanaane iraani tosiye konid keh az motaaleeye aasaare
graanmaayeye adabiye iraan ghaafel namaanand, va har az chand gaahi az ash'aare
Masnavie Molavi, Koliyyaate Sadi, Shaahnaameye Ferdosi, Divaane Hafiz, ...
bekhaanand va del o jaaneshaan raa SAFAA va TARAAVAT bebakhshand. Hamchenin
chaahaar jeld ketabe "AMSAAL VA HEKAME (Allameh) DEHKHODAA) niz AALIST,
va khob ast keh har fard va khaanevaadeye Iraani -- dar har jaaye donyaa
-- nemoonehy az aanraa dar manzel daashte baashand va az khaandane abyaate
va nokaate shirin va naghze aan lezzat bebarand.
baa shomaa kaamelan dar baareye adabiyaat ghani va por az andarz zabaane
shirinemoon ham aghideh hastam. Nameh va peeshnahaadhaai shomaa raa be khaanandehhaai
aziz neshaan khaaham daad.
baa arz tashakor
May 24, 2001
* Oily hair. Help!
Hi Kobra Khanom, omidvaaram haaletoon khoob baashad.
I have a problem about my hair. I don't know if you can help me. My
hair (scalp) is so oily that I have to wash it every other day. When I take
a shower, after a few hours, it starts getting oily. It is very embarrassing
that I can not go out and I am losing my hair. I don't know what to do.
I've tried every thing, every kind of shampoo,...
I went to the dermatologists, they suggested to wash it every day.
I lost almost all my hair. Someone told me try highlighting or coloring
it, and it will be dry. But I am afraid, because these things are chemical.
Would you please help me? By the way, I am 27 years old and single (never
married). I will be very thankful.
With best regards,
Dear Negaraan Khanom,
I like to apologize for the delay in responding to you. I was trying
to get in touch with Fahimeh at Salon Maniatis in Nice, France. She is the
only person I trust regarding any hair decisions. Here is what she suggests:
Try to shampoo less often. The more often you shampoo the more it has the
opposite effect, meaning it will make your hair oily quicker. So try to
increase the interval between shampoos.
Then, she suggests that you try a shampoo specifically designed for extra
oily hair that will help dry the roots. Lastly, you should avoid all junk
and greasy food. Avoid fried foods and increase your intake of vegetables
and fruit. If none of this works and/or if you are losing your hair at an
alarming rate then consult a physician.
I have one thing to add to my hairdresser friend's suggestions. Whatever
the outcome of this I think you should stop feeling embarrassed. Cut your
hair shorter or wear a scarf when it is in bad shape, but do not let a mere
problem of appearance come between you and going out and seeing people.
You are young and should enjoy yourself regardless of your hair.
I, for one, can tell you that I would hate to be deprived of a friend's
company because of a thing like this. Those people who care about such things
are not worth associating with anyway. Keep a balanced perspective and remember
that there is more to a person than his/her hair!
Try to find a solution to your problem but do not let it paralyze you!
Bee khiyaal, "donyaa do rouzeh" Or should I tell you about the
friend with two kids who has been diagnosed with cancer? Please let me know
if Fahimeh's advice works.
P.S.: I saw your "never married" biographic aside in your letter.
Let me tell you what thought flashed through my head ,"lucky girl!"
Also, here in the West, no one expects a 27-year-old to be necessarily married.
I too was not married at 27. No big deal. If it happens it happens if not,
consider yourself lucky!
May 23, 2001
* Working as a waiter
Salam Kobra Khanom,
I'm not sure if this is a question. But I need to vent my anger. I
work at an Italian restaurant in the Los Angeles area. But I used to work
in an Iranian restaurant on Westwood Blvd. But I was so badly treated by
the Iranian customers that I decided to quit. They looked down on me as
if I was the scum of the earth. Do I have to be a doctor or engineer or
a beaty wueen to get some respect from my own fricken compatriots? I work
hard to pay my way to college. Do I need some shit-face to treat me this
way? Do Iranians treat American waiters the same way? I don't think so.
They wouldn't dare.
Dear Mastaneh Khanom,
I used to work as a waitress too when I was in college. But I was too
clumsy and I ended up doing dishes in the kitchen. I finally moved up to
cooking and the son of a famous lawyer became my dishwasher.
Americans value all kinds of work. Work is done for the glory of God
and as a sign of election. This is largely due to the Protestant work ethic
or what Weber calls the "spirit of capitalism" that is the backbone
of this young capitalist nation. This ethic sees labor as an end in itself
and a "calling". The culture of work here is quite different from
that in the old world.
