Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Packing Day

We are departing for THR tomorrow.  It is my grandma's passing anniversary on Friday, brought in a couple weeks earlier so we can attend too. It is packing day today and it feels uncomfortable as always. I resent this part of the trip even though I am grateful that we have been able to make this trip almost annually.  Still it is obvious how it has grown tougher on parents each year to watch us leave since my emigration for the first time eleven years ago.

Things have aged in the past decade, people have aged, relationships have aged, cities have aged. Life is passing so obviously before my eyes.  It is very easy to pause and look back at it all.  After all, this whole life is a passing experience.  I have experienced making many decisions, many mistakes, many moves...  It just worth to bring the attention back to the  inner being and refrain from anything that scatters the mind and heart...

Back to packing our things and the tiny souvenirs we bought and the gifts we received.  Packing to leave home for home...

I got a surprise tonight: unexpectedly had visits from old friends, especially S.F. who was visiting from the States herself but I had last met her a few years ago. Then I called yet another old friend who is visiting from Australia, M.B. I wished there were enough time to meet them all leisurely but the time is limited and the main commitment is toward families... Last dinner with M's family and goodbyes...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Day

A stayed at my mom's last night which was his first time away from both of us.  There was no buzzing door in the middle of the night or phone ringing to ask for him being picked up. He was very excited to stay.

My dear friends P.P. and N.T. Visited my mom's place last night. It was great, as always, to meet them and chat with them.  We can always pick up old discussions easily and cheerfully. It was a great night!

We visited Naghshe Jahaan and the old bazaar yesterday.  The rugs were still colorful and eye catching.  I so wished to buy a couple but we opted out of buying.

I walked the Jolfa neighborhoods with my brother today; there were many decorated Christmas trees at the windows of the shops and the Vang Church was fully decorated. It was a nice stroll... I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

One Week Mark

We already have been through our half-time here.  We are certain that next week will fly as quickly but more hectically because there are still visits to be paid and places to go to.

And things have turned to negative ... It started getting polluted again.  Sadly polluted and so bad that they announced closure of the schools for two days. The lawless traffic has not gotten on my nerves yet but no way that I would drive here.  M is doing a great job though driving within this chaos!!

On the positive note we got to meet with my sister-in-law and old friends from Paris and their families today and spent an afternoon playing bowling. It was more fun than I thought it would be.  We, M and I, drove the three kids each belong to each family for part of the drive. It was so cute how they made claims and spoke with different accents sitting in the back seat.

Getting ready to go to uncle's place tonight for dinner...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

First Fallen Tooth

Post from Tuesday Dec 20th:

A lost his first baby tooth today! Gosh it feels so ... sad? beater sweet? unexpected? soon?

He had just started having his breakfast when he complained about something being stuck in his teeth and when he touched his tooth I saw that it wiggled. Ah my heart swelled for him!  Finally, my dad the dentist examined it and the decision was to just snap it out so he could eat again otherwise knowing him he was not going to eat anymore and continue trying to "take the stuck thing out" until it was pulled out itself. It bled for a minute only. He asked about Tooth Ferry and we assured him that she would show up here too.  Then he wrapped the tiny little tooth in a napkin and stuck it under his pillow.  He was too excited to show his toothless mouth to my mom and asked to be taken there before M or I went there, so there he went by himself thanks to uncle MR picking him up.

He speaks with a bit of altered "S" sound now.  It is so cute.  He is fascinated and is examining his other teeth every few minutes making sure none other is loos yet.

He is growing up. Fast!  I am going to miss his set one teeth!...

So Far, Day 4

Post from Monday Dec 19th:

It has been nice so far. The air pollution seems less obvious compared to last year's nasty pollution. We can actually see the blue sky but last year it was always a hazy brown sky.  The traffic is somewhat less chaotic and moving, thanks to many constructions that have turned to real infra structure. And people, both among the family and outside are much calmer it seems compared to last year, despite everything political happening. It feels safer too.

I'm so happy and thankful to observe this all! I have had a few leisurely strolls around the city, watching people as if I'm a tourist. I observed that the younger generation, those in high school and college now, are much taller, still may have weird make up and hair due but seem more polite than last year, less aggressive. There are unsaid, unwritten communication rules amongst people here; how to walk to be respected, how to talk to get service in a shop, how to ask for service to receive it. It is actually fun playing by and reprogramming yourself. I got to go to the gym my sister goes to today, it was really fun.

