Tasting My Childhood
Local market in Jooybar village of Mazandaran, May 19, 2008. I can almost smell those cucumbers and taste them, crunchy and delicious, in my mouth! Aaahhh, nostalgia! See more photos of the Jooybar market here.We grew up in the suburb of Tehran. Before my mother got ill with rheumatoid arthritis, she used to go shopping for our fruits and vegetables once a week, each time coming back with a truckload of delicious herbs and produce. Later, we bought our fresh fruits and vegetables from a travelling salesman named Ali Agha. He would come by the house in his small truck with his stock of fresh produce, complete with his scales and those big iron weights, and after my mother had finished her shopping, he would help carry the produce inside. This went on for years and Ali Agha became a familiar face to all of us in the household. One day Ali Agha came and rang the bell. My mother who had painfully climbed all the way to the the top of the steps to second floor to take a shower, simply couldn't walk back down again to pick her produce herself. She yelled from the top of the second floor to Ali Agha, telling him to bring her fruits and vegetables inside, because there was no one else home. Ali Agha brought the things in. As he entered the house, the house phone rang. My mother asked him to please pick up the phone. He obliged. My father was on the other end of the line. He asked Ali Agha if he had reached the Kaviani residence. Ali Agha said "yes, baleh, befarmaeed!" My father asked him: "Where is Mrs. Kaviani?" Ali Agha said: "She is taking a shower, Khanoom tu hamoom-and." My father asked him: "And may I ask who you are?" Ali Agha said: "I am Ali Agha, the green grocer, man Ali Aghaye sabzi foroosham." Ali Agha then asked my father: "Who are you?" and my father said: "I am the lucky man whose wife is in the shower while the sabzi foroosh answers his call!" My Mom and Dad told this story for years to come, laughing like lunatics, making the rest of us laugh, too. Those cucumbers reminded me of so much today.