Iranians, having been ruled by kings for centuries, are very new to this
culture of valuing and respecting all labor. So some of us, especially those
who have acquired new wealth and do not know how to handle it, may not know
how to treat a hard working waitress. This historic reality, however, does
not exonerate people form behaving despicably towards some one who is serving
You are absolutely right to be mad. I would be too. In fact I would keep
away from working in an Iranian restaurant unless it belonged to me or a
family member. So stay in the Italian restaurant and go to the Iranian one
only when you want to eat.
However lacking we may be in a "culture of work" we are rich
in a "culture of generosity and kindness". Those Iranian who so
rudely upset you are neither kind and generous (in the Iranian sense) nor
fair and correct in the American sense. They are unfortunately just uncivilized
-- neither this or that!
There is something in our culture that is good for you to draw on and
has helped me calm down in times of anger and pain. That is the very Iranian
sense of "darvishi" or "khaaki boodan" which translates
into a sense of down-to-earthness and humility -- an almost hippie non-chalantness
about the unfair ways of the world. Laugh at and pitty those ignorant people
who are unfortunate enough to treat someone badly because of his/her work!
Disarm the arrogant with humility and the ability to laugh at yourself.
If you are sure of yourself you will be able to laugh at the silly lot of
Know that you are right to work. Even if you were not a student you should
not be ashamed of waitressing. The world would be a "shitty" (I
use this term because you did -- and it is such an expressive word) place
with only self-services and fast food! Keep your chin up and treat nasty
people with humility and kindness. You will see that you will be happier.
If you become nasty like them you will have lost. Teach them that true
nobility is in the heart and in the ability to work hard and still be kind
-- to have empathy for the worst kind of people. We have a saying,"adab
az keh aamookhti? Az beeadabaan." Who did you learn civility from?
From the uncivil. So remember be proud but not angry. Be kind and humble,
but sure of yourself.
I would offer you a drink to calm down but I hope the words are enough
May 23, 2001
* French girlfriend problems (2)
Your straight & friendly answer made me think about myself. I'm
still speculating; after all, how can I behave towards her this way while
I remember my teenage days when I was almost a homosexual! I'm trying to
get out of this so-called "old fashion macho paradigm".
Also you are right: The prejudice against other races has no acceptable
basis, just a funny feeling. You helped me reconsider a lot of things. Thank
you very much, & please wish me luck...
I am glad that my words were of some use. Good luck to you.
May 22, 2001
* French girlfriend problems
I'm one of your male compatriots studying civil engineering in the
U.S. A few months ago, I began dating a French girl who is in our department.
She is 5 years older & rather pretty. I liked her since the beginning
due to the fact that she sounded to be a really open minded gal & outgoing
Gradually, we got closer & closer, until one day I suggested to
be her boyfriend; well, the answer was positive. I knew about her past relationship
with an Iranian medic in Paris. She had told me that although she was no
longer his girlfriend, she could not be indifferent about him so she was
still in touch with him. I question myself if it was wrong not to ask her
at that time to quit corresponding with this fellow countryman!
The first time I went to her home after we had already become intimate,
I saw a picture of this man next to her bed; well, I just laughed &
she immediately removed the pic. A few days after I took the initiative
& told her to come & live with me. She agreed. We both were happy
& careless to everything but ourselves until it happened...
One day, when I was in her bedroom getting ready to pack her things,
I haphazardly found a few pictures of her in very intimate & bosom situations
with this Iranian gentleman & another man from France! Lord knows what
a hard time I had: my imagination was merely proliferating nasty thoughts,
I was feeling like I had been had in our relationship. That night we had
a horrible time: she was insisting that the second man was just a "close
friend" & could not convince me what the hell those pictures where
doing on her desk, where anyone other than me also could see them!
She tried to convince me that since she was in the U.S. she didn't
consider that Iranian man as his boyfriend although I saw this man's love
letters to my girl. Things seemed to be settling until one night when she
told me that her honesty was pushing her to let me know that a few months
ago it just happened that she slept with a Black man! God knows how much
I hate these Afro-Americans! I just blew out: broke everything near me &
for the first time in my life, I slapped a woman...
Again, I couldn't leave her & desperately tried to rectify things
between us. She also tried to gain my trust: she showed her sincere sadness
& bought whatever I had destroyed! I really made an effort to kill that
macho in me & give our relationship a chance.
Two weeks ago, she went to Paris to see her parents & meanwhile
(thanks to a friend!) I found out that before getting into a relationship
with me, she had told people that she had an Iranian boyfriend in Paris!
Now the termites of skepticism are chewing me alive: Did she cheat on her
ex(!) boyfriend with that Black man? Will she simply dump me as well? Even
if she really is mine now, how can I forget about all these: pictures, memories,
Interestingly enough, that French man I told you about above is coming
to see her this July! Huh, I'm losing my thoughts...
