Monday, February 28, 2011

Crossed Lines ~ Random Memory #25 ~ Iran


I recently came across this photo of the dinosaur on my bedside table. At twenty plus years old, it is one of the few landlines left in our house. Taken 1 April, 2009, I remember I had the flu, so this is evidence of my shrunken world of kleenex, tylenol and the camera I always have at hand! In my fuzzy state, I remember looking at the telephone, the curled cord and the pleasing contrast with the ebonized table as if I'd never seen it before...the most familiar objects can be under appreciated when we take them for granted.

Random Memory #25 ~ Iran

Batool is a smelly old crow of a woman who cleans the small apartment of our American friends, Anne and John. I always find her somewhat intimidating when she casts her dark, critical and frankly appraising eyes over me whenever I visit. Still, I can't help but notice she has a delicious sense of humor and Anne adores her.

There is no such thing as telephone privacy in Iran. If "someone" isn't listening in, then the lines are crossed. Most of the time I hear rapid fire Farsi instead of a dial tone when I pick up the receiver to make a call. Batool views this situation with great pleasure and spends many hours each day eavesdropping on Anne's telephone. In time, she can no longer remain a silent third party and offers advice to the callers on difficult mothers-in-law, marital discord, the price of vegetables in the market and problems with children. Born into another world, Batool would have been an excellent conflict mediator! Almost everyone thanks the unseen woman on the line.

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