Reflections on art, fitness, family, politics and literature that hit me like bricks as I chauffeur my children from place to place...
A pink taxi
July 27, 2010
Khomeiny at Crans Montana
The first time I traveled without my family, I was about 8 or 9 years old. It was in 1979, right at start of the Iranian Revolution. My parents sent me to a ski camp called Les Coccinelles, in Crans Montana, Switzerland. I don't remember how my mother found me ski clothes, but I clearly remember one item of clothing my mother packed for me with the following guidelines: "wear this sweatshirt over your pjs at bedtime because you will be cold". That sweatshirt was a gift she had received that year from her lebanese sister in law. My youngest aunt, who is infamous for her sense of humor, had found and purchased for her Iranian sister-in-law, a light blue, almost gray, sweatshirt with the stern face of Ayatollah Khomeini. My mother was regarded by all her in-laws to be very strict, affectionately nicknaming her Savak in the days of the Shah, referring to his severe secret police. With the outbreak of the revolution, and the desire of Iran to export its revolution, the Shiite of Lebanon felt empowered. How intimate geopolitics can sometimes be! The current affairs of both my parents' countries were now interlinked. My aunt had found the sweat shirt in the outskirts of Beirut. West Beirut was already wallpapered with effegies of Khomeini. His face was the first one that greeted you at the airport up until President Assad's of Syria took over. Without hesitating, my mother had sent me to Switzerland with the sweatshirt, which as you can imagine had a high content of polyester, considering the place and year my aunt bought it. I obeyed and wore it despite the light mockery of the supervisors. Luckily for me, the children there didn't understand. Ironically, it was on this same trip, that my own lifestyle became slightly fundamentalist. I met a Lebanese girl at that ski camp, who was a little older than me, who made me wash my mouth out after I ate a ham sandwich. I never touched another product containing pork since then!
The pink taxi runs from 7 am to 7pm. It picks and drops off my 3 kids at school, ballet,judo, aikido, violin, climbing, riding, squash, basketball, skiing, skating, swim team, friends, grandparents and teachers. The car, not pink, but a black SUV, drives to Carrefour and Coop. To Club stretch for pilates and Aviation club for weekly workouts. It is driven by a woman who navigates on the radio, gets DJed by her 4 year old or sometimes quietly reflects. The thoughts are about politics, family, humor, literature, art or fitness. Sometimes they are excruciatingly longwinded, other times they are gossipy and hot.
I hope you will all enjoy!