Dezful Trip – 2014

Left Tehran around 9:45 a.m. Stopped for lunch outside Qom.

4:00 pm, near Boroojerd, altitude: 2020 meter
Arrived at Dezful by 9:30 pm. Visited Toured the next day and headed out of town by 11 a.m. Around 12:45 p.m. on Monday, 3/24 reached the Pa Ghal-E village in Shahiyoon region, and Dez dam. Camped overnight en route Shooy Falls by the river. Frogs were singing all night.
Arrived at Shooy Village about 10 a.m. on Tuesday, 3/25. Hiked to the falls and reached
it by noon. Picked up few bags of garbage on the way back. Swam in the pool of spring water on the way down. Got back to Dezful by 8:30 p.m. the same day.

Momon in Minnesota – 2009

Momon arrived in Rochester on May 12, 2009.

While watching the fireworks on the night of July third, Momon and I began talking about the history of the Independence Day and how Canada became independent on July 1, the United States claimed its independence on July 4, and the United Kingdom had many colonies. Then we got into the topic of 1953 coup d’état in Tehran, and how Britain fooled CIA into eliminating Mossadeq. During this discussion I learned from Momon, that Baba (my dad) was a member of the Toudeh Party, which was the Communist party in Iran at that time. Turns out Baba had hidden his Communist Party identification card inside a picture frame that my mom didn’t like much, so she decided to re-frame the photo. She took the picture frame to the corner photography shop and selected a new frame. When she returned couple of days later to pick up the new frame, the photographer told her that she’d better get rid of the card. Had the shopkeeper been an evil person, he would have reported my dad to the authorities and perhaps he would have been jailed and even killed. 

Tehran Trip – 2015

From the start, I had an unpleasant experience with Qatar airlines.  

The flight from Rochester was delayed and I ended up running all the way from one gate to another to make the connecting flight. When I got to the gate, the Qatar staff informed that the doors are closed and I’ll need to catch the next flight! I was furious considering that the delay was not a fault of mine, and also the fact that the next international flight wasn’t due till next day. Instead of letting me get on the plane immediately, staff wasted about 10 minutes arguing. Then they played the overweight luggage ticket, attempting to make some quick cash. The information about luggage limitation was confusing. Using the 75lbs weight limit as was posted on Qatar Airways web site, I packed 60 lbs. Yet staff insisted that the limit is 50 lbs. First, they declared a $50 fine for having an overweight luggage. When the shift manager saw me taking out cash, he decided to change the fee to $100 and sated that staff made a mistake! Apparently, his true corrupt Arab demeanor kicked in and attempted to make some easy dinner money! I then expressed my disgust by proceeding to open the luggage and pretending to remove items. White shouting at the shift manager that Qatar Airline will hear about this incident and how he wasted time by further delaying the flight, he figured I wasn’t going down easily. He then mumbled something to the effect that it’s ok and I don’t need to unpack the carry-on.

“Passengers are guests on Qatar Airlines,” the flight attendant announced; although guests ought to understand Arabic cause the announcements were made in Arabic first! Spent most of the day on Thursday with Mansour at his shop, and visited with Hussein and his sons.