وزارد او دا وستساد
American blog of Iranian dissent

Manucher United

Earlier this year, I got a Facebook friend request from a long lost uncle Manucher. It was one of a slew of such advances from relatives on Facebook that made my presence on that infringing social networking service feel even more awkward.

As an adult I've never hung out with this amoo, having briefly chatted with once by accident over the phone earlier this year. It was your typical overly-polite, underwhelming conversation I have with older Persians that think I'm not worth their time. A lof of haal-ahvaal. To try and break the ice I found some common ground with an old standby: "So, football-o mibeeni? Who do you think is gonna win the Vorld Kup this summer?"

It works every time. As a fubol supporter myself I know the ins and outs, how to weave it into a conversation like Didier Drogba splits a defense with a delicate pass forward. But Manuchehr would be a challenge. He's spent the last two decades "serving" as a religious missionary on a small scenic island out in the middle of the Pacific, raising not one but two families after a messy divorce and remarriage and running a small computer business on the archipelago. Believe it or not, he's the second uncle I know to go this route. Maybe I'll talk about the other one next time.

I never thought he'd be a fan of any sports, or many forms of entertainment.  I found this out first hand during the first time I met him, back in 1991. He was stopping over on his trans-atlantic flight and spent a couple of days at our house. I was your typical thirteen year old boy with posters of athletes on my bedroom wall. Manuchehr was given the upstairs tour by my mother, and I began to feel the discomfort that comes when you know a mustached Iranian man is about to judge you.


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