Thursday, August 30, 2007

Not So Charming But Still My Summer:

Memoirs, Part II, Mid July 2007
Edited on August 21st 2007

I am far: far from the heath of Italy, far from my family, far from my wishes. Though I am in Tehran as close as I can ever be to the heath, to my family and to my wishes.

These days Mansour Osanlou’s latest arrest is the talk of intellectual gatherings. He comes to my mind as courageous and kind as I last saw him. No matter how much I want to go to his family, I am short in time: have a very tense editing schedule to finish a short documentary. It seems that the events of my life are ironically independent of me. Perhaps it has been always like this. I feel like a coward: my film is about workers and yet because of it I cannot do anything to the most important union activist of our time. I remember him talking endlessly about Human Rights Charter and how important it is for people to know about it. Endless to the extent that at the end of the night while we had walked through that narrow alleyway under Tehran’s sky, with his wife and kids, I had called him Uncle Charter.

Me & the Stop Sign, Badlands, Summer 2007

Memoirs, Part III, Mid July 2007
Edited on August 25th 2007

Back in Florence, I came to pick up my visa. It is as if I have always lived here. We are with our lovely friends, Pat and Jennifer. I will stay a little longer than the others mostly because I could not find a better deal for the plane ticket. Now I am alone. Today I walked straight up to the hill that looks over Firenze. I have no appetite for eating Italian food anymore.

View of the Duomo from the hill,
Florence, Summer 2007

Monday, August 13, 2007

Charming Corners of My Summer:

Memoirs, Part I, July 1st 2007
Edited on August 13th 2007

Here I am near Aziz, My lovely and tender grandmother. Relaxing myself in my khaki chair, stretching my feet and looking around our home from my corner. Thinking about the summer I had so far, a summer full of travels. I swallowed Italy with my hungry eyes. In my two-week trip I was exposed to Italian culture: a strong blend of religion and tradition, fading out to the horizon of modernity. Italy reminded me very much of my own country. Besides many historical buildings in corners of Italy, in each little town there is a little fountain (Fontana) with drinkable water tap that offers a fresh breeze to the sunburned Tuscan visitors. People drink from it ; children play with it and I captured many of them. European cars in their small sizes suit Italian sideways and the crowd of scooter riders is a usual scene in Italy.

If it is your first trip to Italy here are some suggestions:

Don’t carry your valuables carelessly (nor in crowded places, neither in deserted streets) Leave your passport and cash in the safe at your hotel. You need your passport when you want to exchange money. You have to provide a photo Id if a police official asks you to and also when you want to access Internet from a Coffee-Net but that ID does not need to be your passport. Tabacci Shops are the most useful shop for visitors. They mainly sell tobacco but also telephone cards, postal stamps, maps and... To visit museums and galleries you can book your ticket online or by phone to avoid endless lines in front of museums, especially the ones that 4 centuries ago were a houses of rich families.

If you are Iranian as I am you have a better chance of being understood if you talk in Farsi rather than English. That is mostly because we many French worlds we use in Farsi. For example do not say: Where Can I get Bus Thicket. Instead say “ Bilite Otoubus”. Do not move your hands freely while talking. Sometimes it means something else and you don’t want to face the consequences.

Now I will have a cup of Persian tea while you take a look at these:

Gallo Shop, Roma's Airport, Summer 2007
These shiny colors make it easy to guess Gallo means Rooster.

Smart Car, Florence, Italy, Summer 2007
Now I know our Fandough (Honda Fit) is a huge car.

View of leaning Tower from Pisa baptistery,
Pisa, Summer 2007

Lucca , Italy, Summer 2007
These brooks remind me of Isfahan's Madees.

A shell fountain in The Piazza Del Campo,
Siena, Summer 2007

A Guitarist in Piazza della Signoria, Florence, Summer 2007
Piotr Tomaszewski promoting his self-support CD.