Monday, August 08, 2005


Jet lag is having it's way with me at the moment. It is not quite as bad as the German computer keyboard where the Z and Y were exchanged but sleep is visiting and departing at the most unexpected times. I tried my best to keep myself awake on Sunday night long enough to get some semblance of a well-scheduled sleep only to fall asleep at 10:30 and wake up at 2am. I tried to fall back to sleep but I was just too alert. There was also a very strange dream featuring Patrick Duffy - he of the Dallas dream sequence season and if that is what my subconscious is going to do to me while I sleep then I'm all for staying awake.

My daylight drive through Tehran was as breath-taking as the night drive from the airport suggested. From the moment I left the hotel the sights were fascinating. Chador-clad women carry large pieces of bread that looked like nan, a preschooler clad in a David Beckham England jersey, a man by the side of the road with a single- or double-stringed instrument, the mosque just on the edge of the university campus. And in that description I leave out the driving itself. My driver was ruthless in making good time, playing a few games of "chicken" it seemed with oncoming traffic and weaving in and out of vehicular AND pedestrian traffic in a manner that suggested that these roads teemed around the clock with a chaotic ballet. All of it was a synchronization of movement that could preoccupy the most dedicated and profound of mathematical minds.

My arrival at the university was at the wrong gate but after a brief wait Ali arrived to take me the rest of the way to the civil engineering department. I've been here for a few hours mapping out the weeks ahead and at 2:30pm still functioning relatively well. The faculty has been very accommodating and hospitable and I'm looking forward to getting into the classroom tomorrow.