The cuz. O. I've been spending a lot of time with him.
Went hiking here with my dad in the mountains north of Tehran.
Visit any home in Iran and you will be welcomed with fruits, assortments of nuts and sweets.
A random unflattering photo of Tehran.
In case you still think Iranian women are dressed in burkas like Afghan women during the Taliban, think again. The mandatory hair coverage is a mere suggestion; looks more like a fashion statement than an enforced dress code. (Update: Though now and again the moral police goes on an offensive and "cracks down" on immoral clothing.)
One day my dad took me to see the neighborhood where he grew up in south of Tehran. We met this grocery store salesman who was there when my dad was a kid. He said he had never been to Pasdaran, which is our neighborhood in northern Tehran. This goes to show how big a city Tehran has become. Its population is now above 13 million people.
I went to see a movie at Farhang Theaters, which is Tehran's version of Archlight. Tickets are about a $1 each. American films screening here were Illusionist and The Grudge (both heavily censored, I'm sure).
For all the Mashti Malone Ice cream lovers, this is the original Mashti ice cream parlor. Its modernized and not as popular as it used to be 45 years ago, when my dad would frequent this joint in south Tehran for a rosewater ice cream sandwich.
There are cats everywhere in the streets. These are street cats often afraid of humans -- probably been beaten way too many times by kids. But this particular one is a friendly neighborhood cat. There are no kids in this neighborhood to throw stones at her!
With no public night life (there are no bars or clubs), fast food joints are the only hang outs for young people who want to go out. I've had a good share of greasy pizzas, burgers and you guessed it, french fries!

A house party. Crappy persian pop songs, Turkish beer and Absolut vodka are found at every house party in Tehran. Unless you have practicing muslim friends, at which point hot tea and pastries will do.

Outside a pomegranate store where you can find everything pomegranate. I must have had 10 gallons of fresh pomegranate juice since coming to Iran. Its so good!
Safety is often a second thought in Iran. This is under the asphalt. Hope there are no fires in this block!
A random building in Tehran. There is construction of new buildings everywhere you look. I could do a whole series of photos on just buildings. Tehran is an ugly city because people build whatever they like regardless of what's in their surrounding.
I visited the set of an Iranian film. This is the Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani.
When filmmaker Rasul Molagholipur died at the age of 51, people gathered in a street to pay tribute. There were thousands of them, as far eye could see. I wouldn't be surprised if they showed this gathering on American TV and labeled it an anti-American rally.
We stopped to have lunch on the way to "shomal," farsi for north, which is the area by the Caspian Sea north of Tehran, across the Alborz Mountains. The coast by the sea is close to 1000 miles long.
Brewing tea Iranian style in our rented villa by the Caspian Sea. Its amazing how much tea Iranians drink. I'm glad I'm not a big fan.
Narenjestan by the Caspian sea. There are a great number of gated communities by the coast where beautiful villas are built. One in particular reminded me of Beverly Hills. Not surprisingly many of its million dollar villas were owned by Persians in Beverly Hills.
Horse-back-riding by the sea.
On the road back to Tehran in the Alborz Mountains.
My mom and aunts in Nour Jungle.

On the road back to Tehran in the Alborz Mountains, moments after having been hit by a boulder.

Nour Jungle. Mom and aunts walking way in the back.

Ramsar Hotel built by Reza Shah in the 1920s.The ugly green and yellow bench is the only contribution of the Islamic Republic to an otherwise picture perfect walkway to the beach.
Da' cuz in da car.
Our car after it was hit by a rock twice the size of my head. If it could do that to the steel frame, imagine what it could have done to me and my dad's heads, located few inches to the left.
Back in Tehran, O. out shopping for a car stereo with a friend. There are a lot of new cars in the streets of Tehran, many of which are decked out.
Another random unflattering image of Tehran. The Milad Tower can be seen in the distance.

On the road to "shomal." (Only picture not taken by my camera phone).

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