Bookmark and Share

Life in Tehran

10/9/03 By Syma Sayyah, Tehran

Many years ago, at this time of the year, I would be checking Alborz mountain peak to see if it had snowed. I don't do that anymore. First I stopped skiing many years ago, and second autumn comes much later than it used to.

The other day I felt a chill in my naked feet, so I had to get my socks on, and this not out of fear but simply because they were cold.

Every new school year means that Tehran traffic suddenly becomes more unbearable and we have just stopped talking about pollution, everybody knows it is too awful and terribly bad for you. As a solution-orientated person, I do not go out unless I must for one reason or another, and when I do I use the public transport. Getting about from where I live, the best option is a special route, commonly called 'mostaghim' (straight) by the taxi drivers, which goes up and down a certain avenue or street. When the traffic does not move, I simply get out, pay the driver the fix sum, and walk to the next corner/crossing and catch another taxi! The beauty of this 'style' of travel is that one can pay attention to other things.

A few days ago, I was going down our Avenue, stuck in the traffic, and there was a beautifully decorated Bride's Car with fantastic flowers in white, pink and mauve. The car was black and these lovely flowers really showed themselves. Behind the car there were two young workers, obviously still not finished with their work, as they were in work clothes, on a motorcycle, without helmets. Near them, there was a white car with two young, probably nicely groomed young ladies. I could not see them well. One of the young workmen, took a white flower from the bride's car decoration and put it on the bonnet of the young ladies' car and smiled. As he did so, I guess he realized that there were two women in the car and turned and took another small flower and put that on the car too, and smiled again. His friend in front of him said something and he just lifted his shoulders. All of this happened in a matter of half a minute, but I cannot tell you how moving and touching and sad it all was. In a spilt second, one witnessed joy and dare of being young, beauty of youth, the unbelievable social disparity that prevails in our society, and yes a little touch of hope! I could hardly hold back my tears and then the taxi moved on.

© Copyright 2003 (All Rights Reserved)