All this media attention to events in Iran has prompted me to re-think my plans to re-visit the country sometime soon. Preferably after realising a lifetime ambition of going to Samarkand first. But it’s also given me a good excuse to further postpone polishing up my Farsi. At least until MI6 get in touch with me.
By far the most pleasant recollection that’s been prompted is that – with all due respect to Spanish señoritas – Iranian young women must rank as the most beautiful in the world. Though perhaps my perspective would be different now, if I was more impressionable back then.
On the other hand, the talk of freedom has reminded me of a hairs-on-the-back-of-the-neck moment when my Farsi teacher – an unsimpatico cove by the name of Tavakoli – told me that neither I nor anyone else in Britain understood or could ever understand what it was to be free. “You have freedom from the moment you’re born”, he said. “And take it completely for granted. None of you will ever know what it’s like to walk from a plane knowing that you can now think whatever you like.” A sentiment endorsed when a friend warned me that he couldn’t chat in front of his four year old daughter, in case she unwittingly relayed something dangerous in class. That, of course, was under Savak, the Shah’s notorious secret police. When “Evin prison” were the two most terrifying words you could hear in Iran. Turns out they still are.
All of which has reminded me of this little tale I wrote a while ago.
I was going to write something trite about Spanish priorities now but, having just re-read this, I’ve decided to leave this for now. My heart’s just not in it. Sometimes life really is more of a tragedy than a farce.