We walked on Khajou Bridge last night, a very beautiful bridge from 360 years ago.  It was an hour past midnight and there was only me and my family and siblings walking on the bridge. It was really beautiful! As if I was seeing it for the first time. But I learned something new indeed: there are two lion statues carved out of rocks at each side of the bridge. Last night, I saw that the eyes of the lion at the north side of the bridge sparkle in the dark when you look at it from the south side of the bridge!! Really neat in the dark of the night!!

A is having a blast basking in the family-love, playing passionately with his younger cousin, staying at grandparents' houses playing with them or by himself for a few hours, and his Farsi has excelled already. He got so excited to read his own name in Farsi on a bank billboard the other day.  He tried "jigar" last night, barbecued lamb liver, and seemed to really enjoy it. Oh and he tried coke too, and said he liked it much... Not so thrilled about that!

I haven't been able to get on blogger since my arrival as the website is filtered. There are other ways to make it work but I haven't gotten around it yet.  I'll be taking notes for now and will post when I can resolve this issue by going around this filtering, like every one does here!

Trust (2010)

Post from last Thursday:

Life is all about choices, isn't it?

For me, to choose to watch this movie, it was enough to know that Clive Owen was starring in it. And it didn't disappoint me. The plays were awesome. The subject was exactly what frightens me in the world. Too many available choices to immature souls too soon.  And too much cunning present. Totally recommend it if you are a teenage, have a teenager, will have a teenager, or are planning to have a kid. It was interesting how an unpleasant scenario may occur to different people and each would choose a different way to deal with it. Like how it was observed so vividly in the "A Separation" too.  Perhaps it is not always choice, it may be autopilot reactions embedded in them by upbringing, society, education. How hard it is that we cannot always protect ourselves and our loved ones. How odd a teenagers mind can think, assuming all she thinks are correct, not trusting parents. How hard it is to make and maintain a solid and trusted relationship between all members of the family. It was a mind blowing idea when it could very well be true.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Entertainment On Board

I was using up my 3G up until the very last moment, promising my colleagues I was logging off for the year for two hours and still responding to emails.

Then riding the plane M wished that we had on demand entertainment TV and I just wished to watch Water For Elephants (2011). I had started listening to its audiobook while driving home but lately I've been on the phone (hands free) for most of my commutes, hence, hardly any time to listen to a book. But I had heard the movie was nice too and when it appeared on the screens of Los Gatos local cinema I wished to watch it but never happened.

Likewise I had wished to watch Larry Crowne (2011) and Midnight in Paris (2011). None happened. So riding the plane I wished for only one movie: Water for Elephants.

Granted, there was on demand entertainment on board, so M got happy right away :) Finally, in the sky, M started browsing the TV list.  Shortly after he announced that my wish had come true too. But he didn't stop: "and Midnight in Paris!" he announced, I clapped my hands, "and 'Larry Crowne'", I had a smile so wide people could see my whole row of teeth from two diagonal rows back. M though announced that he didn't like any of the offerings. Sorry for him!

And who knew, there was even "Ten (2002)" among the Classics.

Larry Crowne (2011) - Directed by Tom Hanks

Not only it stars Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, it is funny. Oh I had a good time watching it! I was thinking it was a nice chilling movie for a lousy holiday afternoon for those staying local or spending a few days away but not necessarily active all the time; like how we spent a few days of the holidays in Santa Barbara two Christmas ago. Icing on the cake: it was filmed in California, as if I had already missed that land! Oh there is too much there not to miss! My take away from it, besides a few fun loud chuckles: to cross the equator!

Midnight in Paris (2011)

Authentic streets that happen to be in Paris, under the rain.  Plush of sparkling greens glowing under the raindrops. Then, the tower clock bangs announcing the midnight. It gives you a bizarre feeling to travel back in time. A passionate love releives you from fear of death it says. Earrings. Magical? Refreshing was how in the depicted 2010 Paris, on the sidewalks or in the cafe, there was no body on laptop or mobile phone or iPad. At least I didn't spot any in this movie. For sure I could relate to the walks, all the walks at night or walks in the rain or walks at night in the rain.

