The ride back from the airport at 3AM.

Thursday

We arrive at our hotel a 3AM. I go to sleep with the help of Tylenol PM. I think that’s why it’s so hard for Shahrokh to wake me up in the middle of the night. Why is he getting me up? Jackson has thrown up in the middle of the night. He projectile vomited all the way on to Shahrokh’s bed. Trying to get Jackson–who never really wakes up–into the shower is not my favorite moment of the trip. The shower curtain falls, the toilet paper holder comes off. I can’t get the water to go to the shower head and I have to bathe him sitting down. I slip trying to swat a misquito. The next morning I break the hotel while trying to open it and air out the room. I cut myself cleaning it up and bleed on the bed. In the afternoon we try to go bowling but the bowling alley is closed for repairs.

But then things start looking up. We finally get to see Nasim and Jafar for the first time. Nasim takes Pam shopping while all the men go swimming at Jackson’s request. The swim complex is half pool half bathhouse and provides us with one of the most memorable images of the trip: middle aged men in Speedos having sausage sandwiches and drinking non-alcoholic beer in the pool cafeteria. Pool cafeteria? Seems ridiculous until you’ve spent two hours in the pool, steam room, sauna, and hot and cold jacuzzi? Who knew you could get so hungry.

Jackson and and Zach at first don’t know what to make of the sauna and steam room but after a few minutes they are old pros. Everyone gets very relaxed. It’s just what we all need. I almost have to drag Jackson out of the sauna when it is time to go. Or rather time to go to the pool cafeteria and eats snacks in swim trunks. This is some I wish I could bring back to the states.


The Freedom Arch near the airport.

Dinner with Nasim in North Tehran at a fast food place called Sinbad.