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i’m am part of the large large world of diaspora. while i was born and raised in the united states, i have been well immersed in the iranian world since i popped out with a full head [and if i’m honest, back] of black hair. after moving to vermont from living in cities all my life, cities that have had plenty of iranians, man oh man do i miss iranian restaurants.

so, arriving in berlin, a city with many a mono-brow, i was ready & rearing to find a delicious iranian restaurant. while eddie was off in kassel, i mentioned this to marcus and cristina, they decided we should go downstairs and ask their iranian neighboors, because of course, they have iranian neighbors. we knocked on the door, and a woman about our age answered in her jammies. she said she was sorry that she couldn’t invite us in, [marcus and cristina were dying to see the renovations they had made to the apartment] but that she was studying for an exam, her brother was napping and her mother was cooking dinner. but, she promised to send marcus an email with some restaurant ideas for us. we tromped back upstairs and were getting our dinner ready when the doorbell rang. it was mahshid, the downstairs neighbor with a sheepish smile, “my mom yelled at me because there was an iranian at the door and i didn’t invite her in,” she said while handing over an amazingly aromatic plate of rice and kabob that her mother had made. she invited us over for lunch the following saturday and we gladly accepted. marcus and cristina were amused, but i was not surprised, i shrugged my shoulders, “it’s an iranian thing.”

so, while i don’t have any photos of the lunch [i thought it would be strange to document a meeting with perfect strangers], i can tell you that we had a lovely time. the food was great, our hosts were wonderful, kind, and funny. it was nice to have a saturday iranian lunch once again. also, i learned that marcus is ridiculous in his language abilities. he was throwing out farsi phrases by the end of a two hour lunch at an alarming rate.

eddie creepily showing off the flowers that cristina picked out as a “thank you” for lunch, whilst marcus looks benevolently on.

saturday night was a raucous. it was opening night of the euro-cup. we four walked to an outdoor showing of the game.

bullet holes left over from WWll.

even the cars are amped up for the game.

the reichstag

ghost of the wall

soccer beach

game-time felafel break

the lone but mighty portuguese fans.

the blurry crowds on their way home after a germany win.

monument to the parliament members who resisted and were killed by the nazis.

apparently it’s only with the german soccer teams’ success in the last world cup that the display of german flags, and singing of the national anthem has become acceptable. i get the impression that it’s only around soccer though.

upon getting home, we fell asleep to the sounds of rowdy cheering and singing through the night. it was nice.