Kobra, I'm sorry for giving you a sore eye reading this long email,
but I ask you to tell me what you believe I had better do now. Is there
anyway to revive this relationship & blow down this tall wall of mistrust?
Thank you so much.
I hear your pain. There is nothing worse than uncontrollable jealousy.
It is distructive and burdensome to all involved but mostly to the person
In your letter you betray some inconsistancies that are at the root of
your problem. These inconsistencies are very familiar to me because they
are rooted in the clash of two cultures: one old fashioned, macho/ Iranian-
the other young, modern and feminist/Western. You have to decides who you
are before you can reconcile these two sides of you and preserve what is
best in both of them.
You mention that you were initially attracted to the girl form France
because she was "open-minded and outgoing". Well darling, you
can not go out with an open-minded French young lady and expect her not
to have had a sexual history! The fact that her ex was Iranian or African-American
is irrelevent. You would'nt like it if the guy was from the moon. So you
have to learn to love without needing to possess.
Until you do that you should refrain from having any meaningful relationships
that include sex. Because you are showing the Groucho complex who I believe
said, "I will not join a club who will take me as a member." You
simply want to be the only one that she ever had or will have sex with.
You do not want to be one of a long line of guys who had sex with your girlfriend.
This jealousy which is not uncommon, is a terrible burden for you to
carry. It will not change if you switch girls either. Jealous men and women
find reasons to mistrust even Bambi. The best way to deal with your feeling
in this case is to acknowledge it as a destructive feeling, and try to work
on changing it.
Remember, to truly care for someone is to accept them the way they are
and not to judge them -- to give them the benefit of the doubt. Not to blow
up and slap them around. If you want an "open minded" woman you
cannot expect her to feel ashamed of her sexual history.
As far as I can tell she hasn't betrayed you since she has been with
you. If she does-- then break up with her. But don't go feeling worried
and jealous about something that is an hypothetical event. Also ask yourself
can I love a woman with a sexual history or am I too old fashioned for that?
If the answer is yes then try to work on your hang-ups (what is this
prejuidice against African-Americans?) If not then stop dating "open-minded"
French women. Remember pre-judging people based on the color of skin or
sexual history is incredibly naive and out right dumb. You who are going
to be a bright young engineer should possess enough logic to know that.
Prejuidice is limiting and suffocating. And to truly "love", you
have to give up the need to "own". Et n'oubli pas tes etudes
mon jeune hommes.
May 21, 2001
* Adam & Eve
Dear Kobra Khanom,
Why is it that in the history of mankind no woman has ever been chosen
to be god's messenger? And why did Eve push Adam to eat the apple so god
kicked both of them out of heaven?
The reason why "in the history of mankind" God never picked
a woman as a messenger is because men wrote that "history". The
reason why Eve gave Adam the apple is because men wrote the Bible!
May 18, 2001
* Facial hair
man az che chizi mitunam estefaadeh konam keh range sihaahe moohaaye
sooratam raa kamrangtar va talaai konad? Moshgele man birang konandeye khub
ast keh betunam baa estefaadeh az un kami range muhaayam birang beshavad.
lotfan esmash raa benevis.
aman az mooye siaahe soorat! manke mesle inkeh har chi pir-tar meesham
mard-tar meesham! faghat agar band andaaz too in diyaare ghorbat vojood
dar aamericaa keremie hast benaame "Jolen"
keh boor konandeh ast. vali shomaa agar mesl bandeh va khaili az khaanomhaai
hamvatan sibil-koloft tashrif darid khaili tool meekesheh taa boor koneh.
behtar ast baraaye een kaar az omdeh foroosh-haaye lavaazem salmaani aabe
oxigene begeereed. vali aval as aanhaa beporseed keh dorost che andaaze
va che modat baayad maaye raa rooy moo bogozaarid, vagar na postetaan raa
man shakhsan tarjih meedam moom bendaazam, agar dastresi be band andaaz
nabaasheh. beh tajrobeye man, moomi keh garm besheh kard as hameh behtar
ast va hamejaa peydaa meesheh. vali har raveshi raa ke meekhahid entekhaab
bekonid behtar ast aval baa meghdar mooye kam rooye dastetaan emtahaan konid
taa motmaen beshavid keh pooste shomaa raaz azyat nemeekonad.
be omid movafagheeyat shomaa dar in va digar mavaared zendegi.
May 17, 2001
* Bored in Europe
salaam Kobra Khanom,
chand saali mishe ke dar europaa zendegi mikonam va dige haalam kheyli
gerefte. Mohite injaa baraam mesle jahanname. Tanhaayi va yeknavaakhti vaaghean
kesel konande shode. Bikaari ham az tarafe dige ... Fekr mikonam taghyire
mohit baraaye rouhiye man moasser bashe. Nazare shomaa chiye? zemnan javaani
hastam 33 saale.
