Friday, July 15, 2005

Riding with Pigeons in Taxis

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.

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