Decoration I made for the leaving party

 flickr  View my photo journal

"Hi David, your place is in england n you belong there. You have nothing to do here aparte from wasting your time and making a masive expence for evry one and [the family business]. you are beter off there. so forget iran. save your monye so u cane come with [your sister] on holiday next year. khodahafez salam beresoon. x"

I read this a few more times. I read it a couple more. I rehearsed the sentences putting myself in the shoes of my father, the man responsible for the creative spelling. There were three available responses at the time: to laugh, to be worried or to be insulted. The feeling of being insulted eventually gave way to worry, worry of descending amnesia.

The momentous occasion that was my leaving party (from Iran) seems to be partly the problem, as I have come to learn. What was intended to be a mild fusing of friends from Tehran and Karaj mutated into something considerably more formal. A handful of senior management from work got shot of the proceedings and took matters into their own hands. "Daveed, you cannot feed your guests with that", they protested while expanding the guest-list to their suiting. And yes, they were right, the simple cold-buffet available at the many casual parties I was trying to mirror would not suit the new guest-list they'd drawn-up – a list sensitively crafted to family politics and also doubling the average age.

My experience of guest-lists for similar type events in England leads me to expect that for every ten people invited, five will make it bringing an additional 2-3 unknown yet essential attendees. On the other hand, from my limited experience of playing host in Iran, I have come to notice that the formula is rather different, for every ten invited, ten make it, bringing an additional ten unknown yet non-essential attendees. But, I learned however, a new formula must be made to account for losses attributed the deterrence of a higher average age.

When I say this was a momentous occasion I refer to the efficiency of which the plans were made and carried out, something unseen where I work and something distressingly ironic. My roles as party organiser, chef and DJ were reassessed and in the reshuffle I'd been demoted to 'excuse', a convenient excuse for a large gathering. I was relieved of my duties and accepted the compromise for the time it allowed for other important matters concerned with my leaving.

"But dad, how much is this going to cost", I interrupted as they settled on catering for 140-guests with a two course meal. My concern was whether their expanding plans involved my money. "Maybe I'll help out", was the only response from my father, failing to provide a figure yet indicating that I would certainly be paying an amount towards their plans.

It seems that over a month's wages had gone on the party

That amount became clear to me the other week – my naive assumption that their excesses would not be my burden was corrected. "Put it down to experience", smugly stated my father as my words boiled over in response to the eventual cost. It seems that over a month's wages had gone on the party, eating into savings I'd entrusted with him partly earmarked for my return flight. Not for the first time my father has taken it upon himself to teach me an expensive lesson – clearly I'm not learning something about Iranian fathers here.

"The Sunday 17th flight is 524GBP or 838,400 Toman. I'd like 2get on that if I can. Are you able to 2wire the money 2[my step mother]? Hope all's well. Salam beresoon."

The above text message was sent to my father – as planned, instructing him to wire my money – as planned, including my last month's unpaid wages and money still owed to me by the family business for equipment I'd personally purchased. His immediate response opens this blog entry.


  • I suppose a rather harsh way of learning that there is no such thing as a "casual" Iranian party.

    By Anonymous Tahereh, at 10:18 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home