Thursday, June 30, 2005

If you don't need shots, it's not an adventure

Well, got my jabs today - two in each arm for the flu, typhoid, Hep A and a few standards. The nurse giving me the shots freaked at what I might be in for when I get over to Iran. She was more concerned about my physical safety than any threat of illness that she might overlook.

The arms are a bit stiff and heavy at the moment and the body is a bit achier than I'm accustomed to. I'm not sure if that is because of the shots or the hard work out I happened to have yesterday. The nurse also gave me the rundown and the culinary do's and don't's of such an exotic destination. The foods to avoid and what was safe all broken down carefully for me to consider and a battery of warnings about water as well. She also advised me to stock up on a wide variety of medicines for colds and stomach problems. I'm not one to fill my medicine cabinet and it seems a bit odd to go through all of that extra preparation for the possibilities that might occur at the table.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Post election thoughts

Well the election in Iran did not go the way that people hoped or perhaps even foresaw. There was a bit of disappointment outside Iran and within perhaps that Rafsanjani lost the election to Ahmadinejad, something that echoes the response to the last two presidential elections in the United States. Rafsanjani was reported to be the moderate but that is a relative term. The streets of Iran seem peaceful at the moment so there does not appear to be a chance of a Ukraine-like series of protests bring the nation to a tense stand-still. Having just finished Reading Lolita in Tehran and hearing what the author reported on Rafsanjani's previous term as president and the powers that are held by the clerical overseers, I get the impression that Ahmadinejad will simply do the job in a manner that meets with less resistance from his bosses than Rafsanjani would.
I'm still reading as much as I can about the country before heading over, though I haven't had much time yet. There is an article in the current issue of Vanity Fair that features and extensive report on life in Iran. I haven't read it yet but forwarded a link to my mother who wrote back, with some degree of surprise that one can shake hands with an Iranian woman. I'll have to get around to reading it shortly.

Meanwhile I'm wondering if the "summer" weather in Calgary will improve enough for the 38 degree temperatures that are in store for me.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Just testing

After a suggestion from my cousin and a bit of inspiration after seeing a Japanese friend's blog, I've decided to dabble in this little on line distraction, if only to provide a record of what will unfold this summer without clogging your mailboxes with massive email accounts of what I'll be experiencing over the next few weeks.
As you know by now, I'll be heading overseas in a few weeks to teach for a month in Iran. I've been told that the environment is much safer than it is made out to be in the news, though that might change in the next few hours depending on the outcome of the presidential run-off which is just about to wind up as I type this. I'm not sure how things there will turn out in the next few hours and the outcome could be one of those random events that could sidetrack my travel plans before I even get there. I'll just have to wait and see how things play out over the next few days to a week. In the meantime I've been reading a bit about the country and its recent history and following the current events as closely as possible.
As for the name of the page, if any of you are curious, I took it from the meanings of my middle and last names pronounced in Japanese. I'm not sure if that helps you or not...