Emails from home
Visiting Iran: Part 2
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I am still strolling the avenues of vacation life. I have not
explored the job market yet but when I was visiting with a friend
he mentioned that there are plenty of jobs available but not enough "qualified" workers.
He gave me an example: In Azmayesh, where he works, they hire interns
on regular basis and for the most part the interns are not willing
to work hard. He said educated interns are reluctant to start at
the bottom and think very highly of themselves. On rare occasions
some interns exhibit good working habits and excel.
My uncle in
Sherkateh Naft confirmed his views. He said Chinese companies
who are in charge of advancing Iran's petrol industry complain
Iranians are not hard workers. My uncle who had lived in Germany
for 20 years after WWII and has German work habits agrees with
The point is there are jobs, but Iran is filled
with non-skilled college graduates who think if they lived in
America or in Canada they would be appreciated and compensated
than in Iran.
This evening Khatami was speaking to the nation on TV. He was
encouraging people to vote for the seventh Majlis, saying to people
that turning your back to elections is no solution to Iran's shortcomings.
He acknowledged that his administration could have done a better
job but he said the country is on the right path to democracy
and people should be more patient. Khatami also said Iran's economy
has grown twice the rate of world's average, growing more than
all the countries in the region. Is this true?
An interesting item: Drug stores now sell edible alcohol that
is made from Wheat and has no other use except drinking. The new
alcohol is bottoled in a flat flask shape. It is similar to liquor
bottles sold in your liquor stores. In order to drink you must
mix 1 part alcohol with 2 or 3 part water.
I mixed the alcohol
with orange juice and water (screwdriver), as well as other mixed
drinks for my relatives, but they told me that I ruined the taste
of pure alcohol with orange juice or other fruit juices. They told
me to go ahead and drink my "susuli" American drinks
and leave our pure "aragh" alone. I obliged. No appreciation
for the fine art of bartending here.
There are new satellite systems on the way to Iranian homes.
The new systems will have more European channels and the dishes
will be much smaller, and the systems will be around $120, cheaper
than current systems ($150).
Yesterday I was in Meidan Pahlavi, where Pahlavi meets Elizabeth
Blvd. It was raining and all the cabs were full and I needed an
empty cab to bring my mom and dad back to Ekbatan. It was raining,
weather was cold, streets were filled with cars, sidewalks were
filled with passersby. My dad was getting tired where he almost
never leaves the house and last night we had to tend a legal matter
in that part of town.
I left my dad near a store to shelter him
from rain. As I was frantically trying to hunt down an empty
cab I noticed my dad was gone. The store owner had noticed my old
shievering and had taken him inside the store, had given him
a seat next to the heater. With all the negative things we say
Tehran, that people have become rude and unfriendly, still there
is that Iranian hospitality.
My mom went inside the store to stay
with my dad until I get a cab. Later on I found out they had
called for a cab for us but there were no cars available at that
so my parents waited for an hour in the store. I finally lured
an empty car to give us a ride for $$. It took about 2.5 hours
to get back home. Even our experienced driver said he had never
seen the traffic that bad.
Today I had a nice visit with an old friend. Bahram is an old
childhood friend. He is now about 37 yrs old. We went to an exhibit
in Tehran expo and saw Iranian and foreign manufacturers that are
involved in manufacturing factories, producing disposable cups,
plates, etc. I was impressed with the Iranian manufactures who
were competing with their Chinese and German counterparts.
I should add that our other friend Amir who owns a factory and
was there to purchase a plastic-cup-making machine was looking
for German models, claiming that Iranian machines are of poor
quality. I'm no expert in this field and I take his word for it
but I was
impressed by Iranian machine builders who were there advertising
For some reason in Tehran (may be in all of Iran) good hamburgers
and French Frys are hard to find. I remember in the old days there
were good hamburger joints such as “1930's”, Tops Hamburger”, “KingsBurger”,
etc. There are delicious sandwiches, shops, along with all kinds
of restaurants all over the place but no good hamburger shops in
sight; not yet at least. There are chain burger places that resemble
Carl's Jr. but I haven't had a chance to try them yet.
There is a new and improved model for Peykan called Samand. The
new models are assembled in Iran. They are part French, part German
and part Iranian. Samand sells for about 11 million Tomans ($13000.)
Samand cars are nicely equipped. When the doors are open a female
Persian voice says: “Dar baz ast"! It is kind of interesting
to hear a car's computer speak in Persian >>> Page
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