Sunday, November 30, 2014

A New Weblog

I am writing in a new weblog now as Midnight Traveler; please follow the link below:

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Emigrating Love

I just opened your page and watched your picture. I do this sometimes.  Then I realize how much I missed you.
I hold my cup with both hands sipping all the warmth and long for a conversation over its dying steam.
I wonder about my life if you hadn't gone.  I imagine the many mochas, the many conversations, the many hikes, the many travels, the many adventures.  I imagine the calm and assurance in your presence.  And I wonder how it is for you in your untraceable emigration.  I know how it is for me.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankful I Am

I am thankful for this four day holiday; My favorite for the past nine years living in the United States of America!
I am thankful for friends and relatives who have invited us to their feast every year!
I am thankful for yet another birthday coming up soon right after this down time to pause and reflect on the year that's gone!
I'm thankful for the alarm that goes off at 5:55AM similar to every other weekday because I forgot to turn it off on this Thanksgiving Thursday reminding me to remember the little things!
I am thankful for my sunny son who slips his frozen limbs under the blanket at 6AM giving me unwelcomed shivers reminding me that I was warm all night!
I am thankful for my little angel vailing at 6:30AM reminding me of nights she used to wake up every 1.5 hours and how grateful I am for the stretch of night sleeps she grants me these days!
I am grateful for my hubby encouraging me to exercise even in the middle of the night in the tag of war over our blanket!
I am grateful for my long hair and the joys of feeling it's fluff on my bare back!
I am grateful for my father who is always in my thoughts not knowingly giving me guidance when I ask myself "what would my dad do if he were in my shoes?"!
I am grateful for my mom whose kindness has solidified my belief in God!
I am thankful for a job that's flexible and challenging me to be persistence and calm!
I'm thankful for my sisters and brothers who are always there for me!
I am thankful for my friends, all of them, here, there, in Iran, in France, in Canada, in UK, in Astralia, in Germany, in Italy, in Malasia, in New York, in Minnesota, in Massachusetts, in Texas, in  San Digeo, in LA, in the Bay Area!
I am thankful for Viber putting me in daily contact with my friends and relatives!
I am thankful for the turkey awaiting to be eaten this afternoon!
I am thankful for the bakers who are making the pastries we are going to take to our relatives this afternoon!
I'm thankful for my tiny house and lesser mortgage providing me the freedom to spend and invest more freely!
I am thankful for the fire in the fireplace and the boiling kettle on the stove!
I am thankful for the friends of the Path!
I am thankful for this sunny morning and all the disturbing noises of nags and cries and unsuitable music and computer games around this house this morning because I love all the noisy people making the noises!
I am thankful for being thankful!
I am thankful for you reading along till this point!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Dichotomy and Democracy

It baffles me how sometimes politics appear black and white in a democratic society:
Republicans vsDemocrats 
Black vs White
Male vs Female
I am looking forward to a day when we analyze facts above and beyond two distinct labels; to observe and listen objectively and simply just analyze facts.


Sometimes people get too comfortable with each other. Sometimes people take each other for granted. Sometimes people get used to having her, talking to her, touching her, kissing her so much so they don't care about the presence, the talk, the touch or the kiss.
Sometimes people take it all for granted.
May be some distance will help cure the ignorance.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Early on Tuesday

Maybe I didn't love you
Quite as often as I could have
And maybe I didn't treat you
Quite as good as I should have
If I made you feel second best
Girl I'm sorry I was blind

You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind

And maybe I didn't hold you
All those lonely, lonely times
And I guess I never told you
I'm so happy that you're mine
Little things I should have said and done
I just never took the time

But ...

The sound of the waves crashing on the boulders spiked high and made her open her eyes reflexively.  She was sitting in a lotus pose inside the cottage yet it felt as if the waves were crashing at her door.  The cottage was located just a bit too close to the edge of the boulders.  Earlier that morning she drove to the Santa Cruz coast to spend the day in the cottage. She got it rented just the night before. How lucky!
A day by herself. Alone. By the ocean.
She shut her eyes again falling back in her meditation. Inhaling the smell of the ocean, exhaling gratitude. Inhaling the support, exhaling gratitude. Inhaling the challenges, exhaling gratitude.
She imagined him; his name; his face; his smile.  Then she imagined him gliding away getting smaller and smaller to a tiny little dot in the vast space of all her imaginations. At the fantasy of it all she smiled while her eyes closed. Releived.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Let Love

I want a trip to a far away city, a clean shiny trendy one just like Vancouver. I want just the two of us vacationing there. Staying at a nice comfortable hotel by the harbor may be, hiking by the shore, eating at the nicest casual diners, having desert and coffee in local cafes, chatting away and laughing at simple little funs of the moments.  I want to walk with you side by side everywhere we go. I want to hold hands, I want to lean on you, I want to feel taken cared of, cherished, marveled, desired.
I want to be the last dream of your night. Your first thought in the morning.
I want to feel loved.

