By Syma Sayyah, Tehran
I love Tehran and as the weather has become more tolerable I have been able to take some walks around town. Last week I took my friend Emma on a walk through the central east side of Tehran. We met near the central bank and started our walk from Berlin Street - so-called because it is next to the German embassy - where they sell all sorts of fashion and clothing items.
We crossed the famous Lalehzar street which has sadly become a center for electric lamps and related goods, and we went into Mehran Alley where I used to go to buy many things with my grandmother when I was a kid. Then we went to former Refahi Street parallel to it and passed many button shops and saw so many of the beautiful items used at Aghd sofreh (wedding ceremonies).
At Mokhberodouleh crossing, we walked over using the four way pedestrian bridges and went to BagheSepahsalar Street where I used to come with my granny to buy new shoes for Norouz or for the new school year. It has now thankfully been closed to traffic and we enjoyed a beautiful easy walk across it and I asked several of the working men, passing by or selling or doing things, if I could take their picture. They all were even more pleased when I showed them their faces on my latest Canon digital.
Statue of Modaress in front of Majlis
We walked down from there to Baharestan square where they were planting new flowers to welcome the spring and the Iranian New Year (Norouz) on 20th of March. The square is very significant politically as it is in front of the new parliament and is the place where Mosadegh was cheered by people when he defied the British on oil in Iran
We then turned right and walked down Mostafa Khomeini Street which I used to know as Sarcheshemeh. We passed many fish shops and fruit shops and we both enjoyed talking to the guys selling the fish and taking their pictures. When we came to the corner of Amirkabir crossing we saw a very small restaurant, and as it was near lunch time we went in and met Haj Agha Sultan Mohamamdie who had had the shop for over fifty years and served us a wonderful ush Sholehghalamkar (soup) and Koofteberenjie (huge rice & meat balls) as well as Kashkebademjan (eggplant with sour yoghurt).
Haj agha Soltani the manager and owner
The place was small yet very clean and the customers and the staff were absolutely wonderful. One of the customers spoke pretty good English and we had to go through a lot of insisting for him not to pay for our food! Many of the shop owners spoke some English or French and were most eager to know where Emma was from and what she was doing here etc. Nobody cared much about me. Well I was neither tall nor beautiful!
Walking south we went to some side streets and passed many traders and working men and we got to the east side of the Bazaar about 2 PM. Two things were totally different in the past hour and a half. Firstly the place was so busy that we could hardly move, (and we were not even inside the main bazaar), and secondly we saw so many more women around who had come to shop.
The gentleman who spoke English and offered to pay for our food
I love these places where there is so much energy and buzz going on that it makes me feel good and gives me energy. However we were both getting very tired and since we had had a three and half hour walk and had to get back to our different occupations we called it a day and I grabbed a cab -darbast (private) - and headed north.
tea on the go
I have some pictures to share with you from our walk and I do hope that it brings you some happy memories too.
Jaye shoma khali (we missed you)!
... Payvand News - 04/10/08 ... --