Tuesday, September 9, 2008


A Broad Abroad in Iran:
One Strappy-Sandaled Foot Ahead of the Mullahs
(during the revolution)

Hooray! Since my last post, A Broad Abroad in Thailand has received some great awards: “First Place" in the National Indie Book Awards 2008 for Memoir, and also placed as a “Finalist” in the Humor category. Abroad also won “Silver” in Foreword Magazine's Book of the Year Awards in the Humor category, presented to me at the BookExpo America in L.A. That's pretty exciting for a first time book.

It’s been some time since I’ve had a chance to get back here. The only changes I see in my marketing strategy are a few more grey hairs and wrinkles.

I now struggle to write my second memoir about living in Iran during the 70s. It won’t be as easy as my first memoir, A Broad Abroad in Thailand. The Thai people were gracious, happy, smiling and welcoming. In the70s, with the revolution already in motion (of course we expats had no clue), the Iranian people seemed unhappy, cross, maybe even pissed that westerners had invaded their land.

In retrospect, it’s easy to look back now and try to understand why they hated us, but at the time we just thought they weren’t happy campers and let it go at that. In our ignorance, we thought the Shah was just trying to bring his country up to the 20th Century, and not leave it lagging in the Old Testament era. Hiring expatriates from all over the world to help bring his country to a new global respect seemed like a generous undertaking. But, retrospection is a wondrous tool. We seem to want to look at casualties “after the fact” and then sort out the problems. But, at the time, we didn’t know there were problems.

What I did notice was the incongruity of it all!

The well-dressed driver of a Mercedes-Benz lays on his horn as he is surrounded by a herd of sheep. They slowly meander across the potholed dirt road, brushing against the front, sides and back of his gleaming car with their filthy, wet coats, while he screams obscenities at the sheep, the herder and at his illiterate countrymen that would allow this to happen.

A chador-clad woman stands in the street. As she waves her arm and tries to hail a taxi, her chador rides up revealing a bare arm dripping with a fortune in pure gold bangles, while an ancient, blind woman squats at her feet, begging for money or scraps of food.

A towering mosque, laden with gold and jade, stands in tribute to the incredible architecture of centuries past, while beggars with limbs missing seek shelter in the shade provided by its magnificent minarets.

In the capital city of Tehran, a theater marquee stands twelve feet high and pictures a female strapped to a pillar; she is wearing black fishnet stockings, garter belt, stiletto heels, and black bra with cleavage pouring forth. Lined up on the sidewalks and spilling over into the dirty streets are throngs of men, salivating and waiting to enter. Walking by the theater and on both sides of the street are other figures; covered from head to toe in the traditional black chador, eyes, nose and mouth the only indication that they are women, yet having to hide every strand of hair and femininity to insure they do not cause a man to have “unholy thoughts.” Hellllooooooooooooo!

Okay, now I have to get busy and turn it into a 300-page book and sell it.

Agents, feel free to contact me!

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