Category Archives: iran

at long last, 2000 is cataloged


September 29, 2000. Truck stop en route to Kerman (Iran). I love trucks.

I have now cataloged 2719 photos. 1793 of them were from the year 2000 (65% thus far). It was slow going, and I took a long break from what became the sheer monotony of the task. I started 2000 over a month ago. In the meantime I’ve been posting the 1995 Lithuania photos, though I’ve forgotten exactly why I started. I’m into 2001 now, and should go back to add non-scancafe scans of images pre-2001. What a task. WHAT A TASK.

In the midst of a transition period, I haven’t felt like writing much. I’ve been dancing a lot (ergo—it’s all good).


film list

film list 2000

Going through old things that sit in my mind (apartment, hard drive), not as far back as I’d like. There are photos, journals, & disc upon well-organized disc of .pdf’s, .jpg’s & .gif’s. Favorite prints and chromes that could be scanned, & at least two projects unfinished. Should I do it? Should I find time to do it or should I just let it all go? Can I?

My preferred catharsis is writing now anyway. Perhaps I should let this all go. Get rid of the cameras, and all the stuff. Organized stuff, but still, it’s stuff.

This image is from a journal of info I kept on tour, long ago. The same journal that the bulk thoughts writing came from. I’m going through old things, trying to clean up the site, and found this, my record of films I shot in Iran. (Ah, no, I don’t recommend Kodak Gold, however I ran out of print film and had to buy some there.)

While I’m content, at present, with my slightly settled life, I’ve got friends (e.g. oushi za bratishka) on the road, and it makes me wistful and jealous. The summer always brings me flashbacks to moments abroad in hot places. Good people. & watermelon.

Click for a larger, pretty image

iran, home, & blastocystosis

From: Anna Kirtiklis
Date: Mon, 2 Oct 2000 07:45:16 -0700 (PDT)
Hello Worryworts,
My love for Iran has been tempered by Hushman, the insipid little man assigned to be the local guide and driver on the last tour. He was really incredible. I’ll sum him up for the moment with a quote by tourist Elaine, an otherwise calm and pleasant woman.
“I’m not letting that bastard get the best of me.”
The guide before Hushman was fabulous and professional (particularly when compared to “call me Hushie”) and it made the torture of incompetent guidance all the worse. I’m also tired and cranky beyond belief. I’ve been in Iran a month now and have completed two, two week tours around the country, as well as the tour in from Uzbekistan. This week I start the tour that travels back to Tashkent (by road) and thanks be to God, it’s my last tour of the season!
Of course, I am meant to have a big twelve hours “off” between tours to write the reports and account for every rial spent, and to “have some time to myself” but my clever employers in AU have run the two tours (with different group members) together again, confusing everything in the process and pushing me over the edge. I only have time now because they brilliantly scheduled a full day of sightseeing today—four excellent museums.
Any idiot knows that museums are closed on Mondays. Even in Iran.
I mentioned this to both the organizers in AU and here in Tehran three weeks ago and was assured it would be changed, but no, I spent the morning in the office working it out as the tourists sat waiting in the van outside. Well done.
Otherwise, Iran is still fabulous. Really great. I haven’t been writing much because the days are jam-packed with sights and as Iran is new to me, I go everywhere rather than hand the tourists off to local guides as I did in Uzbekistan where I’ve seen everything ten times. (I also hand-pick and trust the guides in Uzbekistan.) That bought me some beloved down time. No, I haven’t been silent because it’s Iran. Life here is no less normal than in Uzbekistan, dress code aside.
The dress code is not full chador (which means ‘tent’ in Farsi), the black sheet-like covering associated with Iranian women. Things here have opened up considerably in the last few years and I am able to wear what is called a rupush, a duster-like, floor-length light cotton dress/coat that covers my shirt and pants. One rupush is light blue and the other light gray. I also tie a scarf over my pulled-back hair, around my chin—not unlike Grandma.
Here I’m relaxing with Amin at one of the Shah’s many palaces in Tehran. Amin was my first local guide—the best. He’s the guy who said ‘insha’Allah for sure.’ I’m wearing a rupush and showing a bit too much hair.
How about that Lithuanian basketball team, eh?
You may guess that I am looking forward to the end of the season. Fifteen days. Less than 40 hours of road time. Less than 40 meals of kebab/shashlik. Yeah, tired. The parasites are still with me and they act up most when I am tired and stressed. Yeah, I’ve had them about three months now. But it wouldn’t be a trip abroad for me if I didn’t get something weird fornicating in my stomach. Blastocystosis this time. Actually, I think they reproduce asexually. Sorry. I’ll stop.
Because I’ve been thinking incessantly about all my film for the last few weeks, on a whim I emailed my favorite prof at ICP (international center of photography in new york) and asked if I could TA for him again this fall. I’ll miss the first two classes, but I’m on, given that I manage to snag a seat on the 20 October UZ AIR flight to NYC. I’m trying to accomplish that not—not easy from Tehran. I’ll spare the details and prayers, but I’m really hoping to get back. It’s a bit insane leaving UZ only three days after the season ends and heading straight into another responsibility (on the 21st), but it will ground me.
Grounding is good, seeing as I’ll be homeless again.
And jobless.
Sarcasm and complaint aside, I really do love my life. Remind me of this when I’m lying on your couch in a few weeks harping on the very tired subject of real estate in NYC.
I could easily spend the next six months working entirely on the films I’ve shot and writing about the last six months. And recovering. Luckily I don’t have much of an appetite with this stomach thing (I am still not used to the weird metallic taste in my mouth that it causes). I do have a strong yearning for a pad though. I’ve stayed in some shockingly ugly hotels this year.
YES. Here I go again. I’m looking for an apartment for Nov 1.
shocking hotel in Samarkand
Tell your friends. If you don’t live in NYC, tell someone who does. I abhor cigarette smoke (still), but otherwise I’m pretty much open to anything.
Okay. Time for a trip report.

