Saturday, February 04, 2006

Party Talk

We attend more parties in Iran in two months than we do in two years elsewhere.

It’s not like you can say “Hey, let’s go for a couple of beers after work.” No, you have to organize something, go to someone’s house, climb a mountain… something like that.

There are certain patterns to parties. For instance, Iranian parties are filled with couples who look like they stepped out of a high-school prom photo even though they are way over high-school age. You always have somewhere to wear your prom dress or suit in Iran, that’s for sure. Especially if that prom dress is strapless and low cut and that suit is trendy but not a tux. Some Iranian parties involve loud music and dancing. Others involve chatting in a living room, playing cards and backgammon. Of course there are the rumored orgies, but I have never met anyone who was actually invited to one.

Anglo parties are pretty casual with women and men complaining about hijab and Iran, dressed in jeans, and little to no effort on hair and makeup.

Intellectual parties are filled with women in long embroidered shirts, men in natural fiber vests, alcohol, some excellent dancing by the older set (the younger set just sits and talks), and lots and lots of talk.

They *can* be mixed.

“Why didn’t I study the culture of Brazil? Why did I have to choose the Middle East? I miss fun,” a friend lamented.

“When I go home, I am amazed at the level of fun. I mean I watched movies in a parking lot, drinking a beer. That was fun! I would be willing to fight for fun.”

“I used to think sitting outside having a beer in a café in a park was a bore. Now I dream about it.”

“It’s never boring in Iran, but it isn’t all that fun either.

“Which is why everyone feels that the situation in Iran is so unstable. I mean, if it were fun here, then people would feel more secure. They would feel like there was a future here.”

“Every bit of fun is stamped on.”

My friend in America always told me that paranoid powers have no sense of humor. “They say that the Nixon administration had no sense of humor.” Well this one filters satire on the internet and puts political humorists in prison.

(BTW, wanted to post this on Wednesday night, but I was late for a party)

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