927: Tehran Part 2 – More on The Secret Lives of Iranians
Today’s post is brought to you by a friend of mine, Sam, an Iranian living in London. Everything I know about Iran I learned from Persepolis, so when I found out that Sam was going back to Iran for holiday after years of living abroad (as the post is aptly named – 927 days), I grabbed the chance to ask him to take pictures and write for Wandering Mee. This is part two of a two-part posts on Tehran, Iran. See the first part here. Enjoy!
Some images of the antiques and handcrafted items sold on the street and shops there
[in the picture frames are poetry written in calligraphy ]
[”Tasbih” (Rosary) the item used when praying to God to keep count!]
[A lot of imported items specially from China can been seen amongst the items sold]
[A beautifully presented set of antiques I was lucky to capture before getting told off by the pedlar]
Our Handicraft applies to a wide range of creative and design objects mostly decorative and has roots in Persia’s history. The most famous ones known in the world are Kilim, carpet and Gabbeh.
I have no strong nationalist feelings towards them, but I have always found the design, the colours, materials and attention to details breathtakingly beautiful!
[made by earthenware]
Nowadays in attempts to appeal to mass market and sell these items they’ve been incorporated into more practical items; from bags, clothing, mobile phones cases to mouse mattes!
[inside a handicraft store in Tehran]
Heading back home I passed by the only Church I’ve ever seen in Tehran:
I know there are more but I haven’t seen anything else.There’s no shortage of mosques of course! ;)
There are leisure sites in the city where people spend their free time. From wonderlands to water parks, artificial lakes and parks and a lot of hiking and ski opportunities since the city is near the mountains. Basically if you are into scenery and nature, Tehran has got you covered!
[Persian Gulf Artificial Lake]
[Mellat Park – this decoration is for the islamic (Arabic) month of “Muharram” ]
[There’s a little Zoo inside the park]
[Tochal leisure site in the north of the city]
The look and feel of Tehran’s streets reminds me of Beijing, there are a lot of similarities, maybe all big cities look more or less the same.
[This is a traffic controlled zone and personal cars can’t drive without the permit, all green and yellow cars are public transport]
[Tehran has beautiful sunsets, the entire sky turns orange ]
[Cinema and bowling site ]
I didn’t write about our cuisines since that alone is an entire different story, also I was too busy eating to take photos! Nothing beats my mom’s cooking and I’m very proud to admit that :D
The day we visited my grandparents we ended up staying a little longer than expected and my aunt ordered some pizza, she told me the’ve turned their old house into a fast food and a restaurant, her sister’s floor became this Pizza place where she ordered from and their floor was turned into an Italian restaurants (with a hint of pride in her voice to have her place turned into something a little more prestigious than a fast food!).
People love Pizza in Iran, it is the most popular fast food and we have our own flavours and shapes making it rather unique. However, my favourite fast food of all times is a steak sandwich from a place called “Heeva”:
I used to order from there so often that everybody knew me, one of people working there jokingly told me once, they started the membership system because of me! I wondered if I still love it that much after all these years, and the answer was yes! it’s a monster of a sandwich with a combination that can’t go wrong!
Popularity of the fast food aside, Persian cuisines are mostly rice based. We’ve got many nice soups as well as different kinds of Kebabs. There are iranian restaurants everywhere in the world and you should give it a try! I guarantee you’ll love what you see! ;) here just a handful homemade dishes I had … but this is just a drop of the ocean.
[Halim, our version of the porridge]
Going to Tehran brought back a lot of memories. The first 24 hours I was struggling to even find the right words to talk! but then I was back in throwing slangs left and right! Sitting amongst families and friends and being surrounded by the language and the sound of it, going to a party and hearing some music and chatting with people my age, I realised how much I actually missed this place! it does create a lot of mixed feelings. No matter how far you go and for how long, there is always a connection to where your roots are, there’s a sense of comfort and sources for some agony! but there’s something about it, a sense of belongings that will always remains with you.
[View of the city from Tochal]
A great ending of a great journey in a country we may otherwise never see. There’s always a sense of dread when one is asked to tell about their place of origin, especially when one has been away from it for a long time. But I found that once you go back, you see everything with a new set of eyes. You’re both an insider and an outsider looking in – a unique position to be in. I’d love to tell you about one of my homes too sometime. How about your home?