Monday, December 30, 2013

Naghsh-e Jahan Square through My iPhone

Beautiful handy crafts albeit skyrocketed prices.

Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque

Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque

Jaame' Mosque

Jaame' Mosque

Jaame' Mosque

Jaame' Mosque

Jaame' Mosque

Jaame' Mosque

Jaame' Mosque

Jaame' Mosque - it still echoes 7 times under the dome.

Naghsh-e Jahan Square

Belated Merry Christmas

At last I could go around the filters tonight and get access to my blog. Gosh! This trip has flown by too fast! Many talks, many thoughts.  I feel exhausted in fact. My mind is totally scattered I need some peace and quiet to think and reflect.  About where to live, about family, about work, about life.
I'm grateful for the time with family and friends. My A has discovered his cousins! He seems to really enjoy being with them, laughing and playing, and now missing them.
I found my eyes welled with tears this morning thinking about him missing it all. He is going to share my pain and it has been the last thing I wanted for him.
Oh! Lots to say! No chance to write in detail for now. But only some memories to remember via pictures.
Merry Christmas!
Happy 2014!!!
PS: no water in Zayanderood I didn't feel like going to the riverside this time at all. Wish it were different!!!  Hope it gets better!!!

Many decorated Christmas trees a Santa Claus status around the city

I like Isfahan City Center and Hyper Star a lot! Lots to shop for in the same spot.

Diaries of a Wimpy kid is translated to Farsi; very funny translation!

Pepsi and Coke are not part of the sanction! A puzzle!!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

First Week Back Home

This is exactly a week since I arrived in Isfahan and exactly 6 days that I have been bedridden due to an awful flu.  I am feeling much better now but still my body is working on gaining energy back.
Blogspot and Facebook are blocked here.  Therefore, I don't have access to my weblog or FB.  As soon as I can install a VPN on my iPhone I will post these notes enshala.
I have been mainly home these days, resting and nesting.  I stopped by at the emergency room one morning and decided not to stay due to the long wait time.  That was the depth of my outing.
One morning, when everyone had left for work, I was standing in my mom's 4th floor apartment and watching the narrow street below. There were cars parked on both sides leaving room for only one car to pass. It was an honor system with traffic from both ways. It was working fine from where I was standing.
Standing at the window I could see all the way to Sofeh mountains and Kolaah Ghazi. It was a bright morning indeed. Then, suddenly, my thoughts were brokn when Mrs E, the middle aged woman who helps my mom with house chores, asked me "is there any hope for Iran?"! I turned around and exclaimed why she asked that. She said "you can see yourself! Things are awful lately. The inflation and the sanction on medicin. I cannot find the meds for my ill son. And when I do, they are very expensive and the insurance refuses to pay the bills after making us wait for six months.".
I listened having nothing to say back.
She continued with a smirk "I tell my daughter that I think Iran is worse than Afghanistan these days". I said I didn't know because I had never been to that region of the world.  She continued with her scrubbing.
I looked through the window again. Cars making their way through the parked cars. People walking back home with bags full of purchased goods. Kids returning from schools. Life was flowing. Yet underneath people were suffering.  Suddenly I thought as if a dust of hopelessness had covered the city.
Damn this sanction!
But nothing will stay the same forever.
Now my M and A have joined us and we have a full house again. I'm feeling better little by little and hope to get out and explore some more.
My little m has her first tooth budding exactly at 24 weeks! Something to celebrate now!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Baby Kangaroo, The Dog, The Fish

There are several new guests arriving in the resort today.  Many speak Arabic and some English not sure where they are from.  I met only one other guy who spoke Farsi and was from Iraq.  I have heard some Hebrew and still the majority speaks Turkish. In fact, the company of these specific flags has fascinated me.

It seems like the Baby K is the only baby in the resort. She attracts lots of attention from men and women alike. People say maashaalaa to her and an older lady when held out her hands to receive her said besmellah. A lady pinned a Turkish dream catcher to her cloth.  All very kind and attentive to her.
In a very short stroll we had around the resort this afternoon a dog joined us in front of the hotel and walked with us all the way. He didn't have any leash or didn't seem owned by anyone but was very well behaved. He posed when I was taking a picture of the Baby K;

Finally, Baby K is really interested in the fish. In fact, the fish are my baby sitters. I leave her by the aquarium and sit down to have a Turkish coffee or some fennel tea.

