Ferris Fall Fruits in Tehran Cheese Puffs Couch Louvre Goldfish Mixed Nuts Suburbs Cinespace, Hollywood Ab Goosht Berlin in Rain Nacht Markt, Vienna Rain on Chamran Valentine's Day Tehran Tehran Metro Iranian Wedding Bird Thinks Exit

Safety is often a second thought in Iran. This is under the asphalt. Hope there are no fires in this block!

Fun walled in. Pretty much like everything else in this town.
An Iranian public phone. As in the US, you rarely see people using them. This is due to availability of cell phones. I'm told 19 million cell phones are roaming the network of the Persian plateau.
BBQing Iranian-style; chicken, beef and tomatoes on skewers over hot coal. It's a much more efficient and cleaner system for cooking meat. You don't bother with the mess of having a grill; the kabobs come right off and you can continue on with the next batch.
At another film office, a bluish vase stands tall against the red wall behind it. There are no film studios in Tehran, just hundreds of film offices scattered around town. The more successful the filmmaker is abroad, the nicer his office.
My kind of chicks. Later the moral police arrested them for showing legs and hair, wearing heavy make-up and also for having a mixed-sex party inside their box.
Schoolkeeper of the boarding school in Kooshk, 40km south of Alamut.
New season, new fruits. One benefit of having fruits available only during the season in which they're supposed to be available in is that you appreciate them more. Because you won't have oranges, sweet lemons and persimmons (khormaloo) for the whole year.
Anyone who has grown up in Iran has fond memories of a childhood filled with Pofak Namaki (Salted Puffs, aka cheese puffs). They used to sell for 5 tomans when I was a kid, which was about the only thing you could afford when you were five. Now they sell for 250 tomans and you can still find them everywhere there's any sort of gathering.
I had a great conversation with an old friend who now lives in Canada. Together we concluded that one thing that is missing from our lives out West are seeing homes that feel like home. Where a family has lived in for decades and you can feel and smell the memories they must have. I guess that's why most Iranian expats feel uprooted.
Driving in Tehran in winter feels like driving through a beautifully shot black and white film. I guess same can be said about any city in winter. But there are more blacks in Tehran. The color black that is.
Ancient Iranian art is on display at a section of the Louvre. Us Iranians are too proud of our ancient past. So proud that we forget to deal with our present. This is partially due to our need to separate ourselves from our current regime. We live in 500 B.C. as a means to distance ourselves from 2008 A. C.! But too much pride leads to blindness.
Goldfish is sold on every other street corner in preparations for Nowruz, the new Iranian year that starts on the first day of spring.
Unlike Tehran, it is common to see tourists in Esfahan. I was delighted to see (and meet) tourists from Germany, Japan, Belgium, Netherlands and England. But these tourists are rarely young. They're mostly retired couples. I guess as of right now young tourists don't have much of an incentive to come here. Young unmarried couples can't even stay in the same hotel room!
Ajil is an assortment of mixed nuts and dried fruits that is put in front of guests. It includes -- but it's not limited to -- walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, raisins, dried mulberries and cashew nuts. In recent years it is becoming less and less affordable and therefore only readily available for special guests!
Copy, paste and repeat and you'll get an idea for what suburbia looks like (in the US).
Thousand Oaks, California, where I went to high school. It's one of those sleepy towns in the suburbs of Los Angeles where everything closes at 9. For some reason, I am more terrified of crossing the street in this orderly town than in Tehran.
At Cinespace on Hollywood and Ivar in Hollywood. Note to self: bars, clubs and alcoholic drinks are overrated. No need to miss them when in Iran.
A homeless man (or a gypsy) fishing off the pier in Ventura, California. I guess if you choose to become homeless (or if fate has homelessness in store for you), California would be the ideal place.
Ab Goosht (Meat Juice) is a traditional Iranian dish. We had some at Azari Cafe in southern Tehran. I realized it was my first time in southern Tehran since the first month I came back here. It goes to show how little northern and southern Tehranis mingle.
This is one of those photos that captures the mood without actually being a good photo. A rainy day in Berlin -- walking back and forth between East and West Berlin.
The Naschmarkt in Vienna, home to fresh and dried fruits, vegetables, meat, and other farmers-market style goods.
A rainy day on Chamran Freeway, with the tall buildings in the posh Fereshte neighborhood in the distance.
Red roses on sale for Valentine's day. This scam of a day has found its way into the relationships of even the most traditional of Iranian couples, proved by the sight of bearded men buying roses for their hidden-by-chador loved ones. But then again, one might see this as progress. One step forward in the direction of love, away from hatred.
Three men who could not have been any less related sitting sleeping next to each other on the metro.
Another one bites the dust. Sooner than later, me and my unmarried friends will be a minority. We no longer act surprised when someone says they're getting married, but will soon see the surprised reactions of people who will ask "What?! You're not married yet?!"
"Hmmm... What else can I poop on?"

30 months, 30 photos. I thought it may serve as happy random colorful flashbacks. If only I could offer you flashforwards to the next 30 months! But we'll just have to wait and see how life will go on in Tehran...

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