An Old Encounter Anew

Fourteen years is a life time. Or is it?
I called her to get direction to our appointment.  Two minutes after she was suddenly in front of me albeit about 30 feet ahead. She waived at me; that's how I knew it was her. I realized my grin when I felt my mouth dry. She was walking toward me now looking straight up at me. I found my gaze avoiding hers, unsure about what I would find in her.
Fourteen years is an age. Or is it?
We greeted like old friends do, right cheek to cheek, left she kissed my cheek and then we hugged, briefly. Then I looked at her and kissed her cheek. Giddy. Yet uncertain. At first her tone was her casual self, as I remembered, a bit guarded may be: "chetori?" "How are you?" Asked in passing as if not expecting a response.
We already had a table thanks to her earlier arrival. Cactus Club by Canada Center was a trendy upper class hotspot. That's my vague memory of the place. I didn't care much.  We were seated and then we were talking. I'm not sure how many minutes were gone when we found ourselves already chatting so openly, immersed in the same subjects in life, alive with similar dreams; challenged in similar ways.  How baffling it was after all these years; what a pleasant surprise!
After all, fourteen years is a long time ago. Or is it?
I have grown. She has grown. We are not those high school girls any more. We are not the newly grads with our whole lives ahead of us any longer. We are both grown women, emigrated, married, working, mothers. Mothers!  Mothers!!  That's what has happened in the last decade and more.  When you think about it, fourteen years is a long enough time for transformations. Or is it?
Lunch was over too fast all the while we seemed oblivious to it all. She got a call and had to leave after 1.5 hours. I walked back to the hotel; noticing the beautiful fog over the mountains only once. Otherwise I was walking in my fogs of the past and the sudden unexpected fogs of the present.  Soon she texted and easily we joined again for coffee. This time I got to meet her son.  Her son!! She was a mother to a boy with her exact eyes.  This appeared so unimaginable I felt like I needed to touch him to believe that he was real.
We talked some more. This time I was mainly listening. Feeling her feelings. Wishing there was no interruption to come yet wishing to be by myself alone to digest this all.
Fourteen years apart must be a great deal for a friendship. Or is it?
She texted me later that night. Seemingly she was as unsure about this visit as I was earlier that day. And then we both had found our friends in each other; same way we were back in high school but this time married, emigrated, working, with kids. And all the baggages of life through it all.
Fourteen years is a life time. Or is it?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Vancouver City

I like trendy cities. I like beautiful old cities with history and character yet trendy new cities that are clean and chic are welcoming to me in a different way. They are usually safe and alive till late at night albeit in the downtown areas.
I like Vancouver for all the aforementioned  reasons. Got here only a few hours ago yet didn't take me long to remember how vibrant this city is to me. Staying at the Coal Harbor area for sure is a plus.

After a too short stop at my hotel I got to walk to my meeting appointment for dinner. People walking in the streets and bike riders despite the near freezing chill made it feel safe and alive.
The only problem, as always, is the business travel blues. It's lonely to travel by yourself.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Future That Is History Now

Tonight's episode of The Newsroom, season one, episode five, reminded me of a conversation with my dear Syrian friend in the winter of 2011.  We were driving to a gathering and the news about Egypt was brought up in the car.  Very earnestly and oblivious for a moment to what was happening in Syria at the same time, I noted that I didn't find anything positive coming out of the Egyptian "revolution"; that any such abrupt movement was doomed to failure; that we had the history in front of us and very clear examples where people knew what they didn't want and got united to get rid of that but they were not united about what they wanted which caused a slew of new kind of troubles; that The Animal Farm was a masterpiece to hint that after revolutions, all animals were equal but some were more equal. To my utter surprise my dear friend protested my observations noting that they, the Egyptian, now had a choice and they could elect whom they wanted. I pointed how history tells us this didn't necessarily happen in similar situations and she simply said "then they will protest again and choose whom they want again". Well. That was the kind of logic I could never argue with because to me it lacked some logic!
Here we are now, almost four years after that conversation. What are we witnessing in Egypt today? It seems quiet. Calm? I don't know! Elected governments? Seemingly not!
We have a saying in Farsi that says "people deserve what they deserve".
As George Santanaya famously said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

