There's been an election in Iran. I insisted T. telephone home to get news. He's taken no interest of any kind except to tell people he knows not to bother voting.
"Deeeeear," he said. (T. was not moaning at me, for the record - he simply has a very lingering way of saying 'dear') "It's a racket!"
But I insisted, so he called. As it turns out, his sister wouldn't deviate from election-day tradition and wouldn't say who she voted for anyway. "Come closer and I'll whisper it in your ear!" We still don't know who she voted for last time around either, now I think of it.
Persians invented chess. This explains a lot.
They also invented algebra. In fact, they invented just about everything worthwhile.
Ask T. he'll tell you! At length!
We also discovered his mother has won a national lottery for a trip to Mecca. It'll be a group trip. Date as yet undetermined.
A horrified T. called her up and spent the usual half hour repeating the word for "fine" or "okay" (areh)
to everything she said. He's such an obedient son/older brother it comprises literally 40% of his phone conversations home to his sisters and mother - who lecture him non-stop. There was one exception: he was quite insistent he doesn't want her going. He has two reasons: his embittered atheism ("She has better things to do with her time! She should go to Armenia! X., went to Armenia. It's wonderful! People can hold their wives' hands in public!") and a question of life-experience: "The one time she leaves Iran shouldn't be for an even more conservative society...she needs a fresh experience."
Well that's one view. I think she should do both! I'd tell her if I could, but my Persian never got far past "I love you."
Not that he's worried when it comes down to it. "She will never collect," T. informed me darkly after the telephone call was over. "The lottery's a racket too."
I asked him if the English were involved (Persians are notorious conspiracy theorists and the English are to blame for just about everything, actually). He laughed and threw the sofa cushion at me.
"But you know deeeear, if they hadn't overthrown Mossadegh..."
Something about cans and worms comes to mind.
Good luck to everyone there, I suppose.