Tanhaaee dar ghorbat khaili sakht ast. Vali tanhaaee va beekaaree hamejaa
badtar ast. Shomaa agar dar khaarej na tahsil meekonid, na kaar, va na khoshi
-- pass baraaye chee moondin ghorbaanataan ravam? Behtar ast ke aghalan
dore vare doostaan va faamil baashid.
Vali man fekr meekonam keh in tanhaaee nist ke shomaa raa naaraahat meekonad-
beekaari ast. yek javaan 33 saale che dar khaarej che dar Iraan beekaar
agr baashad afsordeh meeshavad. shomaa ageh ehtiaaj be pool nadaarid baa
kaarhaaye tahsili va adabi yaa honari va yaa kaarhaai khairieh baayed sar
khodetaan raa garm konid va agar ham mohtaaj be pool hasteed, mesl baghieh
donyaa, hasteed behtar astke donbale bahaneh naravid va be har kari ke shodehmashghool
kasebi shavid. yaadatan baashad keh kaar kardan aslan nang nist. "boro
kaar meekon magoo cheest kaar / ke sarmaayee jaavedaanist kaar".
amaa baraaye deltangi, shomaa meetavaanid baraaye safr be vatan bargardeed.
vali cheh dar khaarej cheh dar Iran bekhahid zendegi konid chaareye shomaa
mashghool shodan ast.
Be omid movafaghiyat shomaa hamvatane aziz.
May 16, 2001
* Go back to America?
About 4-5 years ago I was living happily with my two angals and my
hubby in America. All of the sudden, I don't know what happened. I pressured
my husband about going back to Iran (khoshi zad zir-e delam). "Iwant
to be with my familly... I want to raise my children there," I said.
My poor husband had a good business and had no idea about what to do in
Iran. But he said okay and we went. Now we have been living in Iran for
a few years. Everything is okay and we have a warm family. In America, as
you know, life and work are very fast paced; you work hard, come home tired,
play around with the TV remote and then the next day the same thing all
But amaan az in del ke dobaare aashob gerefte...hehehe... Again I
want to move, back to America this time! I'm nuts, no? I haven't made a
firm decision. I wanted to ask you what you think. I came here for the kids.
Now they have grown up and they will start high school next year. I'm afriad
they will not be accepted in the Iranian universities and become unemployed
and blame me. Of course, I know what to tell them; we are happier in Iran.
But I want to hear what you have to say. haalaa bego hal-laale moshkelaat,
aayaa in amal hataa agar shoharam ghabool kone, aaya ensaani hast? aayaa
doroste ke oon teflako vaadaar konam dobaare az sefr shoro kone? be fekre
bachehaa baasham, yaa shoharamo khodam? chon maa injaa raazi tar hastim.
azize delam, ghorboone shekle maahet beram, yek javaabi bede ke be delam
I don't know to answer you in Farsi or English? I will answer you in
both, since your question was in both langauges and your dilemma deserves
a bi-lingual reply. soaal shomaa javaabesh aasaan ast. vaghti ke you become
a parent bachehaa baayad come first. chon raastash agar aanhaa raazi va
movafagh nabaashand shomaa dar behesth ham khosh nakhaaheed bood. vali shaayad
chaarehee digari baashad. masalan bachehaa ke bozorgtar shodan aanhaa raa
be khaarej beferesteed peesh aqvaam yaa doostaan. yaa agar pool daarid aanhaa
raa be shabaaneh roozi beferesteed. yaa sabr konid aanhaa raa baraaye daaneshgaah
be khaarej beferesteed. vali agar baraaye dalaayeli (mesl sarbaazi) baayad
zood tar khaarej shavand va shomaa nemeetaavaneed aanhaa raa tanhaa befereteed,
then definately move.
bishtar maa injaa dar ghorbat bekhaater bachehaa zahmat meekeshim va
tahamol meekonim. man khaili haa raa meeshenaasam ke bekhaater tadrees bachehaa
be khaarej aamadan. raastash agar baraaye bachehaa nabood man khodam alaan
meeomadam va dar mamlekat khodemoon zendegi meekardam. be maraateb az in
bodo bodo va tanhaaee behtar ast. vali be shoharam meegam bad az inkeh bachehaa
daaneshgah raftan aan vaght meereem. vali yaadetaan baashe bachehaa always
May 15, 2001
* Jenaab Sarvaan
Dear Kobra Khanom,
When I saw your column in Iranian.com, I traveled 35 years back when
I was a young school boy in Gilan. At that time (70s), The Imperial Navy's
headquarter in Bandar Anzali (ex-Pahlavi) had a daily talk show on the radio
called "Jenaab Sarvaan..." (I forgot his name). He answered people's
questions, mostly regarding of the Navy.