The Newsroom (2012- ) HBO Series

We have started watching The Newsroom series and I'm intrigued by how intrigued I feel about each episode!
We are just on the first season, episode five.  I must say I had no idea what went on behind the scene for each newscast. I never even thought about it. Now that I got a glimpse, it makes sense!  How everyone is running around finding stories and checking the facts.  Add to it all the different characters working such odd shifts to cover the news. I'm sure in reality they are not as bubbly and interesting as in The Newsroom, yet this series for sure has made it look fun to work in newscast agencies.
Jeff Daniels reminded me of the movie Dumb and Dumber for the first couple episodes. Now after five episodes that image is almost fading. He is Will McAvoy. Actually not only not dumb but super smart and brave and even though I never thought of him as handsome, I must say he is likable. 
The plots of the episodes seem real time, real events, real people in the news. I'm fascinated by even the idea of a news channel that wants to honestly inform the public and provide them with the facts and real analyses.  I know people will choose to believe what they choose, yet through such newscast at least there is the option to believe in truth.  Hopefully, one day.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Thank God For Him

I absolutely adore him.  He brings me up when I feel down.  He brings smile to my lipsand tears in my eyes listening to him, happy tears.  Listen to him and emmersing in his vision calms my uneasy heart.  Thank God for you!  Thank God for you!  God keeps you for us!

"The old father of the sky should live a very long life
before the mom of the world gives birth to another son like you"

Sunday, November 2, 2014

CNN Anthony Bourdain on Iran

I really enjoyed watching this episode of Anthony Bordain's; his experience in Iran.  He seemed appalled by welcoming Iranians and the versatility of the culture. Truly he witnessed the clash of the guards with filming for example yet nothing overshadowed the liveliness of the culture and people.

I appreciated his fair remarks on his observation. I even appreciated the background music, from Persian Dastgaah to Kurdish and even Southern Bedouin themes. That's the reality, Iranians are Persians and Arabs and Kurds and Turks and all the rest. As beautiful as wholesomeness.

Merci Anthony Bourdain for such a real depiction of the land of Persia!

The Evils of the Time

This is the first time in my life that I see the evil. Evil is real. Satan is real; doing the evil it has always been doing. This time in the name of God. This time in the name of Islam. This time in the name of religion. This time in the name of humanity.
I had lost my center for a while as I was observing all this evil that I couldn't comprehend. Now I realized the issue, thanks to my friends of The Path who mirrored me in my fear and hurt. I am found. I will hang on to my center this time. I pray. I pray for the helpless to have strength. I pray for those who are hurt to be healed. I pray for those who have no shelter to be safe. I pray for those who are right to remain strong. I pray for those who are evil to recognize their ugliness and to transform, may God have Mercy on them!
Peace! Love! Salaam!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Antisocial with Social Media

I decided that Social Media is not for me.  I am a kind of person who think about every post, every comment, who reads all the news that intrigues me even when I am not ready, who watched all the enticing video clips.  I heard it once that checking Face Book in this time and era is like taking smoke breaks in the past.  It is a "break". Not for me, not anymore.  It was not a break but an invasion of unfiltered news and updates I was not always ready for.  As such, I left the Face Book for the second time with no regret so far.

Friday, October 24, 2014

The City

People talk to you in the city even at 6:45 AM! I mounted out of bart station to be greeted by a tall security guy. He was very eager for me to ask him a question. So I did and got some info with regards to my directions. At the top of the escalators a guy said hola to me. As I took my 9 minute walk to my destination I got whistled at, hello-ed, howdy-ed, and a few other murmurs I could t decipher. Such friendly people in the city!


