so far, so good.

the difference between the first time i came to iran, when i was 14, and the second time, six years later, was so great, i could hardly believe it. the country had become so liberal and lax (compared to what it had been) that it was barely recognizable. sure, i still got chased around by disgusting men who had nothing better to do when i tried to take a walk in the rainforest behind my grandmother's house in the country, but still, the hejab rules were more relaxed, AIDS, drugs, alcoholism and teenage pregnancy were rampant. prostitution, too. i saw girls and guys walking arm in arm on the street, and there were some coverings that were so closely fitted and short that they barely covered anything.

but i wondered if this time it wouldn't be different, again, since all of this stuff with the elections happened recently, and september 11th, and of course being dubbed part of the glorious axis of evil.

no way. none of that seems to have had any effect. the first night i got here, a cousin came over in clamdiggers (or shell pickers, as i like to call them at times) and a tanktop under her rupush. women are made up and manicured like nobody's business. we went to this fleamarket yesterday, and all of these guys were dressed mod, and everyone was wearing converse sneakers. i guess that must be hip here (a turkish friend said that they are cool in turkey, too). i even wore my reefs out, and no one looked twice. in fact, i felt like i should get more fancied up to go out. ha! me?

so, things are good. i hang out with my cousins, eat warm bread and cheese, and watch random italian tv. yeah, there is a nutso satellite here. i guess everyone has them, and i think that it must be behind a lot of these recent changes. if the government stopped caring about satellites and people don't have to be sneaky about them any more, then pretty much anyone can have them. so all of the kids see what's cool in europe and they start dressing like that. acting like it, too.

so, all in all, iran is good. i just started brick line by monica ali. so far, so good.