National Geographic : 1953 Nov
710 Iran, the Persia of Old: Famed for Poetry, Desert wastes cover fully half the high plateau, but fe: ing have long inspired poets and painters. Proud Iran 2,500 years ago their ancestors subdued most of the kn Batil, at 40, had a 25-year-old son. Like sometimes fed him candies ?AFGHAN- and pistachios. SN ISTAN What I should have ap- done without Yaksabet ap "-kz and Batil I do not know. " Housekeeping is doubly ,P difficult when walls are of ' mud and floors are rough S50oo stone, concrete, or tile. A STATUTEMILES hasty cleaning of house and furniture was often necessary just before ;ht-i -Kavir [SaltDesert] guests arrived, for a film of dust soon settled over everything. Khur Tehran is in a land . where parched soil or des ert predominates, and a grassy ground cover is lacking in most places ex cept in the lush semitropi cal country around the .Yezd . ~ Caspian Sea. Lawns are S 'Baq ' virtually unheard of in 370 ' q Tehran, although every house of any consequence Anar* -- has its carefully tended flower garden surrounding Bahramabad. a pool that holds irriga tion water used between 50 'l Iso infrequent rains. TATUTE MILES Iranian servants freely i Pipe Lines-* - voice their opinions. Ours Geographic M were no exception. Batul, for example, didn't ap Rugs, and Oil prove of our nightly cup rtile regions remain- of coffee before retiring, ians remember that simply because the idea own world, was strange to her. Rather than force the issue, I made a tour of the house each night Yaksabet she was a Christian, although all to assemble the her family were Moslems. for milk, the stu Changes in Batul's home during the two the dining room years we were in Iran reflected the force of When Batil Western influences throughout the country. would sometimes Batul's elderly mother kept house in old coffee tray before Iranian style when we first knew her, folding in other ways sl away sleeping pads each morning and serving If we asked for meals on a cloth on the floor. By the time food, Yaksabet w we left she had adopted the use of chairs and of memory. tables. One day both suggested caviar Housekeeping Difficulties party. Iinsisted Os enjoyed practicing his Persian lessons at Iran's Caspian sh Batul's house in winter. In the living room a of its lofty price pot of charcoal was placed under a low table SoItoreofftc covered with a quilt. The family sat on the library, a teacher floor around the table with bolsters at their a Persian lesson. backs, their knees under the quilt and their the tea, I hasti toes pushed close to the glowing coals. Os There were caviar liked to join the group with little Mariam, could call them Batul's niece, close by to prompt him as he vealed a few dar read his Persian. I suspect that Batfl's mother across each butter coffee tray-to the kitchen dy for powdered coffee, and for cups. had her holiday, Yaksabet indulge me and prepare the Sshe left after dinner. But he was very strict with us. out-of-season or expensive as apt to have a sudden loss servants disapproved when I sandwiches for a large tea on them: caviar comes from ore and costs only a fraction in the United States. 1 my scheduled duties in the s' meeting, a Scout meeting, Back home just in time for ly inspected arrangements. *sandwiches all right-if you that. Close inspection re k specks of caviar smeared ry surface.