Monday, October 29, 2012

Palaces in Tehran and Night Life in Darband

Today dad played hooky from work and we walked to a nearby park that
houses a couple of the Shah's smaller palaces.  We got tickets and
wandered around (it was impromptu so I didn't have my camera).  There
was one amazing large open hall lavishly decorated with intricate
mosaics of tiny mirrors.  The effect was stunning; the room glinted
and shimmered from all sides.  The colors were garish and loud, and
the rooms were filled with gifts from various other countries.  It was
all very extravagent and at some point a little nauseating, witnessing
again how for ages  the wealthy few live off the backs of the
impoverished masses all the world over.  Still, some of the older
works of art were interesting, like some large panels made from
tanning pieces of leather different colors and arranging them into a

Our next stop was a little sandwich place across from the park.  It
was small but bustling, the 4 or 5 tables filled with young folks
talking and laughing.  We got a kabob and a chicken sandwich and
shared them.  While we were eating out front, a bus drove up and a
young Malaysian soccer team disembarked.  They were a lively, friendly
bunch and mobbed the dried fruit and nut shop next to the sandwich
place.  Some young boys walked by and got very excited, asking them if
they played soccer and calling to their friends.

Night life in DarbandLast night we all went to Darband, a street/area that is built right
into the mountain on the edge of town.  The path winds up and up,
getting narrower and narrower.  The street is flanked by people
selling piles of brightly colored olives and other undefinable treats,
and is frequently mobbed by donkey riders and propane delivery.  The
propane is for the restaurants at the very top who aren't connected to
the city gas line.   There were people selling charred corn on the
cob, roasted fava beans, fresh walnuts and I even got my Hafiz fortune
drawn by a bird.