Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Room under the roof
I think now I might have a lot of things to say. I had a very pleasant stay in Paris and enjoyed the company of two of my friends which I knew them from university times in Iran and a new friend which was a really cool guy. The four of us were staying in a room free of charge which I had found and this is itself a whole complete story so may be I would better begin with that. But before: I have added some pictures of my trip to my flickr photos, so take a look if you want.
Two years ago I along with my best friend decided to go to Turkey to take the TOEFL exam. Unfortunately TOEFL is like other American things which are part of American sanctions (since last year they have been taking paper based TOEFL exams in a very limited form in Iran with an agreement with an ETS center in Dubai). This friend of mine is a person that I know since I was an elementary student of 9 years old and since then we have been friends and accepted in the same high school and finally in the same university. But two years ago we knew our paths are becoming more and more distant from each other. So this trip was somehow our last journey together. He is now studying in University of Columbia in New York.
So as our hometown is just an hour from the border of Turkey we decided to pass the border by car to go to the nearest big city and then fly from there to Ankara where we were supposed to take the test and spend a few days in one of my friend's apartment who was studying there.
In Van, the city that we were supposed to take the plane from, when we took the bus going to the Airport we noticed a European old looking man who was asking the help of someone who would both understand English and Turkish, and well, he was lucky! He was about 60 years old or more and he had lost his entire luggage some days before. He was going to retrieve them in the airport and head back to his country. When we further spoke with him in the airport we noticed that he was from France living in Paris and this was a long journey beginning from Armenia, passing through Iran and returning to France. So that was it. We saw him and spoke to him for about 15 minutes and after that in the plane and after landing we didn't see him again although we exchanged email addresses.
So when we came back, there it was in our mailboxes, an email from him inviting us to France. A year after, when I actually came to France he sent us another email asking where we were and what we do and since then we have exchanged several emails but haven't got the opportunity to meet again. This time was no exception since he was going to another country again but he kindly offered us a room in the building where his apartment is and so we had a room under the roof of a nice Parisian building near the Eiffel tower in the center of the city, so what more could we have wanted?
In Iran, we consider ourselves one of the hospitable nations of the world. There are a lot of reasons for that which I'm not sure which one is true and which one is not, but when it comes to real hospitality I haven't heard any Iranian doing the same thing as my friend, Dominique has done for us. Maybe you see this as an exception but frankly, if this is an exception there are a lot of exceptions in France.