Friday, June 18, 2010

Tea and Oranges ~ Random Memory #15 ~ Iran

Orange tree in Key West, Florida. Antique processing.

Random Memory #15 ~ Iran

It has taken weeks of appointments and interviews and, at last, JCB and John have finally started school. John has a place in an Iranian preschool called Mehr Madar (Mother Love) and JCB is attending Ashraf Pahlavi, named after the Shah's sister, Princess Ashraf. Hardly a role model for my daughter, but the school is highly regarded. JCB's day is divided with English in the morning and afternoon lessons in Farsi. I love her notebooks full of sums and the Persian alphabet. I still have those books with pages of the first practice sentence every Iranian child learns to write. "Baba ab dad," Daddy gave water. She is a good student and has settled in beautifully.

John is the only English speaker at Mehr Madar. My hope is that he will 'soak' up Farsi as the very young so often do with a second language. I know he will feel isolated in the beginning....still it is a better alternative to the tedious hours at the hotel. The teachers are very kind and the walled garden is delightful with its profusion of trees and roses. There are swings and see saws and Tehran's sunny dry climate is perfect for outdoor activity. John seems to accept this new and foreign environment, at least he never complains about going to school.

Many months later, when we have been in our house for some time, I think it is very odd that I have never heard John speak a word of Farsi. Goli and Amir are almost always present and the language is spoken constantly...I have even begun to dream in Farsi! Goli looks puzzled when I tell her about John's reluctance to converse when we are all together and how I wonder if he has learned any words at all. After hearing me out, Goli thinks my concerns are hilarious saying "It's because you are his mother! He comes downstairs every day asking for tea and oranges. He sounds like any Iranian child!"


  1. I would so love to see the school garden with the lush roses. And tea & oranges sound great right now as well.

  2. Barbara, Iran's climate is perfect for roses and they are everywhere and, of course, rose water is used in their ice cream and sweets. I loved the walled gardens and their blissful peace after the dust, chaos of the streets and traffic. Many had fountains because the sound of running water is beloved in Iran and all had roses and many other fragrant flowering plants.

  3. I know that tea, having had Persian friends for years, and also the small vials of attar of roses that seem to appear as spontaneous, friendly presents. I love the scent of roses but cannot stand the tea (it always seemed to contain bergamot . A pity really as there's always a significance to drinking tea - in Montreal with friends there was always gaz to accompany tea served in those small saucered glasses, but in retrospect I wonder if it was there because I loved it so much. And the rose-flavoured, what the Brits call Turkish Delight!

  4. Blue, strong Persian tea is definitely an acquired taste. I think the reason our son loved it so is because it is often taken with a lump of rock sugar clenched between the back molars. A dental nightmare for sure!

  5. the narrative of your life in Teheran is magical ! I feel that you love this country very much.


Older posts you might enjoy....