My dad is good at a lot of things but I’d say he’s most well-known for his kebab. He lives and breathes it. Seriously, the guy loves kebab so much, if he could, he’d marry it (sorry mom). For this reason, he knows all the “Persian” eateries in Christchurch like the back of his hands. I use quotation marks here because most of these restaurants are a fusion of Persian and Turkish. Newly opened Prince of Persia is actually authentically Persian. Their kebabs identical to the kebab restaurants of our motherland. Their tablecloths the same as the ones in our dining area. The food comparison by the way, comes from my mother, AKA the queen of complaints. This woman complains everywhere. Too salty, not hot enough, too little this, too much that. But at Prince of Persia she LOVES, and I mean licksherplate loves everything. So I highly recommend it. Persian food at its best.
As well as Persian-mom-approved food (try the ghormesabzi, it’s unreal!), Prince of Persia is affordable (starting from $13…), spacious and child-friendly. Visit their website HERE for more info.
After 20 excruciating days of receiving zero information from the Iranian officials of my cousin’s whereabouts, his family were finally allowed to “visit” him in Adel Abad prison (Shiraz) in a booth separated by glass. As it turns out, he is being kept in solitary confinement. In “the hotbox”, “the hole”, “lockdown.” And for what? For practising a religion of oneness. Of love, compassion, and justice.
My heart aches for him. For his parents. Sisters. Wife and two young children. But it’s not just him. Countless other completely innocent souls have been, and still are today, victims of the Iranian government’s cruel cruel wrath.
If I could see or speak to Vargha, I would tell him that I am ardently praying for him. And that so are my parents. And my sister, and my friends and my followers. I would beg him to remain hopeful and resilient. Just as I beg you to count your blessings every day. To make the most of your freedom. To work for oneness. To love and to serve. And to stand up for injustice. To stand up, and to speak out for those who cannot speak out for themselves.
Lastly, to please share news of Vargha and the other Bahá’ís terrible state of affairs with your family, friends, and contacts. For perhaps, if the Iranian government is placed under greater pressure for their wicked injustice, they may hopefully reevaluate such inhuman operations.
I wanted to write a post dedicated to my auntie Pouneh and all of her delicious homemade food.
“There is no spectacle on earth more appealing than that of a beautiful woman in the act of cooking dinner for someone she loves.” (Thomas Wolfe)
Persian barberry and saffron rice with tomato vegetable chicken. Top left is potatotahdig.
The beautiful family at Lake Geneva.
Organic salad with avocado and feta, couscous, grilled fish and green beans.
Persian loobia polo minus the beef, spiced with turmeric and cinnamon. Green salad and potato tahdig.
Mediterranean-style baked fish.
This is sabzi polo, Persian herbed rice. It is always served with fish. And again, the potato tahdig.
Is it rice? Or is it cake? It’s a rice-cake!
And for dessert, individual chocolate letters for all of us from Harald’s business trip. H for Haifa.
Until right now, only my immediate family has known this. Because I live super rural with no cafes, restaurants or humans around, I usually have nothing to do in the week-day evenings. As in, really nothing. When it isn’t raining I can go for a bike ride but after the sun sets about 7pm it becomes too dangerous to stay outside (bears).
Also, using my computer isn’t much fun. This is because I’ve been on the damn thing and on my ass all day long. Don’t get me wrong, I do teach (sometimes) but it’s usually 2-3 classes which are only about 45 minutes long. Leaving me a good 6 hours of Facebook time. Joking, I mean research. Educational stuff. As for Japanese TV, I don’t understand it much. Also, it’s really weird (to me).
So back to the thing you don’t know and my parents do, for the past 7 or so months, I have been going to bed at 8.30 and waking up at 5. This has been my mechanism to stop myself from getting even more homesick during the lonely and quiet nights. As for the mornings, I always go for an hour or two walk or bike ride which is where I take these naturey photographs.
So, there you have it. From one direction, it is definitely a somewhat lonely life (though sometimes I do get invited to stuff) but from the other, a direction I’ve chosen to peep from, I am living the life. I mean, when else can I have a Persian-style breakfast for dinner at 5pm and wake up at 5am, blending a green-smoothie on super loud? Totes not when future hubby or future babas come around. Am I right? Or am I insane?
20 days to go. I am trying my best to make the most of every day, knowing that when I look back on my time here, I’ll only remember the good and miss it. Terribly. Today, I am appreciating Nishiawakura, the village next to mine. Not only is it home to some of my dearest friends in Japan, it is also beautiful and, bursting with raw talent. From Olivier and Hiromi’s bread to Lifa and Akiko’s woodwork to Naho sensei’s pottery to the fresh herbs and vegetables lovingly cultivated by sweet old couples. Of course, Nishiawakura’s talent is not limited to this image for it seems almost every inhabitant there is making and creating in the hope of putting their unique mark on the world.
OMG. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you, merci, arigato. Kisses, boos, chu. Let us celebrate with a Parisian (not Persian) breakfast with croissants and pain au chocolats (from Le Panier) and exotic fruit (including red kiwi-fruit and Tamarillos).
In addition to all of the other food, I have been eating some LEGIT Persian food. And not any Persian food but Persian food made with love by my loving mama and talented sister. And, with local and organic ingredients. Oh my, how I wish you could taste it too!
From top to bottom: Persian breakfast featuring a wholemeal fruit and nut loaf from Vic’s Cafe, khoreshteh gheymeh bademjoon (a lentil, eggplant and beef dish) with saffron rice, salad, yoghurt and pickled vegetables. And last but best of all, ghormesabzi (a green stew made from beef, red kidney beans and a combination of herbs and vegetables). Yum to the freakin’ O.
Greek. Greek. I mean, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. But in my defence, the last thing my mother said to me was, “I love you” and “I can’t wait to see you in a white dress.” So, Greek, Persian, same diff. No hate mail please (hehe).
So the first movie (2002) was great and the second movie (2016) well, wasn’t but that’s okay. Because even though the humour seemed forced and the acting was awkward, it was still funny and relatable to people with similar families. Like, if I had a penny for every time my parents have irritated, embarrassed and hinted for me to get married… well, I wouldn’t be blogging. Hahahoheha I’m joking don’t leave!
Ok so back to the review, there was nothing fresh about the second film. Same jokes, same character, same stereotypes, same errything meaning it wasn’t spectacular but as already mentioned, and I’m sure you agree, because the first film was so amazing, a second movie basically imitating it can’t be that bad of a thing.
Watch if you really must or just pay my parents a visit.
PS thoughts on the oh-so-blatant photoshopped poster?