A few weeks later the show was rated number one in Gilan. People were
asking questions after questions about everything they could think about
and "Jenaab Sarvaan" was answering them as best as he could. Every
evening at 6, most of young Gilanis, including myself, were listening to
the talk show.
I remember some of the questions: "How can I tell my parents
I'm in love?", "My friend has borrowed money from me and has not
paid it yet, how can I follow it up?", "My mother and my wife
don't get along. What should I do?", "My girlfriend said, if my
parents don't come for the 'khaasagaari' soon, she will kill herself. What
should I do?", "I'm Jewish, but I'm in love with a Muslim girl.
How can I tell my parents and her parents to allow us to marry each other?"
A friend of mine (who is a dentist in New York at this time) actually
went all the way to the radio station to meet "Jenaab Sarvaan"
in person to get personal advice.
Now my questions for you: Are you related to "Jenaab Sarvaan"?
Are you his daughter, sister, mother or wife? Why does the term "Hammaam
Zanaaneh" play a big role in Persian literature and language, yet nobody
uses the term "Hammaam Mardaaneh"?
Still Jenaab Sarvaan's fan after three decades,
Dear Gilani Hamvatan,
The story of Jenaab Sarvaan is very sweet. I am not his daughter or wife.
But I would love the honor of following his footsteps, none-the-less. Because
I too can only try my best!
Now to answer your question about "Hamaam zanaaneh" and its
prevalence in our literature and language usage, I think the reason is that
the women's bath house immediately conjures up the image of an enclosed
place where women gather to gossip and spin tales. The men, being perceived
as less prone to gossip and idle conversation, don't really have the same
Also, men traditionally had many places to mingle with one another, but
women used to get out of the andarun (inner female quarters of the house)
less often, and had less opportunity to meet other women and mingle. So
the hamaam became a place, away from men, where they could meet and talk
and, of course, gossip. Much match-making and family planning went on in
there as well. So in this way it has come to signify, in the Iranian mind,
a place buzzing with feminine conversation.
If you go into a room filled with women chatting away, you may say, like
my father did, "mesle hamaame zanaaneh ast" (it is like a women's
bath house.)This would be correct idiomatic usage. The male hamaam, by being
literally less noisy, has remained symbolically silent as well!
Was that spin of an answer worthy of your Jenaab Sarvaan? Happy to have
taken you back into the nooks and crannies of your memories.
May 14, 2001
* Birth control
baa arz-e salaami garm khedmat-e shomaa dooste aziz. esm man laylaast.
zamaani keh eimailhaaye shomaa raa khaandam khayli az shomaa va afkaaretoon
khosham aamad. ahsand be shomaa. soaal man raaje' be ghors-haaye zede haamelegist.
in dorost ast keh migooyand agar baraaye modat toolaani estefaadeh shavand
khayli khatarnaak ast va emkaan daarad keh digar bacheh daar nashavi? khayli
mamnoon mishavam agar dar in mored maraa raahnamaayi konid.
Layla Khanom salam,
az inke as harfhaaye man khoshatan amadeh moteshaker hastam. Man az doostan
mokhtalef sheneedeh-am ke osoolan agar ghorse zede haamelegi baraaye modate
toolaani bekhoreed va bad bekhaaheed haameleh shavid momken ast tool bekeshad.
yeki as doostan-e man seh saal bad az etmaam ghors khordan haameleh shod.
vali nasheneedam keh maane'eh kaamel haamelegi baashad. amaa agar shomaa
khaahar yaa dokhtar man boodeed be shomaa meegoftam ke az raahe deegar jelogeeri
konid. masalan kapoot yaa diaafraagm. avali az hameh cheez tamiz tar hast.
va motmaen tar. age zojetaan shomaa raa doost daashteh baashad raazi beh
in kaar meeshavad. agar nashavad hamaan behtar keh shomaa baa aan mard hamkhaabi
nakoneed hataa agar shohar shomaa baashad. oo agar shomaa raa doost daarad
baayad befahmad ke salaamate shomaa mohemtar az darejeye lezat oost. ghors
baraaye zan khoob nist. makhsoosan agar cigaari ham baashid momken ast sarataan
begeereed. be omid salaamat va movafaghiyate shomaa.
May 11, 2001
* Fighting cats
I was wondering if you knew anything about cats. I have never been
a "cat person" always liked dogs. But recently I have befriended
a mother cat that was pregnant and had seven kitties. I decided to keep
the mama cat and one of her kitties. They played really well together all
the time for five months, but now that the kitty is six months old the mother
totally ignores and even fights and hisses at her boy. Do you think that
the boy kitty is at an age where he has other ideas about his mother and
the mother doesn´t like it or what?
