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Published: July 22nd 2009
The first glimpse of the village of Kandovan
A truly spectacular, amazing village, that when it was time to leave, I found it hard to pull myself away from that place. I was lucky enough to be able to be presented with the glorious opportunity of discovering this tiny village in the outskirts of Tabriz.
Initially, I had my doubts of going to a village. This was because I was used to seeing houses made of wood, and thought, Kandovan would not be any different. The prospect of travelling 2 hours just to go to a village is not that exciting, if you ask me honestly. Throughout the bus trip, I was contemplating on turning back and making my way back to Tashrifaat bakery (only the best pastries they sell in Iran!) and spending my moolah there. And yes, gorge myself silly (as I have known, I'm quite the foodie). It was our 2nd last day in Iran, and I had so badly wanted to eat the Iranian pastries (which before going to Iran, I've heard quite a lot of rave reviews about how you've got to have a sweet tooth to eat their pastries, and boy, were they right!), and the idea of going to
a mountaineous village isn't that exciting for a 20 year old like me.
Boy, was I wrong! True, I didn't exactly enjoy the ride up the mountain as it was full of bumps and my ears were stinging by the moment, but lo and behold, as soon as we reached the village, all thoughts of running to Tashrifaat bakery dissipates, just like that. What I saw were houses carved out of natural mountains, and snow capped mountains nearby. It was almost a dream came true. I could sense that the atmosphere was magical, there was a certain air of mystery surrounding it. Yet, beneath all the magic, the people were beyond hospitable. I was fortunate enough to meet a man who owns a candy shop at the foot of the mountain, and he was kind enough to invite me to his home. Only a dumb person would refuse such an offer. After all, where my ancestors came from, the houses were made of wood and attap (but that's another story for another day), and this was a different experience. I climbed up the steep staircase leading to the entrance of his home, casting aside my immense fear of heights.
The wife brings home flat bread wrapped in cloth - enough to feed the whole family
Home for this man was a cosy 2 room, with Persian carpets decking out the entire length of the hall, and the modest kitchen filled onl with a sink and a stove. The antique furniture were placed in holes made out of the walls, and the fireplace lay crackling at the far end of the hall. Though it's smaller than the houses we have here in Singapore, but the cleanliness of the place, was just subhanAllah! It looked like they cleaned their houses every single time of the day, and needless to say, I spotted a vacuum cleaner!
Moving on, after taking a tour around their house (every single turn leads to new surprises!), I went on a little tour around the village. Men smoking on pipes, chatting with one another, catching up for lost time. Children playing near pits of sands, gathering round in a large circle, playing a game of marbles, tag, and whathaveyous. The wives of the house lining up at the bakery entrance, awaiting a fresh loaf of flat bread, to be brought home and to be fed to their families. Donkey herders feeding stacks of hay to their animals, an old woman feeding
A man and his wife browsing through the items displayed
her chickens and ducks, while waiting for the laundry to dry. Icicles forming on the wet clothes as soon as they were hung on the clothesline. Overall, a very interesting sight to behold.
Given the chance, I would definitely want to spend longer than a day at this village. It would be nice to feel what it's really like to live in houses carved out of mountains, hmm, yes. A day long trip to the village for us urban people really opened our eyes as we learn how to appreciate the small things that we have always been taking for granted, and also the luxuries that we have poured upon ourselves, and for me, I think that was the real reason as to why I was taken to Kandovan in the very first place.
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