I wasn’t going to write, till my return in August, but it rained. Walking is the best way to enjoy the European cities, but wind made my umbrella useless.
What are the chances of catching an Iranian cab driver? Here, it seems to be around 10%. Mamad agha was friendly; and patiently worked with me to find the restaurant, near the “workers museum”. He then asked me of Canada, and told of his enjoyable trip to Toronto.
I usually let the driver do the talking, while feigning interest and only occasionally leading on with an encouraging line. Cabbies love it!
Mamad had fled Iran in 1988, to avoid the wartime military service. A handsome man, who looked some 20 years younger than me, with a hint of graying hair. More than two decades in Germany, but he still felt like an outsider. Had tried to get ahead by going to college and trade school, but taxi cab was as far as he could go … like so many other “black-heads”.
Most Iranian men have a very definitive worldview, and Mamad was no exception. “Germans are too racist to let the immigrants succeed. They cut your throat with smiles and red tape. But you know, in their hearts Germans are good people. They have only become reserved, cynic and bigoted because of the way that Americans and Jews have fucked them! Did you know that Jews are still sucking billions of their tax money out every year, just because Hitler killed some of them? And Hitler was not even German … he was Austrian!”
I tried to look dumb and said, “amazing” – for him to continue. “The only one standing against them now is president Ahmadi-Nejad! He is the only leader with the balls to slap the Jews in the face. Here, all the immigrants love him!”
Restaurant was overflowing, but the German maître-d’ briskly opened up a cozy area for new seating. The “wheat-banana” beer was a nice low-alcohol relief, to wash down the cab encounter.
Unfortunately, half the menu was different potato-filled pan-fried dishes and the other half full of greasy meats. The German “cuisine” is only marginally better than the English, thanks to their Schnitzel, which is also from Austria.
The waitress was a young beauty queen from Africa, who much appreciated my attempt at a Swahili greeting. She became very friendly and helped us through a decent dinner. Finally, she asked if I was Persian. “Yes, I’m from Iran” – to which she rejoiced and almost hugged me. Apparently, her new boyfriend was a proud Persian, and she loved his family too. His mother had fondly given her a nickname, which made every one of their household smile … “Kaka Siyah”!
When leaving, she kissed me on the cheek and wished a “kwenda vizuri” in exchange to my “bakia vizuri”.
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