We are leaving tomorrow. But we hope to come back next summer, all four of us, enshala!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Baby Tigger rather than Baby Kangaroo

Baby Kangaroo slept from 4AM till 1PM last night; i.e. this morning! I was trying for hours before that and no luck. Mama Kangaroo managed 5 hours of intermittent sleep for which she is still thankful.
We got to go to the city for a couple hours. Mama Kangaroo bought a few cloths. Fantastic design and relatively really inexpensive. I shouldn't have been shopped when in US really.

Mama Kangaroo bathed Baby Kangaroo single-pouched-ly! Only if she didn't get as slippery when wet and lathered!!
Mama Kangaroo had to devise an external pouch to feed her right on the bed.

And then Mama Kangaroo got herself a massage. She thought she well deserved it after the whole pregnancy and birth and all the tolls she had paid for this heaven-sent Baby Kangaroo.
Oh and the Baby Kangaroo loves to bounce now! If it was a Winnie the Pooh story she was Tigger rather than Roo.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Baby Kangaroo's 1st Passport Stamp

Baby Kangaroo got her first passport stamp: the Turkish custom.
We boarded in Frankfurt and it took us about three hours to get to Istanbul. The culture change was obvious as early as boarding the plane. People were really adoring my baby and were expressive about it in a different way. At the same time they were negligent about their surrounding. I had to make someone stop on his way for example when I was trying to put my backpack in the overhead bin otherwise everyone was passing right behind me in the narrow plane isle while I was holding the Baby Kangaroo too.
We landed in Istanbul last night around 5pm local time. I felt exhausted and yearned for a bed where I could allow my body to rest even if for an hour. But I knew I won't see a bed for another 6 hour or so.
When we were hopping in the as sway tunnel to the terminal I saw the form of a man waiting at the tunnel with the corridor light behind him. At the second glance I realized that it was my father.
Baby Kangaroo and grandpa met for the first time and Baby Kangaroo was completely content with this new acquaintance.

The Istanbul airport was busier than I ever imagined with many duty free shops many of which were American.  I knew I was in Europe and at the same time I knew I was in middle east.  It was interesting actually how the two cultured were mixed in the airport.  Perhaps it was the combination of brands and lights a d Christmas trees alongside people looking Turkish and some with Islamic attire.
We had a few Turkish Delight that were awesome.  My dad also invited me to ice cream which was fantastic. The sweetness of both were just right and not overpowering the way American sweets are.
Finally we were boarded on a plane again, this time to Ercan in Cyprus.  We are at a sea view suit with the sight and sound of the Meditrenean sea. There is a mountain chain right behind the city strip so the city is between the sea and the mountain which reminds me of Nice. Beautiful!
It looks windy eve though I haven't been outside yet.
The hospitality and professionalism of the staff along with the taste and choices of the breakfast buffet reminds me of Budapest and Iran and South Africa. The service industry has gone south in America compared to all these other places.
Baby Kangaroo slept through the night with only two wakings. At the beginning though she would wake up every time I tried to leave her in bed in order to brush and change so I was chained to her for about two hours. Well. That's the reality of a Mama Kangaroo any way. She seems pretty content otherwise and smiles at all the people around her who seem to adore her much already.
PS: while the lobby pianist was playing Happy Birthday :)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Mama Kangaroo In the Air

Hi again! It's me. Mama Kangaroo. Baby Kangaroo is asleep, laying in a bassinet while wrapped in her blanket.