Dear Gorbeyeh Vahshi,
How interesting! You are probably right about the mother not wanting
the son to get fresh. I really never have owned a cat. Back home we used
to have a donkey and he didn't really care who he copulated with. In fact
spending most of my time thinking of people I really do not think about
We have a dog but he lives outside a la Iranian. The thought of anything
but gold fish in the house is somehow uncomfortable for me. Maybe it is
old ideas of pollution passed down by Shi'ite ancestors, but my kids have
But if I were you I would wait and see. If the situation gets worse then
give the mom away and keep the boy whom you all like better anyway. To get
too morally bogged by what is the right thing to do about it to would be
I think in the West there is a tendency to exaggerate the attention given
to pets. But for someone who has kids the choice is clear. A house where
two cats fight all the time is not a pleasant place to grow. So think of
your own kids first. If the cats fight, get rid of one. To a good home,
May 11, 2001
* Wrong decisions
Thank you for writing so well. Your words are full of wisdom and intelligence.
You are the best and you know it too. I wish I had somebody like you when
I was growing up. I made some wrong decisions by choosing a "hamsar".
Now I am 42- years old. I have been here in the U.S. since 76. I work for
a local TV station in Texas.
Thank you for your kind words. I am sorry that you feel like you chose
the wrong mate. My advice to you is that it all depends on whether or not
you have children and how old they are. If you have young children (still
at home) then live with your mistake until they are grown. Because sometimes
we have obligations that we should place above and beyond our own needs.
If we don't we will feel guilty and unhappy on a deeper level than you do
Making a wrong choice in marriage is not nearly as depressing as breaking
childrens' home. Just grin and bear it knowing that you are doing the right
thing for the ones you love. Find courage in knowing that you are doing
this for a greater end: the right rearing of children. But do not resent
them for it. You made a bad choice -- they didn't. Just keep your chin up
and know that you are right to concentrate on your work and kids.
There is a tendency in this American culture of instant gratification
to be impatient with mistakes and try to remedy them right away. This makes
people make a lot of hasty decisions that make them feeling worse. Some
mistakes take a long time to correct. Have patience and the time will come
when you can do what you want again.
If you have no children or if they are grown-up then pick yourself up
and break the marriage -- if it is not what you want. Make sure you are
fair about it and that you hurt your spouse as little as possible. If it
can be done amicably you will save both of you lots of money. If yoiu base
your actions on kindness then you will be a happier person in the end.
You are still young and have quite a life in front of you. Good luck
and do not hesitate to write again. Khodaa sabretaan bedahad.
May 10, 2001
* Fighting inlaws
Salam dosteh jadedam. man emroz shomaa raa shenaakhtam va sheneedam
hal-laaleh moshkelaati. moshkelaate man raa ham hal kon lotfan.
man 30 saalame va shoharam ham hamintor. khodam motarjeme zabaanam
va shoharam mohandese ma'dan ast. seh saale arosi kardam. sar-e arosee khaanevadeh-ye
daamaad joon beh labam kardand va majboram kardand dar khooneh-ye maadar
shoharam zendegi konam va yek otaagh onjaa daashtam. faghat khodaa meadoneh
cheh bar man gozasht.
Noh-maaheh boodam va baa har badbakhti shoharam nemiaamad taa inkeh
baraadar shoharam vaaseteh shod va khalaasam kard va raftem dameh khooneh-ye
khaahar shoharam khooneh ejaareh kardem va moshkelaat bishtar shod . do
saal ba'd, yani haalaa oomadam dameh khooneh-ye maadar shoharam jaa ejaareh
pedar shoharam fot kardeh. marde aarom va mehrabooni bood. maadar
shoharam vaay! va khaahar shoharam vaay! faghat savaar-e maa hastand. vali
yek baraadar va yek khaahar shohar-e khoob daaram keh doorand va beh inhaa
ham roo nemeedand va inhaa az hameh nazar sar baar-e maa hastand. baavareton
nemisheh cheh mikonand.
az hameh-ye inhaa gozashteh, shoharam kheyli mano dost daar-e va kheyli
mehraboneh. vali ajeb dar moredeh maadar va on khaahar va bacheh-haash hasaas
ast va kochektareen chiz-e doostaaneh dar mored-e oonhaa begam gheyaamat
va da'vaa meesheh va chehreh-ye mard-haaye ghadeemi ro migeereh va daad
o bidaad o kotak va va...
komakam kon aaramesham bedeh. zendegeem dar tazalzoleh. va oonhaa
ham hamash mozahemeh maa hastand va aarameshemoon sefr ast. komakam kon.
raah-e chaareh chiyeh?
