So we lived in the centre of the capital of Iran, in the three-storey stone house. But unlike many capitals of the world, my native town lives by another tradition; rich people buy or build houses not in the centre where housing is not the most expensive. This is a paradox, isn’t it? The most prestigious district in Moscow is the centre, in Tehran it is the North of the city.
Our capital is a very beautiful and rich city. The population is about 18 million people. In the centre is the old Eastern bazaar. In order to appreciate Tehran, it is necessary to see it with one’s own eyes. Many Russian lovers of the cinema imagine the city by the famous film “Tehran-43.” The stone houses are plentiful in the streets. There is little greenery, the system of underground tunnels, sewage is complex… This approach is both right and wrong. The filmmakers were eager to shoot the oldest parts of the city to give the spirit of that epoch. In reality the capital of Iran today looks different. There are a lot of modern buildings, greenery, flowers, but little has remained from the Eastern exotics, Persian coloring. The city is surrounded by mountains from all sides with snow-white peaks, where the snow remains long after the summer has set in the city…
I consider Iran to be a self-sustained, developed country. What we have is local – medications, food products, cars and so on. Iran can do without the aid of other countries. At present the pressure of the West is felt on the development of the East – it dictates its will to other peoples, restricts their foreign economic ties, attempts to isolate them from the rest of the world. Not long ago, they imposed sanctions on the Russian company “Rosdefenceexport” and its subsidiary firms, prohibited the American companies to cooperate with them, this is because Russia helps Iran develop its own atomic power engineering. The pretext was thought up; as if Russia provides Iran with ballistic missiles and technologies of double purpose – military and civil. Besides, USA has been striving for years to control Iran’s natural resources, its power engineering.
I spent my childhood enjoying the harmony of the marvelous and wonderful city. Since ancient times the capital has followed its traditions and customs. The city is civilized with all its communications and conveniences. Many inhabitants of Tehran have their houses from one till four floors. There are also newly built blocks of flats like those in Moscow. All the buildings are built of brick, and for the sake of beauty they are coated with marble.
The business part of the city is located in the centre. As I have already said, there is a very large market there, you may walk about it the whole day, but you won’t see it completely. In order to buy a certain item, you should know which part of the market to go, because all the goods are arranged in sections.
If you are in Tehran, visit that market by all means, where they trade in gold and antiques. You will have unforgettable impressions! Persian carpets are a wonder out of wonders! The more you walk on them, the more beautiful they become! In Iran all the carpets are laid only on the floor, they are not hung on the walls, as it is customary in Russia. There is no need to make the walls warmer, as it is never so cold. As far as silk carpets are concerned, they are simply wonderful! You should see handicrafts by all means, at least once in your life! This is a wonder as well!
There are a lot of beautiful museums, mansions, natural parks, trading centers, restaurants to every taste in the capital.
The dishes of the national cuisine are very delicious. The basic dishes are from meat, poultry, fish, the main garnish is rice. There didn’t use to be hotdogs, sausages, now they are. There is no smoked sausage, and I think my countrymen will never like it. Once I brought smoked sausage with me, but nobody ate it. It can’t be helped, “East is a delicate thing,” as the famous film hero Feodor Sukhov said.
“Gold” and black caviar is very delicious. I think it takes the first place in the world according to its taste qualities.
The national cuisine is very unique, for example, cheese is only of Iranian production, foreign cheese is practically not produced. In restaurants by Russian currency for three hundred rubles you can have a square and a tasty meal. Iran is a Muslim country, that’s why alcohol is prohibited. Instead you can taste “duk,” it is like butter milk, which is a sour-dairy product. Cola, Fanta are of only Iran production. Tea, basically black, is tasty and aromatic. But there are people who love green tea.
Tehran is a very fashionable city, clothing to every taste. Because it is a Muslim country, all women have to wear head scarfs in the street.
There are the same four seasons in Iran, but they are not so vividly distinct as in Russia. There are places in Iran where you can swim, sunbathe and ski at the same time.
My city is a beautiful place in my memory, recollections and in dreams and I am looking forward to visiting it. You won’t see it at once. To visitors it may seem a city of various constructions, hurrying to get rid of its original features, striving for the European urbanization or it may also seem dreary, dusty, boring, but all this will be wrong! Because this city is never the same, it is very diverse. It has an amazing quality like your own small motherland, reader, no matter it is a city or a small settlement, wherever you are and no matter how well you feel in other places, it attracts you and you come back – in your youth, at a mature age and at your old age to the City of Eternal Return. Time passes more slowly here than in any other part of the planet, and where it is more slowly, man remains young longer. Young people, not realizing this surprising characteristic feature, become impatient, it seems to them that life here is monotonous, they leave their homes, search, compare, recall, and only then all the colors of this city, its smell and sounds, blossom in their memory and their first return to it occurs.
In early days my city was nearer to man; fences were fewer, and fruit trees, walnut, pears, quince, fig, mulberry, and cherry, vine grew at large just in the streets. Today such places have become fewer.
Autumn is an abundant time in any city, in autumn bazaar rows are full – ready to burst and crack, watermelon, melon, dates, roots, spices, bunches of onion, garlic, red and green pepper, heaps of ripe tomatoes, lines of flowers – roses, chrysanthemums, asters, oaklings… Sheep caresses hang, swell up turkeys, geese, hens – everything in abundance. Various living creatures brought by peasants – fellahs cackle, moo, whine. Craftsmen display their articles here for sale; thin-necked kumgans, choinages, souvenir daggers, jewellery, ceramics. Here are also carpets, famous Persian carpets with various ornaments... It is impossible to mention everything. People are everywhere, and all this looks like carnival! And the tea house, is over there where graybeard wisemen sit cross-legged, drink tea out of blue china bowls, play backgammon, talk in a ceremonious, quiet way. Somewhere zurna and accordion sound with a special melody.
The blue color above the world is unusual, clean, coated with gold. Trees have begun to bloom, and there is not such a hue which is not available on their tops. Ivy and vine reach the third floor of the buildings, sometimes the bunches lie just on flat roofs. It is hot, the heels sink in the warmed asphalt. Leaves are already burned somewhere and the city is overwhelmed by the soul-touching fragrance.
But now you can see muezzins on the upper landings of the minarets, and their voices with changing modulations from bass to tenor and vice versa, remind us all of God.
The evening is setting in eagerly and at once, and the city blazed up by the multicolor greenery, is lit up by the yellowish moon becoming more luminous every minute. It is bigger here than in the North, and its brightness against the background of the Southern dark-black night is so great, that even every stem, bush, herb casts a distinct-black shadow. An amazing sight is the garden in such a full moon night! The tropical luxuriant verdure unruffled and distinct like engraving, is reflected on the ground, a strange net of curved and crossed lines and signs knitted by the moon, and you can look at this marvelous picture for hours forgetting yourself, and the moon is pouring and pouring its clear, second light – the roofs gain silver color, the early-dew is falling and you can write a letter to your beloved without lighting a lamp. Ah, the full moon nights of my city! They were numerous, and how many youth dreams and tears knows this heavenly world!
The city easily leaves its inhabitants – the new meeting with them will be even dearer. It is created as if to put a cross on the previous life, find faithful people for itself, to renew, gain power and begin everything again – City of Eternal Return of wanderers.