The smell of oil and the orange safety jackets reminded me of my first job more than a decade ago. I have an office job now, for a long time now. However, my first paying job even though office based needed me to take many field rides into industrial sites. Many rides entailed a trip, usually an early morning one or even sometimes a late night arrival for an early morning work. Staying in mediocre hotels, having meals in local restaurants of small towns. Feeling utterly lonely.
I am travelling to San Francisco this morning using the crappy public trabsport of the Bay Area. I'm going to stay at Merriott and will possibly get to eat well. However, this trip starting at 5am in the train has gotten me back to that time in my life.
My group, even though medical devices, is actually within a compel rely industrial company and the mindset pushes me back to the policies of my first paying job in Canada. I don't like thinking about money even though I marvel working within budget. I don't like frugality. I don't like the flood of past memories this morning.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Me and Umm ... Me

I surprised myself.
I like it when I surprise myself.
I am sitting in the plane, munching on the soy sauce tasting rice, and no chicken blah, watching the very movie I didn't want to watch on my flight out, and this time wanting to watch it!
Not really! I know me enough to know I don't know me and anticipate me to surprise me.
I know you, my dear reader, are curios to know which movie it is. And indeed it is not Cool Hand Luke. Which by the way, the older lady sitting diagonal to me, who has a nice 70s make up on, who as soon as sitting down took out her comb from her purse and brushed the end of her done hair, who is wearing red in her 60s, started watching just an hour ago. Made me smile.
Oops! I just decided to take a picture of her back watching the movie and the flush went on. Embarrassing!
Now, I am curious to know what the guy sitting behind her is watching. He is a few centimeters behind me on the other side of the isle and I can't tell what he is watching. Earlier he gave me his Wall Street Joirnal when the flight attendant went right past me to him and got occupied with his neighbor lady. He then asked for another newspaper for himself of course. I don't remember how he looked like. It's rude to turn around now and just look at him. Isn't it? I recall him being young, may be younger than me, lighter haired may be jaw length.  And glasses.
And oh yes. I am watching this teenagers' chick flick movie called The Fault in Our Stars.
I like the name Hazel, which is the name of the main character, I like the actress, whom is Shailene Woodley , and the actor is just ok, meh.

Now, let's try again:
Flush off

PS: that teenagers' chick flick made me cry.
PPS: how bored one can get in a long flight all by herself?!!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Sleepless in Kobe

People sitting calmly watching the sea, people walking, people jogging, kids practicing and exercising, people riding their bikes with no rush. These are my observations at 5:57am on a Friday morning in Kobe. People seem to have given themselves ample time in the morning to walk to work and school rather than rushing through traffic.

After all these years, after all the thousands of nights and early mornings I have watched the Moon, it still stops me on my tracks to watch it some more. May be it is the mystery.

Here is my breakfast; please join me!


Wednesday, October 8, 2014


Cool Hand Luke is the title that stops me as I'm browsing the movie selection in my 11 hour flight. Cast: Paul Newman. Well of course. Who wouldn't enjoy watching him?  God bless his soul! A family man. Handsome and stylish. Tanned and strong looking muscles when young and straight back and strong boned face when old. Indeed a thrill for the eyes.
However, the reason I paused in my browse was not this statue of manhood from the past. It was because the title reminded of my mother.
When A was born my mom came to visit and stay with me for about a month. It was great to have her around and live with her after a long while especially when I had just become a mom for the first time.
One afternoon I remember we watched this movie together. A two hour of relative peace was granted by the baby A and we gratefully took advantage of it. We watched the whole movie in one sitting. And I must say I don't remember much of it. What I do remember however, is my mom's face when the movie was over. A slight smile on her lips, brighter eyes, one raised eyebrow, relaxed face. She looked younger, much younger in that moment.  The sight surprised me I recall. I remember I thought to myself mischievously if she had a crush on Paul Newman growing up. After all he was a grown man and a movie star when she was a young teenager. I tried to imagine her on a Friday afternoon in high school and in university after watching a Paul Newman movie with her sisters or friends. I wondered if she thought about him before she went to bed in those nights. I wondered if she chose her husband based on this look. I wondered how she might have experienced youth way before my time.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Once in A While

It feels good to feel sick once in a while. It is good to stay home once in a while. It is good to spend the whole morning with my little girl and watch her explore and bounce to the tunes amid her nagging spouts.  It's good to watch a movie in the middle of a working day once in a while.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Colors of My Life

I pulled up the blinds and watched the rain.  It was raining all night into the moment; an early cloudy morning with wet color-changing trees.

