In A University Town

Tea Harvest, Gilan, Iran, May 13, 2008. Flavorful, red, and a little bitter, Lahijan tea is the most delicious tea in the world. Too bad the Iranian tea industry is now an endangered species. I wrote of a memory about this last year.
Berkeley is going through the annual tradition of graduations this week. Everywhere I go, I run into happy young people, clad in their caps and gowns, courted by family and friends, with armloads of flowers and gifts. It is really a moving and energizing sight. All their hard work, their ambitions, and their hopes are evident in that scene. I am reminded yet again of why I love working for a university and spending most of my waking hours in a university town.
In our office we bid farewell to our three student employees this week. They have each worked for close to two years in our office, giving us the benefit of Berkeley students' intelligence, while costing our budget close to nothing. They are off to making real money now! By popular demand, I made a huge pot of Baghali Polo Ba Morgh for the potluck event very early yesterday morning and took it to work. My co-workers can't get enough of this dish, it seems, so they had kindly "volunteered" me for brining it! They ate most of it and took the rest home for dinner, each of them thanking me again today! Ha Ha, if only another Iranian was around, they would be told that my rice was overcooked, shefteh, and that the tahdig was missing, too! I had left the tahdig for my kids and myself at home--I think we deserved it infinitely more!
I love Berkeley.


Anonymous said...

Nazy jan,
They must be so grateful of having such a nice lady next to them! You can be not only a good friend, but you can also symbolize a nice mom...a mom who is being missed.

Be happy all the time.

Shobeir said...

I can't help loving this post!
I dont know its because of your very own writing style, or it's because of Baghalipolo ;)
All in all, I do like both!

Shaad zid

Assal said...


I like how you say they "volunteered" you! My mom gets volunteered all the time to bring food to work! I'm sure your rice was perfect and delicious! Ohh...I really have a baghali polo craving now...mmm..and some yogurt on the side!

Graduations are such a happy and sad occasion. Every time you graduate you are moving into a uncertain future. You have to leave the comfort of the place you were able to survive and move on to a bigger place...but the reward is worth it!

What school did your lovely son choose? I can't wait for his graduation!

Azita said...

Nazy Jan, your Lahijan tea story from last year is heartbreaking. Thanks for sharing it again.
Enjoy these precious days at Berkley!
I enjoy your writing.
Keep up the good work.
I love Baghali Polo and Tahdig!

آدم گلابی said...

and i love the picture you give us from Berkeley!
mmmm! i love working in academia too, there, you never cease to learn

be good and have a great weekend sweet Nazi

آدم گلابی said...

what a sad story about Chaikaran e Gilan, is human greed ever going to end?

Nazy said...

Salam bar Parinaz!

Heeh, if only people at work were half as nice to me as you are! Just kidding! They are really good to me. I am continually visited by my co-workers who want to chat and tell me what is making them sad or happy. I'm really fortunate for having that trust and love.

Thank you for your kind comment doostam. Have a great weekend.

Nazy said...

Sweet Shobeir:

I think it was the Baghalipolo! But you are lucky you didn't actually have to see this one. I am grateful my American friends don't have a good idea of what a good Baghalipolo should look and taste like, so they pay me compliments!

It's always good to hear from you. Please come back again soon.

Nazy said...

Salam Assal Jan:

We were waiting for classes and exams to be over before we go down to Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara next weekend to look around. I think he wants to go to Santa Cruz, but we will know for sure by next weekend.

If a young person realizes the importance of an education, all parts of the process can be sweet. The importance of an education is the only preaching I ever do to my kids these days! Starting college, staying in, and graduating, are all milestones filled with their own challenges and joys. You should know, you intelligent and beautiful UCLA grad, you!

Nazy said...

Salam Azita Jan:

Thank you for coming my friend.

Thanks for your interest in the Lahijan piece, too. Lahijan's tea industry is a sad story, worthy of more attention. While it is understandable that a tea-drinking nation of 70 million cannot get all their tea supply from local producers, the total obliteration of tea plantations due to unfair competition with imports has been a travesty.

On a happier note, if and when you come to these parts, I'll be happy to make you baghalipolo and I promise I won't save all the tahdig for my sons and myself!

Have a good weekend!

Nazy said...

Salam Golabi Jan!

Heeh! That was funny!

Well, by now you know that I can't resist telling at least two stories in each post! One of them almost invariably has to do with the photo and/or the videoclip that is posted. The other story is inside the post, written in words. Sometimes they are the same story or they are somehow tied together. Sometimes they aren't. As a matter of fact on this post they were! Harvest and graduation are the same story. Then of course there is the Lahijan Tea story, too, which is unrelated to graduation but related to tea harvest! I'm sorry you guys have to put up with my chaotic mind like this!

Thank you for your good wishes Golabi-e azizam. I saw Bardia's picture and he has grown so much! Mashallah! You have a good weekend, too, my friend.