Monday, January 22, 2007

The Leader and the Price of Tomatoes

“Khameini is dead,” my sister-in-law tells me. “They’ll announce his death during Ashura.”

“He’s just fine. I saw him on television.”

“They are showing old footage and writing “live” on it. But he is dead.”

That’s just a rumor from abroad,” I add. “They say he’s sick. They say he’s dead. Is he even sick?”

“Yes,” one woman says.

“No,” another says.

One of our friends thinks he looks sickly; another that he looks healthy. There is nothing so subjective as the leader’s health.

“Tomatoes are 3,000 a kilo,” Keivan’s cousin says.

“The most I have paid is 1,700.”

“That’s what I paid last night,” I say.

No one should buy them. They should be left to rot. Tomatoes are too expensive.”

“They are terrible now anyway. The taste is bad, and they are rotten.”

“Ahmadinejad says If tomatoes are expensive then come to my neighborhood to buy them.”

“Yeah, and spend two hours getting there and 6,000 tuman on the cab.”

“Why is everything suddenly so expensive?”

“There are American warships in the Persian Gulf,” I say.

“Eh,” says my sister-in-law who lives close to the Gulf. Her face screws up and she starts to panic.

“Nothing will happen,” I say. I don’t know what else to say. She has already lived through her share of bombing.

“You don’t know, Esther, when Iraq was bombing Tehran it was terrible. The house next to us was hit; our neighbor’s car… Every day we thought that we would be next. It’s so horrible. I cannot take it again,” my other sister-in-law says. “Remember when we were taking care of Nooshin’s dog and how scared he was? He just hid under the couch.”

“That wasn’t during the war,” her husband says.

“It must have been Chahr Shambeh Souri,” I say (Last Tuesday night of the year: lots of bonfires and fireworks…)

She laughs. “You’re right. It was Chahr Shambeh Souri.”


Anonymous said...

when are you going to say what you think,and what you really feel in Iran right now. so far it is too much he said, she said, I am glad you have Kavian's family to get your info. Let us know what you think will happen.

I will still read your blog, but not for long time if all is base on other people stories. You are a good writ You do not lie, I know how much tomatoes cost.

strudel said...

As for tomato, in Italy the ratio quality/price has been declining since the fall of the Soviet Empire. I am well informed, there is a capitalist plot behind. Behind tomato ratio I mean. Strudel

David Mohammad Yaghoobi said...

Yeah that Khameini gossip shot round. I hear he just had the flu mind - I'm sure he'll be back with us again soon.

As for tomatoes - I shit myself when for the first time in a very long time I went to buy some ingredients to cook and after being asked for 5000 at the grocers, I though "he must mean rials!". I put a 1000 down at we stared at each other for a while... "Tomans!" I shreaked.