Nesfe Jahan, pt 65

4 December 2010

Somewhere in Tehran. A brother’s apartment, who working in Germany for a couple of months now. Still, rent is paid every month. Iranians really like their country. An ideal place to bring an illicit girlfriend, there’s no security guard at the entrance. Or to host a stray backpacker you found somewhere.Editing pictures of a road trip in the desert with two student friends. A car with bad, modern hip-hop blaring. Reckless driving for entertainment. The jalopy is nicknamed “stinky”, dirtying it is a rite of passage. My driver reassures me I’ll get someone to clean it back home, labor is cheap. But that was then. Now, in this flat, Billy Holiday is playing on my laptop. The desaturated colours of the desert remind me of Southern France. Driving the dusty country roads in an imported, rusty Benz convertible. A beautiful woman in the passenger seat. She has no face, probably she is every woman I ever loved. Her hijab is blowing in the wind.

It’s even scarier when it happens in real life.¬†When I first arrived in Esfehan, I was walking the main boulevard, lined by trees and flower bushes. The pollution in the air, a lack of sleep due to short bus travel, I’m not sure what the causes were. But I suddenly was seeing everything as if it was shot in the eighties, and I had just found the pictures in my parent’s attic. Washed out colours. A sky with a tinge of cyan. Faded with age. I tried blinking, but it wouldn’t go away.