وزارد او دا وستساد
VIZITOR TO THE VESTSIDE
an
American blog of Iranian dissent

Please Pass the Melli

a little ditty
about Siamack & Marjane
two bicultural kids growin' up
in the Southland

Last night a primetime viewing option included the telecast of a World Cup Qualifier from Tehran. It was on the Fox Soccer Channel, a staple network on cable systems in most metropolitan areas. This on top of it being available on international satellite receivers and the illegal streaming feeds found all over the Interwebs.

Unfortunately, like other aspects in contemporary times, it reaffirms my belief that there is indeed a thing as too much access. That when too much is exposed and TMI'ed, much of the mystique is gone.

I liked it better when such telecasts were hard to find. Back in the day one had to itch and scratch and claw through the digital underground to find such a broadcast.

Sometimes the measures were extreme. Begging the owner of an ethnic restaurant that had a dish, or emailing some dude in Singapore to tape it in all of its Pen-Pal-Secam glory. Or I'd just imagine it via the live text on Reuters, which always looked better for me without the (Taco) Supreme Leaders.

Speaking of eats and reads, growing up our family would make a weekend trip out of our anonymous suburban bungalow and into the big city of lights. We'd be off to multiple places, culminating with the culinary delights of Reza's, the largest Persian restaurant in America. They expanded in the coming years, including a snazzy spot in the downtown district away from the Middleastern eateries and next to the River North of Jordan -- Michael, that is.

You'd always find a random acquaintance there. A long lost relative, a former coworker, a kid who used to go to school with you, an ex-girlfriend.

While waiting for our kebabs and our fantas, pops and I would cross the street to the tiny Middleastern shop to buy barbari bread and glance at the latest editions of expat publications. I'd be fascinated with Kayhan Varzeshi and Donyah Varzeshi, which were the glossiest and most colorful rags on the shelf. They were seemingly the only publications whose pages weren't filled with pics of brooding Iranians wearing turbans or veils.

This Saturday night I'll be coming to you live from New York, where I'll be highlighting stories of bicultural identity from the Big Seeb. And there's a good chance that my first stop will either at one of these restaurants, both proudly owned and operated by a former player of the Ghermez Poosha.

So relax, enjoy your meal. And let me know if you need more Melli on that.

No comments: