Sevda Khatamian | Travel
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Lazy Letter: The Soup

We were on our way back home, to the village, and Marzi was behind the wheel. The plan was to get back home before it got dark, but the sun had already set about an hour ago. My grandma recommended this thermal pool near by, three hours away. So we decided to take a daytrip, enjoy the landscape and relax in the hot pool. It was the perfect idea, and the views were priceless. Mom was taking the backseat.

We weren’t hungry, it must’ve been for the weather, and that we were surrounded by new tastes and smells. I had an urgent craving for Ash-e Dugh. It’s some type of traditional soup with wheat and chick peas and yogurt drink. You can add meat if you want to, and some garlic for taste, but I’m not sure which green herbs they put in; I need to ask my mom some day. We should’ve traveled all the way to Astara to have a bowl of the real deal; I once ate this soup there when I was very young; can still taste its sourness in my mouth. We couldn’t travel to Astara, but lucky for us, this neighboring town also had a reputation for its hearty Ash-e Dugh. We took a half tour around the town to see if we could find any restaurants, or some kind of buffet which served the soup. There was none, and it was late enough to make us give up. We’ll have it another time, another day, we promised ourselves, although there was a chance it might never happen again.READ MORE

Lazy Letter: Tough Life

I have already sent you text messages, and have fully updated you with the flood of bad news on my end. But I thought I write all about it anyway. I’m not even sure if you receive any of my letters anymore. Lots of thoughts have been running through my mind, and I’ve been disgusted for so many times. No wonder why my concentration level has dropped down to almost zero.

I’m still in here in town, and there’s no trace of much-expected visa. This is ridiculous, knowing that the program starts tomorrow, and my passport is still empty. I can’t leave, time is dropping me behind. I’m now so far away from the reality I envisioned for myself. Feels like I’m trapped, although I’m still the most liberate person I know. I was walking to the embassy this morning, to see if they could change the date of my appointment. They said over the email that the next available date isn’t until six weeks later. Isn’t that ridiculous?! The woman also said that it’s my fault if I don’t have the visa by now. You should’ve come with your documents ready, she said. I couldn’t complain how uncooperative she was, why she didn’t accept some of my documents in the first place, and that she could’ve registered my application in their system while I gathered up the papers she asked for. She could’ve told me to come back tomorrow instead of making me arrange another appointment. I think a part of me was scared of her. She works at the embassy, after all, she has the power to do almost anything at the moment.READ MORE

Lazy Letter: Thunderstorm

The rain was so mad, we had no other choice but to run. We were on our way home. It was pouring on us. It started mad and lasted long, even an hour after we got home. Hard to believe it was happening. How long did it take us to reach home, I wonder. Rather early in the morning, people were on their way to work, the day has just started. Only a bit floody and rainy and thunderstormy. The rain was now feeling brutal.READ MORE

Lazy Letter: World Run

I was at an insurance agency. I was preparing the documents for my visa. The check-list was almost entirely ticked, and the insurance was the last item. I’d saved the easiest one for the last, but things didn’t work out the way I’d expected. Neither the travel insurance, nor the visa, I ended up waiting for days stressfully. It will never be easy I guess, not as long as I hold this passport.READ MORE

Lazy Letter: Canteen

The seminar that I told you about happened yesterday. I found it very informative, good thing that I went. I hesitated in the morning, as I woke up, and wondered if I really needed to attend this event. I’d promised my uncle the day before, and made sure I’d be in the conference hall of the Ministry of Petroleum before eight. It’d look terribly embarrassing if I didn’t show up. Well, good thing that I went!

 

It was exactly the type of knowledge I needed at the moment, loads of information on a whole other channel to feed my inspiration; my creativity needs a big pinch of salt at the moment. The conference was about oil spill and ecosystem science, and how to prevent the disaster from becoming a tragedy. Each expert explained different aspects of the subject. Pictures of the largest oil spills were shown, facts were told, cases discussed, questions asked and in the end, we were all illuminated that the truth is way deeper, far more crucial than we thought it was. It wasn’t just about the fishes and turtles and the workers of the platform, you see, it was about the shores too far away from the incident to be counted as “damaged”. The environmental impact is infinite. The oil floats on the water, and kills the living creatures wherever it goes. We, the human beings, don’t feel like we are a part of this world, and we’re still acting so alien to the Planet Earth. Still haven’t realized that this is our Planet Earth, and we should stop damaging it constantly.READ MORE

Lazy Letter: North Wall

So, I left. I had an early morning flight. Last night was tiring and sleepless. I’ll arrive around nine in the morning, which means I could start up the day just as I land. I need to go to the bank to get some paperwork done, and do a little adjustment on my account. I fell asleep just as I fastened my seatbelt, and shoved my bag under the seat. There is no greater pleasure than to open your eyes from a short nap, and find yourself somewhere in the sky, crossing over vast lands underneath, the ocean of clouds, and the endless horizon. I still ask for the window seat as I check in. READ MORE

Lazy Letter: Downtown Dinner

So, we eventually arrived at this diner type of place. We decided to have Kabab since it was the only open restaurant that hadn’t already run out of food. The street was a mess, I don’t think I’ve seen so many people all at once before.

I wasn’t hungry. Not hungry at all. But the idea of eating came from absolute boredom, how else would we entertain ourselves?! In this glorious night, what could possibly be better than this horrible, terrible looking, disgusting food? The night of victory for the ones who voted. And the ones who didn’t, guys made a few jokes on me. Funny jokes, I have to be honest with you, they were really funny.READ MORE

Lazy Letter: Sauna On Vapa

The alarm woke us up for the swimming pool. Wore my swimsuit before I made breakfast. The plan was to swim for about two hours, so we had to eat well and gather up a decent amount of energy; swimming calls for it. Ah, how I miss the hunger that comes after a swimming session while you get dressed in the lockers room! Couldn’t wait for the salami sandwiches with sliced tomatoes and mayo that they used to sell in the pools when we were little. The sandwiches weren’t actually any good, but oh, impossible not to enjoy every bite with that starving stomach.

I was following the map on our way to the pool. Tried to figure out the highways, where the downtown was and which road would take up where. It can be too complicated sometimes, all these freeways that connect one neighborhood to another. Tunnels and bridges and two-floor expressways. Some of these highways were built when I was still living here, but they’ve grown out control in the past seven years. Some roads connect west to east, Vaid explained, and others north to south. The wall of mountains covering the north all the way to the valleys and the deserts in the southside. Vaid just gave me the best description of the traffic system.

Sahan has been to this pool before, and he said that the facility includes a dry sauna, as well as a jacuzzi and a steam room. I’m now officially and utterly obsessed with the dry sauna, I don’t care about the rest. I do crave for sitting in a room with wooden benches and walls from time to time, to sweat out my mind and melt down to the bones. I even had a dream about it the other night. Although it was more like a nightmare; the sauna was cold! I’d missed it. The sauna had become an inseparable part of my life for a while, remember? Twice a week, that was heaven. Just downstairs in our basement; I couldn’t ask for more.READ MORE