changing history

My next hosts are almost polar opposites, as close to a yuppie couple as I have met in Iran, living in a big house with a nice yard in the center of Hamadan. It feels like the government control stops as soon as the garden gate is closed and both the husband and the wife disappear to change into more comfortable clothing.

For two evenings we join another young couple, with their child, in a public park to have an iftar meal. The atmosphere is very pleasant, with families gathering now that the heat has died down and people are allowed to eat and drink again. But perhaps I feel a bit too comfortable, I get rightfully reprehended by my host because my shirt is way too short. It should cover my butt, but it only goes a centimeter or two past my the waist of my trousers. No matter how at ease I feel with other people, I should still be aware that the government controls public space.

Hamadan is one of the world’s oldest cities, and there is a huge but fairly empty archaeological site to prove it which oddly enough includes a non-functioning Armenian church with a lot of pictures depicting only Jesus and Maria. But luckily the city has a few of other historic sides including cuniform inscriptions left by Darius and Xerxes and the graves of Ibn Sina and the Esther and Mordechai.