I am that fall tree.  Changing colors one leaf at a time but no two leaves are the same exact color.  Sometimes I am green, sometimes red; sometimes fresh, sometimes dry; sometimes lonely within the crowded branches, sometimes dancing on one branch all by myself.
I cherish this fall tree.
I am the only one in the office as early as I start in the morning.  I cherish it and I hate it at the same time.  I love the undivided time I get to work.  I get to finish a full day worth of work in the first 3 hours of the day.  I get to put on music and listen to it loud if I wish to.  I get a head start and that is highly valued in my charts.  I get to go home and be with my kids earlier than the rush of the evening commute. Yet, I hate it.  I don't appreciate how I need to go to bed early to be able to raise early in the morning.  I don't appreciate not being there when my little monsters get out of bed later after I left, all warm and cuddly and smelling like stale babies, my favorite kind of fragrance lately.
I am that fall tree.  Changing colors just a little every day.  I wish and I hope and I desire.  I want to be colorful yet I want to be fresh and living and I know this all will never coexist for too long.
I pick up my purse and walk to Kerri's cafe.  The most conveniently located cafe around with a kind looking lady manager who remembered my name just the second time I went there.  I ordered my mocha and veggie scramble and sat down despite my to-go order.  I watched the rain and the wet flowers and the colors of my life.  Then walked back to my fall tree.  Life is sometimes as simple as that.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Salmon Fishing in Yemen (201?) Movie

"This project saved me" is what Harriet said after they swam in the man-made canal and before he, Dr Alfred Jones, asked if him and her were theoretically possible. Funny man this Dr Jones! I was disappointed by his married life with Mary. Of course before he showed her affection for Harriet; he was married to Mary. Mary, who didnt listen to him even when he was talking about his dreams of having a child. Mary, who after he made love to her said "that should do you for a while" and he thanked her! Mary, who broke the news of her 6 week business trip a day before her departure. Mary, who was so cold and self assured that didn't and couldn't satisfy his dream.  Mary, who allowed him and drove him to experience love when he found it, perhaps for the first time. Then, when he fell in love with Harriet, Mary, who got all jealous and mad.
The Sheikh in Yemen had praying beads between his fingers all the time. He prayed and even we heard him say the Quranic verses in his prayers during a scene. In this time and era, this was an extra ordinary movie showing some Muslims in positive lights.
There were some scenes when people spoke Arabic but I couldn't decipher a lot of it.  I'm not sure if they were actually speaking Arabic. Funny I was trying to understand what they said on the same day when I made an effort to speak Arabic! It was when I tried to help a poor old woman who didn't know how to find her gate on her way to Cairo and asked me on my passing. I said I didn't know in English and showed her the departure monitors on the other side of the salon then I saw her face drop. I thought she might not know English at all even to read Cairo. I turned around and motioned her to follow me. She quickly started scampering behind me while taking something out of her purse. Her boarding pass. OK. Cairo. 15:30. Found it. C33. "C33". And she responded in inaudible Arabic. "C thirty three" I repeated slowly.  Blank face. So I showed with three fingers "thirty" and closed and open the same three fingers "three". She smiled and said something but I was not confident she got what I said wondered if she thought C3. Suddenly I remembered I knew some Arabic! "Saales ashar saales". She quickly repeated "thalis 'ashar althalis". Yeah! We both smiled. I pointed her to C gates and walked away. Just followed her by eyes and last I saw she was on her way. I hope she found her gate fine! Enshala!

Wrong Feeling

I'm headed to a conference in another state and I feel the wrong feeling in my heart. My heart is heavy with agony of departure.  I crave hugging and smelling the tiny little body of my daughter and kissing the dimple on my son's face. I miss my kind and supportive husband.  I feel remotely excited about this trip, my first conference in this role. I know I will learn new stuff and I hope to meet new people and possibly recruit some advisors for the job.
But I have the wrong feeling.
I see that the days and weeks of my kids lives are passing and I'm not there to witness it. I wish I had other ambitions. I wish I could stay home with my kids and enjoy their lives.
I wish I had a good feeling right now.