I'm glad daddy gave me the blanket in the last minute, I hadn't planned to take it from the car but its great that I have it. They gave me a United blanket which is fine to cover the not-so-clean bassinet but not nearly suitable for Baby Kangaroo.  I wiped the whole thing down with Clorox wipes. (Well my dear A.M., seems like even the easy going Mama Kangaroo can feel uneasy at times ;) ) Then I laid the thick big blanket on top of it. It covers then bottom and all the sides. Perfect thinking daddy!
I have a fantastic news to share: I have an isle seat and the seat beside me is unoccupied. Well, at least not occupied with a human. Here is a photo from earlier so you get a sense:

Baby Kangaroo has made friends with the old couple on the other side of the isle and ALL the flight attendants. She already bas a United pin. She has explored the economy plus and economy cabins peeking over her pouch, she has had one special baby meal and had several nursing sessions, and already p--ped three times.  They might all have been only one p--p but since Mama Kangaroo is worried about diaper rash and unexpected turbulences that would glue us buckled up in the seats, she has been changing the Baby Kangaroo at the first sign of anything.
OK. Enough of the P word stories.
I have stocked on chilled boiled water while airborne: As soon as Baby Kangaroo fell in a deep enough sleep to be transferred to the bassinet I headed to the galley and requested two cups of hot water. I kept them on the seat tray to chill for the possible future formula events. I'm out of the liquid kind. They were too heavy to pack more than two of. I have the pouched dry kind that again was provided by daddy. I have not been a baby formula expert. But I suspect I will become one after this trip ;) I aimed the air nozzles on the cups of hot water to help them chill faster and finally poured them in the baby bottle and an extra container I'm carrying with me.  So far no spill overs. Score!
Gosh I'm hungry. I managed having a little of my lunch with my left hand while nursing Baby Kangaroo. Oh! They turned the lights back on. Breakfast time. Uh oh! Baby Kangaroo is wiggling in her bassinet.  She shall be up soon.

Introducing Mama Kangaroo

I present to you Mama Kangaroo. That, in fact, is me.  I have boarded the plane carrying the little angel in a baby carrier and found myself living the rest of my life carrying her like a kangaroo. So I thought a name change on my birthday could be timely actually.  I had her buckled up in her carrier while I folded her stroller at the door, we boarded with a backpack, a blanket, and my jacket.  Managed to change our seat, carry and then store the stuff we brought on board in the overhead bin, rock her around the cabin while the plane finally decided to move away from the gate, and harness her during take off.  Mama Kangaroo even used the bathroom while baby Kangaroo was in her pouch, looking around the airplane washroom as if she had boarded a shuttle ship.
Frankly at times I felt more like a Mama Octopus.  For example when during take off Baby Kangaroo started acting like she was hungry, again.  It was not feasible to nurse her in that situation of Kangaroo-ness. So instead, I brought down my backpack from the bin with two hands, took out the ziplock of formula supplies I had packed for the occasion with one hand, opened the zipper with another hand, took out the baby bottle with another hand, unscrew the nipple with another hand, shook and then opened the seal of the baby formula with two other hands, poured the formula in the bottle with another hand and screwed the top with yet another hand all the while I was trying to keep the baby Kangaroo calm ... less noisy. It was in the middle of this mission that I felt like an octopus.  But then I thought Mama Kangaroo was more prestigious.
Mama Kangaroo! That's me.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The 1st Day of the Last Month 2013

At long last m's and my stuff are packed for a four-week trip.  We are headed to Istanbul and then Ercan in Cyprus for a few days of absolute vacation.  It was a last minute invite from my dad.  I'm excited and worried and melancholic about it. Excited because it will be my first time in Cyprus and I marvel in visiting new places. Worried because it is m's first plane ride and long distance trip and I am the only adult in charge. Melancholic because M and A won't be with us and I will miss them badly I'm sure.
We will then all travel to Isfahan to introduce my little angel to the rest of the family. I can't wait to be at my mom's!
Given my two segmented trip and traveling with an infant it took me a couple days to pack. I'm almost done thanks to M who came to the rescue in the last hours.
I will be traveling on my birthday. I had travelled on my birthday before, twice, but both times I was traveling home. This time I am leaving home which makes me feel lonely on my special day.  My new boss has asked for a breakfast meeting on the day too which adds to the anxieties of the eminent trip.
I am looking back at the year that was granted to me:
Last year at around this time I was awfully busy with work and awfully nauseous with pregnancy.
This year at around the same time I have launched two products globally, have hired a direct report to help with my busy works and help me grow in management, and have more launched and product developments to look forward too. I have a 23 week young baby girl. And I have a healthy family and loving friends.  I am thankful for it all!
This year I have new visions and aspirations for future. I'm praying for the best. I'm looking forward to it all!  May God have the future easy on us!
Happy December!