Published: June 3rd 2007June 3rd 2007
Masjid in Urumieh
ppl see them as a daily sight, but persian architecture is always sexy to me
I always knew my headscarf would never be approved by the government, but never thought I'd be dragged into a room by kurdish girls who'd strip me of my clothes and dress me up in local formal garb! On the way north, we stopped by a little village called Sanjud, who'd rarely seen foreigners. Let alone a mere toilet stop... Farsi is still the official language, and I asked if we could take photographs...a girl told me that all of us foreigners were invited to her little home for chai (tea)! and voila, we walked in...tho it bloody cost me my clothes. I screamed in surprise.
Entering an open room with a handsome carpet, I examined the contents of a Kurdish home. A central living room containing no western furniture, but cushions all around the walls and a TV set in one corner. The kitchen at the side was similar to a western one, with a sink, stove and cupboard. To the other side of the house was a carpet weaving room, barely large enough to fit the weaving frame but with a huge window overlooking the courtyard outside. Immediately I was stripped for no known reason, to reappear
Kurdish gear in the metropolis...wooot
in public in Kurdish gear, purple waist scarf and all. i was constantly asked if I was married or not (which case, i'm definitely not as a typical college kid in the US - crap boyfriends...blah) and got laughs. Regardless, it was a great experience where we got to meet the head of the village and examine the simple way of life in a village located in Kurdistani Iran.
I checked out the 6th century BCE ruins of Hasanlu, an Urartian city (including a Zoroastrian fire temple) that was attacked by Medeans. Skeletons have been found here cradling family treasures such as golden bowls, and many more. this city was never refounded, but the remains are nicely preserved...although it's sad to think of the fate of the place. Today it's a great playground for local kids curious about tourists, following your every footstep while they bike along and circle you like kids in Harlem.
Again, the Ipod broke so I listened to a repetition of tragic Rod Stewart!!! We began to circle the outskirts of a huge lake called Urumieh, which is located in western iran. there is a major city there which is named after the lake.
posing with the locals...chillin
Apparently, pink flamingoes can be seen in flocks during early summer while they're in the midst of migrating. Here I tried to shop around for saffron sugar (one can get truly high from these things, happy and bubbly. if you have any suicidal friends, hook them up with jolly saffron sugar!) and other local delicacies. but to my shock, no one spoke english and farsi was a rare catch - turkish was the hot highlight! - anyway, managed to taste the local delicacy of ice-cream topped with spaghetti (it was actually pretty delicious!). Despite the local celeb status we got, I was able to shock shop-owners with my farsi and do all my shopping. Japanese-tradition, woot woot! we'll never give up our shopping...
There are more photos below