Water for Elephants (2011)

Perhaps the book should have been more exciting and catchy. I was still taken by the excitements and anticipations. It was a fairytale ending with happily ever after hoax I'd think, although heart wants to believe. And a few lay over hours.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Favorite At The Time

I like the innocence in this song, the purity, the belief, the hope!

Here We Go

A few gifts, a few sets of clothing, a couple pair of shoes, a suitcase.
A asked several times if I were going to go to work today, to which I responded no. This morning, going to school he said he'd miss me. I assured him it was his last three hours of school in 2011 and then we will be away for two and a half weeks. He then said he would miss everyone here. I sighed. "my child! You will say the same when we are departing family at the end of this trip too". He didn't pause on this. But this is the truth about emigrants. Missing all the time.
M and I were talking that Iran may be the only country which doesn't have StarBucks. Good news though is that there are tons of local coffee places with marvelous coffee-based drinks. Oh can't wait to scroll the city again and pause here & there and sip a mocha in one of the nicer places.
My old childhood friend and his family who are living in France are also coming to Isfahan & I'm so looking forward to meeting them. And all other classmates and friends who kept in touch.
I'm looking forward to two nice weeks to just be with my mom and dad, even if to just sit with them and watch them sip a cup of tea. And to get away with my brothers and sister and spend a night in a desert resort.
I bought A's Christmas gift: a bike with hand breaks and gears complete with a helmet and a bell. We sneaked it inside after he left for school this morning and put it in front of the fireplace. I hope that we remember to film him when walking in the door, after coming back from a 24 hour travel time and feeling bruised from goodbyes again when we come back in a couple weeks or so.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Few Last Days

Plan is to leave to visit family by mid next week.  I will be in The States for another five days in 2011.
I looked at the 2011 wall calendar, the holes were slightly torn.  Then I looked at the 2012 wall calendar in my hand, fresh out of the package all neat and clean.  I smiled.  It wont last for a year either.
It is beater sweet to travel this time.  I am thrilled to meet my family again and I cannot wait for my sunny son to rejoin the loved ones and feel the love again.  Seems like his share of it all is only a couple weeks a year.
Yet I am not so happy about leaving the Christmas holidays behind, missing this whole section of the culture.  I like the decorations and I was thinking that I like to try cooking some holiday special pastries one day, there were a few recipes at the end of "Working Mom" magazine.  A is also looking forward to receiving gifts from Santa Claus.  We have a little bit of decoration above the fire place with a large Christmas Tree candle on the mantle and we are planning to put up some lighting hanging from the roof this weekend, although we wont be here we like to be part of the crowd and showing that we too are happy about the birth of this holy prophet of ours.
I wish for peace on the earth.  Alas we seem to be walking further and further away from it all.  The hostilities are never ending, color, race, religion, gender, nationality, age, wealth, and the list goes on.  But I still hope.  And wish everyone to have a nice and happy rest of 2011.  I will miss it here!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Can't Argue with the Truth :)

"If You Were Born Today, December 3
You are a fervent, loyal, and spirited person who is true to yourself whatever the cost!  You hold strong beliefs yet you are tolerant of others, even if you do enjoy a good debate and trying to "win" others to your perspective.  While at times you can be restless due to an inquisitive and interested nature, you are also capable of great loyalty and dependability, valuing stability and permanency.  You are generally good with money and not big on gambling it away foolishly.  You are truly unique and not afraid to be yourself."

If I were on FB my status would be: Thank God for all the loved ones and friends and family!  Love you all!  boos boos

Friday, December 2, 2011

Ending to Begin

This was the beginning of a new adventure.
She was sitting on the single chair behind the desk. All was packed. The desk was almost empty except for a few stationaries. Her laptop was already gone. There were piles of papers and folders with old rotten data and notes and reminders in the recycle bin. What mattered, a few folders, a couple souvenirs, some pictures, and a few books were put in two boxes. She erased her voice from the answering machine.
She looked around. Experience and memory. Smiled.
She grabbed the boxes, and stepped out more confidently than she had entered, and left the past.  She had matured for a new journey.