I recently read the graphic novel Persepolis, both the first book and the second book. It’s the story of a woman who grew up in Iran. She is similar in age to me so I could imagine myself on the other side of the world at the same time she was adjusting her veil and dodging bombs.
Personally, I remember when the American embassy was taken over in 1979. It was absolutely huge news in the U.S. Mega News. The Iran/Iraq War? Don’t remember so much of that. I do remember discussing it in class–we always read the Weekly Reader on Fridays. (The Weekly Reader was a newspaper for children and geared to the school market.)
Then, later, much much later, I was in college, volunteering to help foreign studnets with their English. I was told to meet a woman from Iran and help her. I imagined a woman swathed in robes, veiled of course. I was completely surprised when a sexy young woman greeted me! She was wearing a tank top and miniskirt, lots of makeup. Just way sexier than what I ever wear.
I asked her about it and she told me that in Iran, you had to wear a veil when you went out–but once you were at home, anything goes! And of course, out of Iran, anything goes! I was really shocked to hear that. (The book Persepolis explains this dichotomy really well.)
And then, once I came to Japan, my Japanese student visited Iran and showed me a photo he took of the former American embassy. There was a huge sign: De@th to America! So that drove home that, um, not everybody in Iran was as liberal as my sexy Iranian friend.
Around the same time, Afghanistan was overrun by the Taliban, and all women there were forced to wear burkas which covered their faces. That to me was—–just WoW. I couldn’t imagine women covering their faces. Either being forced by society or choosing to do so. UMMMM…..How can you see? How the heck can you do anything? (I guess that is the idea?)
This is our living room. Very Americana. And studious! I wish we had more room. But oh well! I am blessed with what I have!
By the way, Prince William visited Fukushima Prefecture yesterday. Last Thursday or Friday, my husband told me of the upcoming visit, and I figured out that Wills would visit Koriyama (the other large city in Fukushima Prefecture).
I want to go and
stalk see Prince William, but my husband discouraged me, saying it would be blah blah blah and blah blah blah. Plus, I checked my calendar and my son had a dental checkup on Saturday and plus there was a free clown show at Comu Comu.
So we go to the dentist’s office and they say, “You mistook the day. It is next week.” あらま
So then we go to see the clown show and guess what!!!! The whole time I have been thinking the day was March 7, when actually it was only Feb. 28, and I was a whole week off and the clown show was NEXT WEEK!
So then I thought about still going to see Wills. But I wasn’t sure when exactly he would come and I would have to wait for a long long long time maybe to catch a glimpse of him. So we didn’t go.
I went to the library instead—and it was closed!!!!!!! I was having a
no good, horrible, terrible crap day.
So basically I regret that we did not try and go see Wills. How often do I get to stake out royalty? When my son grows up, he could have said, “I saw that English king way back when I was a kid.” Now all he can say is “I watched G-Force on the Disney Channel.”
He’ll end up like my mom: “I could have seen Kennedy, but I babysat instead!”