I entered my old flat in Prague and among the mess found an advertisement leaflet on the ground for a persian carpets sale out. I looked at the pictures of carpets. Different styles and patterns. Tabriz, Zanjan, Esfahan, Kashan. I knew them all. I lived in the house of a carpet maker in Kashan, this usage of blue, green and orange is a local thing. Next to my bed, there was another leaflet, the supreme master Ching Hai talking about the heaven on Earth and peace among creatures. It really looks like some crazy sect crazy pamflet, universe people or something. But now I know Ching Hai and her work in South East Asia and global advocacy of values I approve. I’ve been in her vegan restaurants in Ulaanbaatar. These two leaflets look like someone put them in my way to reflect something. Funny is that the latter might have been left in the flat by me myself some half a year ago when I was rather curious in studying materials that sects are distributing to be aware of them or to make fun of them.
Then I took a bus and saw a sign “Tibetan furniture”. I went to the mountain with my mum and sis and in a little pub on the top there was a picture of Annapurna. I see Asian people on the tram and can tell the country they are from. I saw a Tibetan restaurant and I think one temple from the pictures on the wall was labeled wrongly. But maybe wasn’t and I just remember it wrong. There is a Chinese poster in the bathroom and many teas in the kitchen. On the first school day (for me. it was third week already) there was a Turkish ambassador in our class, (not) talking about Kurds. And just now I returned from a conference about the freedom and democracy where Iranian Nobel peace prize laureate was talking about the regime and the land I got familiar with. And I could go on with this list of reminders and memory activators, but the biggest surprise was at another place I wouldn’t expect, at my grandparents’ house.
Among many things, grandfather asked me how Tehran was. “Foolishly huge city, very ugly city, no heritage or sightseeing really from the past, and from the modern time I visited the former sah’s palace only. That was fun, he had glasses from Czechoslovakia there and lots of hunting trophies.” I summed up the things I thought might interest him.
“Reza Pahlavi?” asked my grandfather, and I thought he read it somewhere to ‘prepare’ for our talk, to be smart with maps and encyclopedias. Sometimes he does that.
“Yeah, that one, you know his name?”
“Sure, remember how I told you about my ‘diplomacy’ when I served as a forest keeper? We hanged out once, went for a hunt, drank some slivovice…”
I can’t tell when my grandfather fantasizes too much to impress me.
“… I have a picture of us together somewhere.” The old man stood up and returned after a moment of searching cursing with this photo in his hand:
“The one in the middle is the prince of Persia and the guy standing above him, that’s me. We shot the biggest mouflon together, he was happy and for the banket wanted me to sit by his right hand. The trophy won a golden medal – you must have seen it in the palace.”
My jaws fell and the old man went for his afternoon nap.