Marjan Khanom aziz,
kheyli naameh shomaa maraa taht-e ta'sir gharaar daad. shomaa maloomeh
keh dar Iran khoob-e maa tashrif daareed. chon agar khaarej boodeed taa
haalaa talaagh gerefteh boodeed. va shoharetaan ham majboor bood keh kharjeeyetaan
raa bedeh. khaahar shohar va maadar shomaa ham laabod baa shomaa doshman
hastand van chon shohar shomaa shomaa raa kheyli doost daarad baa shomaa
beeshtar bad shodand.
vali chaareh cheest? agar shoharetaan shomaa raa va shomaa ham oo raa
doost daareed behtareen kaar baraa-ye shomaa in ast keh tahamol koneed.
va inshaallaa khodaa be shomaa sabr bedahad. shomaa baayad say konid keh
beh bad jensi haay aan zanhaa ahamiyat nadaheed va ravesh fekreetan raa
tasavor konid keh zendaani hasteed va baayad baa zerangy zendaanbaan
raa gool bezanid. vali agar shohar shomaa shomaa ra kotak meezanad shomaa
yek saaneeyeh ham dar aan khaaneh namaanid va peesh faamil yaa ghom-e-kheeshy
beravid. vali agar mard shomaa baa esshgh va alaagheh baa shomaa raftaar
meekonad sa'y konid baa siyaasat va narmesh maadar va khaahr raa tahamol
beh omid khoshbakhti shomaa doost aziz. az khod baaz ham beh maa khabar
May 9, 2001
* Growing up
I'm interested to hear what I was not taught while growing up. Any
advise you could give me about friends, making and keeping them? How to
resolve conflicts; how to deal with difficult ones; what to do when not
clicking with any one? Thanks.
Dear Shahin Khanom,
Depending on where you live it is very difficult to make friends in ghorbat.
My suggestion is to keep in touch with old friends. You could try joining
a club or local musuem committee or something. But if you live in America,
something tells me that you must or you would not be looking for friends
-- it is very difficult.
If you live near any Iranian community try to get involved with them.
If all else fails, do not be hard on yourself and instead embrace your loneliness
as a peaceful blessing. Pick up a hobby or take a course to fill up your
As far as conflict with friends goes, unless I know the specifics, I
cannot say much more. In general though it is best not to depend too much
on people -- even the best of them have a tendency to take you for granted
if you are too caring and giving. Do not give any more than you get. It
will leave you feeling bitter, unless you are a darvish -- and people will
think you need them more than you do.
Unlike in the "old world", here there is no real civility or
sense of reciprocity. Generosity is precieved as naive. There is really
no "language" for social interaction. I remember when I first
came here to the U.S. I used to buy ice cream for my friends from school
at the local parlor. But no one ever offered to reciprocate. I found that
I'd better stop. So, when in Rome do as the Romans do. Be independent and
see it as being better than having fake and superficial friendships.
May 8, 2001
* Boy in love
I have a 13-year-old boy. He says he's in love and wants to get married.
The girl sits next to him on the school bus. But he doesn't know her name.
It sounds funny, but he has stopped eating and does not study. I don't know
what to do. Should I just ignore it and let it go away?
I had a friend, a devout Moslem, who told me her Mojtahed had told her
that Islam viewed parenting in three different phases. The first was infancy
or "khordsaali" which lasted up to the age of six or seven when
he/she would first go to school. In this stage the child should be well
provided for showered with love and completely indulged.
The second stage was the school years from six up to puberty. Here the
child had to be taught by example and be given structure. The third stage
of parenting began in the teen and secondary school years. At this juncture
parents are told to teach through "mashvarat" or to put it crudely,
advising and consulting. The idea was to indulge the teen in decision making
so as to prepare him for life.
This seemed very enlightened to me and I have tried to follow it since.
In the first years a child needs confidence and love. In the school age
years a child needs role-modeling and structure to learn the basics for
good analytical-ethical thinking. In the teen years a child needs to be
taken seriously to acquire both self-esteem and engage in decision making.
A teenager needs to be able to define, express and manage his/her very
complicated new feelings. So my advise to you would be to "talk"
to your son. Do not make it a big deal but let him know that you understand
and will listen if he needs you. By all means let him know that you are
not going to pooh-pooh him. You might want to talk about your own "first
love" experience to help him open up.
I find that the best way to make shy, introverted people open up is by
sharing one of your problems or embarrassments with them. Let him know that
you take his pain seriously. Make him his favorite dish or do something
he likes with him. If you succeed in engaging him in "mashvarat"
now, it will set a precedent and he will come to you with future, graver
problems. It is worth every effort to keep him from feeling alienated.
