I put on my hijab over a summer outfit and headed out to a party in a chi-chi part of Tehran that I have come to think of as Rafsanjani country. The taxi arrived.
"Be careful of the pigeon," my driver said in perfect English.
I noticed the bird's pink feet sticking out from under the seat in front of me.
"It looks scared."
"It's for my son. His pigeon died, and I wanted to replace it before he noticed."
"Where did you learn your English? It's great." …Probably an intelligence officer, I thought… "Were you a pilot?"
Drivers often claim to have been pilots. Sometimes I think they may be telling the truth.
The driver thought for a moment and answered, "I was one of the youngest pilots in the Shah's airforce."
Everyone was something. K always jokes that he has met at least 10 people who were the Shah's personal pilot.