Hello Worryworts,

My love for Iran has been tempered by Hushman, the insipid little man assigned to be the local guide and driver on the last tour. He was really incredible. I’ll sum him up for the moment with a quote by tourist Elaine, an otherwise calm and pleasant woman.

“I’m not letting that bastard get the best of me.”

The guide before Hushman was fabulous and professional (particularly when compared to “call me Hushie”) and it made the torture of incompetent guidance all the worse. I’m also tired and cranky beyond belief. I’ve been in Iran a month now and have completed two, two week tours around the country, as well as the tour in from Uzbekistan. This week I start the tour that travels back to Tashkent (by road) and thanks be to God, it’s my last tour of the season!

Of course, I am meant to have a big twelve hours “off” between tours to write the reports and account for every rial spent, and to “have some time to myself” but my clever employers in AU have run the two tours (with different group members) together again, confusing everything in the process and pushing me over the edge. I only have time now because they brilliantly scheduled a full day of sightseeing today—four excellent museums.

Any idiot knows that museums are closed on Mondays. Even in Iran.

I mentioned this to both the organizers in AU and here in Tehran three weeks ago and was assured it would be changed, but no, I spent the morning in the office working it out as the tourists sat waiting in the van outside. Well done.

Otherwise, Iran is still fabulous. Really great. I haven’t been writing much because the days are jam-packed with sights and as Iran is new to me, I go everywhere rather than hand the tourists off to local guides as I did in Uzbekistan where I’ve seen everything ten times. (I also hand-pick and trust the guides in Uzbekistan.) That bought me some beloved down time. No, I haven’t been silent because it’s Iran. Life here is no less normal than in Uzbekistan, dress code aside.

me & amin at the shahs (summer?) palace
me & amin at the shah's (summer?) palace

The dress code is not full chador (which means ‘tent’ in Farsi), the black sheet-like covering associated with Iranian women. Things here have opened up considerably in the last few years and I am able to wear what is called a rupush, a duster-like, floor-length light cotton dress/coat that covers my shirt and pants. One rupush is light blue and the other light gray. I also tie a scarf over my pulled-back hair, around my chin—not unlike Grandma.

Here I’m relaxing with Amin at one of the Shah’s many palaces in Tehran. Amin was my first local guide—the best. He’s the guy who said ‘insha’Allah for sure.’ I’m wearing a rupush and showing a bit too much hair.

How about that Lithuanian basketball team, eh?

You may guess that I am looking forward to the end of the season. Fifteen days. Less than 40 hours of road time. Less than 40 meals of kebab/shashlik. Yeah, tired. The parasites are still with me and they act up most when I am tired and stressed. Yeah, I’ve had them about three months now. But it wouldn’t be a trip abroad for me if I didn’t get something weird fornicating in my stomach. Blastocystosis this time. Actually, I think they reproduce asexually. Sorry. I’ll stop.

Because I’ve been thinking incessantly about all my film for the last few weeks, on a whim I emailed my favorite prof at ICP (international center of photography in new york) and asked if I could TA for him again this fall. I’ll miss the first two classes, but I’m on, given that I manage to snag a seat on the 20 October UZ AIR flight to NYC. I’m trying to accomplish that not—not easy from Tehran. I’ll spare the details and prayers, but I’m really hoping to get back. It’s a bit insane leaving UZ only three days after the season ends and heading straight into another responsibility (on the 21st), but it will ground me.

Grounding is good, seeing as I’ll be homeless again.

And jobless.

Sarcasm and complaint aside, I really do love my life. Remind me of this when I’m lying on your couch in a few weeks harping on the very tired subject of real estate in NYC.

I could easily spend the next six months working entirely on the films I’ve shot and writing about the last six months. And recovering. Luckily I don’t have much of an appetite with this stomach thing (I am still not used to the weird metallic taste in my mouth that it causes). I do have a strong yearning for a pad though. I’ve stayed in some shockingly ugly hotels this year.

YES. Here I go again. I’m looking for an apartment for Nov 1.

shocking hotel in Samarkand

Tell your friends. If you don’t live in NYC, tell someone who does. I abhor cigarette smoke (still), but otherwise I’m pretty much open to anything.

Okay. Time for a trip report.

shiraz, iran

Just a quick note to say hi and all is well. I’m in Shiraz and, yeah, the grapes are all they’re cracked up to be (not to mention the most amazing fresh dates the world over). I’m really really loving Iran—it’s one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been. I wish I had time to tell a few stories.

I saw Xerxes tomb this morning. Persepolis too (center of the Persian Empire built circa 500 B.C.E.). Excellent! Unfortunately, after just having spent an hour waiting for a computer while watching four different men type furiously with two fingers, I have about two minutes until I have to meet the group. I must say that I am a bit tired as I haven’t had a day (an hour?) off since before the Ovyind and Gunda tour back in July.

I’m shooting more film here and getting anxious to see some of it. And tired of worrying about its safety. Half of it is sitting in Gulnara’s fridge back in Tashkent.

Man I wish I could write a full sentence.

More with time and hopefully rest, 
(Insha’allah for sure)