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Woman Who Never Says Hi

Well, she never says hi back let alone saying hi in the first place.
She is a mom at A's school. Her son and mine have shared two out of four classes in the elementary school so far. Her son has come to my house for A's birthday and so did she. She knows me. But every time I say hi to her at school during pick up or drop off she never says hi back. I know she hears me because she looks into my eyes.  Today I said hi again to the same obnoxious look and pierced lips of hers. No response but a passing look. Then I thought to myself, this was the last time I said hi to this woman.
She is the only one who is so obviously irresponsive but she certainly is not the only one. I'm not sure what it is with some of these moms who seem afraid of communicating with people. I wonder if they feel too big or too little. In either case, I feel pity for them. Wish them grace!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Birth of An Idea

I have decided to experiment with professional writing in LinkedIn.
This was an idea that popped in my head while riding in the Alberta Prairies and chatting with my sis.  She said how in North America one was not supposed to enjoy her life but to work and work seriously so. That one had to take advantage of her weekends to enjoy life. That such hard schedule has been her motivation to start her own business and retire soon.
I can appreciate the sentiment. However, I'm not sure if managing your own business would allow one to have more leisure time at hand. To the contrary perhaps, it would take up more time and energy. However, the fruit of labor is more readily available perhaps.
I think my dream job is to teach at a professional level. And to teach at that level one needs to be a professional. I know I don't hold a PhD and I'm not planning on earning one. Therefore, I think one path forward would be to earn professional recognition through expertise and/or publications.
A few days ago I received an email from LinedIn that invited me to publish there. I think I might have be chosen to received this email, among millions perhaps, based on the population of my network, the progression in my career, and the frequency and quantity of my profile visits. At that moment I was not sure if I could use this opportunity. However, in this ride I thought this might be exactly the channel for my professional publications.  I think I can start with my lessons learned and best advice I've received in my life so far. The ideas won't be original at first. However, gradually I might be able to generate novel ideas, God willing.  I thought I can sketch simple drawings for each idea too. I think I need to publish once a week at least and in a regular basis. Perhpas on Mondays. And take advantage of the whole week to cook ideas, draft them, edit them, sketch drawings.  I hope I can do it, enshala.
So here is to a new dream which was born in the prairies of Alberta.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Edmonton, August 2014

Opening eyes to a new scenery from the bedroom windows, watching unfamiar pattern of morning lights, hiking in the neighboring trails, sitting in a local cafe drinking local roasts, walking to a new bookstore browsing local camping books, meeting new people.  These are a few of my favorite things about traveling;  anything to simply just be.
Life happens. Days come. Days go. Work. Bills. Obligations.
Travels, however, don't simply happen usually. They are planned for, saved for, waited for.
The unique schedule on each day makes each day exciting and lived.  There are more occasions to just sit and be together.  That makes the daily trouble seem so easy and remote. Goals so achievable. Dreams believed to come true.
Here is to a beautiful cloudy morning in Edmonton!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Losing My English

I feel I am losing my English.  I'm trying to hold on to it. I listen to National Public Radio most mornings as I drive to work in the darkness between the night and day. I read books in English. I listen to TED talks. I write emails in English and I talk to my English speaking friends daily. Yet, I feel I'm losing my English. How do I know that? Because in a conversation yesterday I pronounced a word in a wrong way, I knew I was pronouncing it wrong,  yet I did it! I'm not talking about my accent. That's there. Has always been and will always be; and frankly, I like it as dear as my identity.  I don't mind my accent. I'm talking about a pronunciation.
I am trying to get to root of the matter:  I spend more than half of my waking hours at work. I work in a team of three right now and there are not many occasions to talk. Most of my extended management team are not English speakers. I have hundreds of correspondences with friends and family on a daily bases, most if not all not in English.  And here I am.  Not pronouncing a word correctly, and knowingly so!
I couldn't pronounce the word correctly yesterday. I think I'm losing my English.  I need a new strategy!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Lost in the News

The poet is dead... God bless her soul!
The comedian ended his life... Rest in peace!
The truce is over. A truce is a promise. A promise is to be kept. This irony!
The so called "Islamic" killers are fighting Islam, religion, humanity.
The police who is supposed to protect citizens is clashing with them in the amours of an army, protecting itself.
The virus is threatening the world.
The schools have commenced. Kids with new backpacks. Kids with new hopes. Kids with no money for the "free" lunch.
Religious leaders leading agains humanity at one end of the world.
Religious leaders uniting in harmony, acceptance, divine spirit, in another end of the world.
And God said I would never leave the earth empty of those who truly hear me. I certainly hope so!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Physical Distances

It is well past 3 AM and she cannot sleep. Her brain is full of thoughts, memories, dreams, desires, fantasies.  He is laying by her side, breathing deeply, far away in his dreams. She roles to her side and extends her hand to reach him, examining the warm flesh under her touch. The back of his shoulders, his upper back, manly muscles she adores, his side so firm yet soft. She bends over and buries her nose in his curly hair. Ah! The love she feels for him.
Where is he now? What is he doing? What is he seeing? What is he experiencing?
So far way physically, yet always near in her thoughts.