May 7, 2001
* Old aunt
I have an old aunt in Iran who has Alzheimer's disease and in need
of a very expensive medication called Aricept, the only treatment available
for Alzheimer's. I like to help her and send the medication for her. My
relatives sent me the prescription through mail, and expect me to send medication
to her. I might be able to afford one or two months supplies, but this is
going to be a continous treatment. On theother hand , I cannot deny a treatment
for her because as I heard so far she already lost part of her memory .
Now, relatives are taking turns to take care of her. She was a devoted
person in her life. We loved going to her house when we were young . She
used to bake an Iranian type of pancake which we kids loved. She was always
able to bring family together. Now everybody in the family is trying to
help as best as they can. If her condition continues without treatment,
she will get to a point that she will not be able to control her bladder.
I do not know what to do in this situation. If I send it to her and her
condition improves I may not be able to afford a long term treatment. On
the other hand, I do not think I would ever could forgive myself for denying
to help.What to you think about this?
Was it khagineh that your aunt made for you?
It is a very difficult situation for you to be in. But remember her predicament
is even more difficult. You should, without hesitation, send her medecine
for as long as you can. If you stop being able to continue sending it then
you will know you did it when you could.
But as they say in our wonderfully charitable culture, khodaa bozorg-e
va roozi raa joor meekoneh (God is almighty and will give blessings somehow).
I am convinced. You will be provided for as long as you do your duty to
your aunt. If you run out of money write to me again.
What is important is that you do what is "right" while you
can. A little cost cutting is well worth helping someone who has brought
you joy in your childhood. Whether it actually helps, right away or in the
long run, is besides the point. What is important is that your intentions
are pure. Those of us abroad have a duty to help those in need, back home,
in these difficult times.
Word of caution: Make sure she gets the medecine and do not send cash.
Because I have heard of younger relatives taking the cash meant to help
elder ones. In fact someone suggested starting a "prescriptions to
Iran" network where those of us who live here could send medecine to
loved ones there, without going through other people and relatives. If you
want to do even more savaab (good works) that would be a good thing to organize.
But for now do what you know is right and send the medecine ASAP. Your
pocket may not be the richer for it but your life will.
May 4, 2001
I am interested to know what sort of background you come from? Also
what sort of qualifications do you possess in to be able to give people
I have no qualifications but my words. You can take them or leave them.
Consider me like your old aunt. You do not have to follow my advice anymore
than you have to follow her's. Or anyone's for that matter.
If it is a listening ear and experienced advice you want, you are in
the right place. But for "qualifications" I'm afraid you have
to look elsewhere. Naneh jaan! I wouldn't come near anything so scientific
sounding as "qualifications", much less claim to have it.
In fact that is the problem with you people growing up here in ghorbat
-- you have forgotten what it means to have a conversation without a disclaimer!
Relax a bit, let go a little, don't live your life in legal terms. You will
May 3, 2001
* Should I go to Iran?
I've been living in Denver, Colorado, for almost 30 years. I have
no Iranian friends. I am married to an American and we have been blessed
with three wonderful children. My youngest child will be going away to college
this year. The other two have already left home and are married. For the
past year or so I have been thinking seriously about moving back to Iran.
I haven't been there since the revolution and I don't know what to expect.
I'm not even sure if I can move there. But it's something within me -- a
calling, you could say. What should I do?
I suggest you start with a little visit. Take your wife and go for a
visit to the old country if you still feel like moving back then why not?
Provided your wife wants to go too. With your children are grown up and
off to college, there is really no reason why you should stay in Denver.
Most of us stay abroad so that our children get a better chance to succeed
and live in relative freedom. Now that the children are, alhamdolellah,
safely out of the way you may feel like you have nothing to do here and
why not go back?
If you don't like it in Iran then at least you'll know why you are staying
here. If, however, your wife is not up to moving, then you should arrange
to go once a year to get over your sense of uprootedness which this 'calling'
seems to indicate.
A word of caution to your wife. She should learn Farsi if she does not
already know it. With you having an American passport and dollars, your
wife should be very careful not to leave you alone with any of the knew
army of Green Card diggers that has sprouted over there.
Women will be throwing themselves at you. Economic hardship has unfortunately
brought about this reality. So your Mrs. has to be diligent and very tough
skinned to handle the jealousy and machinations of the women and relatives
who will no doubt surround you.
In fact if I were her I would go with you on short trips but never let
you go there alone! No matter how loyal you are, you will not be able to
resist it. Especially since you seem to have had an uneventful life raising
children in Colorado, and you are by measure of your loneliness and homesickness,
a very vulnerable figure! So be aware of the women but do go and enjoy yourself.