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Visiting Iran: Part 8
Part (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)

Iran Tripper
September 9,2004

The other day I went to a construction site. The site is located in Golestan Mall in Shahrakeh Gharb.

Babak is Bahram's older brother and he was in charge of the construction. He is a court appointed construction engineer, and also a certified expert in earthquake resistant buildings. Golestan Mall project is his own, he won it in a bid, he said. We entered the site, met with Babak and a few other people whom he supervised. Interesting to note that some "Usta Banna" (construction managers) have cell phones of their own.

Babak explained to me the construction process. He then showed me the materials, yelled at a few workers, then we went inside to his personal tent for tea. A couple of younger workers came in, they were told I've come from America and was a computer/web person.

One of the younger dudes told me that he has been studying Internet programming, PhP, CFM, etc., and was very much interested in moving to America. He wanted me to give him some advice. I warned him that he will hear my honest opinion and if he was looking for a pep talk he'd better move on. He wanted to know what was hot in the computer field, and I told him what I knew of the industry and that living in America wasn't as simple as he thought.

I explained to him that luck was an important factor in gaining a visa but he could not rely on it. If luck turned favorable he then must be prepared and be very good at what he does, etc. I explained that professional jobs were valuable to Americans too! they too appreciated having good jobs and competition for good jobs were fierce and most Iranian cab drivers in America didn't intend to drive cabs for a living. It just happened.

One of the kids told me that he had no connection, not much money, and that he was currently dieting so he could be discharged from the mitary service based on being too skinny for the service. He was a very thin kid already. I told him, "don't stand side ways,, I can't see you."

I feel sorry for kids who are holding their breath so they can start living in America and there are many kids like them. I proceeded to tell these two kids about my personal experience in living abroad, that it's been a mixed blessing and hasn't been all that easy, that living as a foreigner, especially from a third world country, and especially from a Moslem country such as Iran, requires a certain state of mind that might be difficult for some, and that every person I knew had a different point of view on this subject. On the other hand, I told them, life in many ways was the same everywhere, and that life was passing them by while they waited for America. I'm sure they didn't hear me! It wasn't what they were expecting to hear.

I normally don't preach like this where I know some people don't have a good life in Iran and migration can solve several problems at once. They can start anew, move away from their parents and neighborhoods, leave their pasts behind, and roll up their sleeves and work hard and experience life! Then in the future they can blame all their shortcomings on unsuitable living conditions in the west. Alternatively, they might "grow up" and live well for the rest of their lives.

At 2 p.m. we went to a fast food burger joint, one of several MacDonald look-alikes in the mall. As they were eating eagerly one of the kids noticed a sad look on my face and asked about my thoughts. I told them, based on what I saw in that mall and that restaurant I didn't like what was happening to Iran, that this is how East is disappearing and soon everywhere will look like Orange County, California. "Where is Orange County?" they asked. It is everywhere, even some parts of China and parts of India are Orange County now. They were still eating and enjoying the burgers, "From the look on your faces, Iran seems to be among the next Orange Counties of the world," I told them.

Why go to China, or Iran anymore. Why? The all are "progressing" towards bigger and better burgers. Can you blame them? >>> To be continued
Part (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)

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