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Story of Tea

For the whole 45 minutes I was wondering whether in their narrating the story of tea they would mention Iran, where, in my observations, has one of the most unique relationships with tea. Yes, it is indeed a relationship, where brewing tea starts early in the morning and goes on all day long and well in to the evening.
In this Food Planet documentary about tea the narration starts from England in search of the origin of this British tradition of high tea and afternoon tea. The investigators take us to China as the origin of it all. Then to South Asia, India, Bangeladesh, Thailand, and finally Middle East. I was pleased to see the British narrator finding her way to a Persian cafe and asking the owner, Reza, to explain the Persian tradition of tea brewing and tea serving. Reza does a nice job in describing the Samovar of which he had a charcoal type; I had seen the type in my late grandmother and oldest uncle's houses albeit not in use. He showed how to drink the tea while a sugare cube is melting in your mouth. He said anyone who enters any Persian house will be greeted with a cup of tea. Indeed a tradition, of course, the Persian way.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Kobe Business Trip in Picture

Last morning in Kobe city and how thrilled I am to see my kids and loves again, enshala. This was possible because of M's strength and support and thank God for Face Time! Hoping to explore the city again and next time with my family I hope!

View of Kobe station from my room

Lunch at work

Sannomia down town

Life Savers in the Heat

To finda dairy was a hunt

The best Sushi place ever!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Kyoto on One Rainy Day

Fascinated by the Japanese history and architect, I muse in town of Kyoto.  We took the Shinkansen train from Shin-Kobe to Kyoto and it took us less than 30 minutes for a 80Km trip including a stop at Osaka. We had reserved a Sunrise Tour with Nijo Castle for the first stop.

I feel intrigued to study Japan's history now. I marveled in the symbols and clever designs including the so called nightingale floors which squeak as you walk on them in order to notify presence of an intruder. As the tour guide explains the dress codes for samurai and emperor I think to myself what a hierarchical society it has been! In the castle there were some rooms with maquette of samurai people carrying two swords and also of an emperor and shoguns the figures of which reminded me of the old cartoon we used to watch on TV in Iran, the Tale of Three  Brothers. In one room there were the ladies, all in beautiful kimonos, all carrying a small sword. Our guide explained that the sword was not for protection in case they were invaded, but to kill themselves to protect their honor in case an enemy approached them!

It has started raining cats and dogs now...

We visited Kitano shrine in the rain, the kind with a bell to call for God and many talisma to wear based on your wish and dreams.

Kikaku or the Golden Pavilion was mesmerizing with beautiful Japanese gardens surrounding a Golden temple.

Got a lecture on the difference between Shinto shrine versus Buddhist temple with the Shinyo shrine being oranges with an entrance gate and also with a bell to call te Shinto God while the Budist temple has neither of these.

Afternoon was filled with visiting the Heian Jingu Shrine which resembled Chinese temples to me with it's red colors and dragon and tiger symbols, the temple of Sanjusangendo with a renowned long wooden hall housing 1001 status of Kannon, and the temple of Kiyomizu which was atop a tall hill.

Of this all I was most fascinated by the 1001 Statues of Kannon.  There were thirteen guardians for the statues almost all of which were Indian deities except for one, which was Ahura Mazda, the ancient Persian Diety of Goodness. I never would have anticipated this!  Unfortunately it was prohibited to take pictures and after some time searching failed to find good notes in English. I'm so intrigued to go back to this one. With my family enshala :)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Japan Day 5

Respectful people
Busy trains
Hot humid weather
Tasty food
Expressionless pedestrians
Deafening cicadas
These have been my observation of Kobe, Japan, in the past few days in July. I wake up early in the morning and go for a run in the hot humid early morning weather, listening to the defeaning sound of cicadas.
On this day 5, which is also a Saturday, my colleague and I got a local guide being a colleague's daughter. Her name is Akiyo. Such a nice young lady. She chaperoned us to Rokko Mountain Music Box Museum. It had been an incredible journey going up the steep mountain by a cable car.  The serene and pure scenery makes one instantly feel calm and content, so pure I found myself praying.

The antique museum of music boxes is inviting making me yearn for my family even more. There is a beautiful little garden in the back of the building with a Lillie pad filled pond.

We got to listen to a "concert" when some of the music boxes were put in play.

It's hot, serene, beautiful and I wish for my family!