everythingyoualwayswantedtosaybutwereafraid

Things you always wanted to say but were afraid

Strange memories

Today my memory took me back to the time I lived overseas in Iran.  It was back in the late 70s when I had more gumption than sense and decided to go overseas to work for Bell International to make money.  I did make money, but I spent it just like all the other money I’ve made.  I went over with a 3-year-old (the firstborn), and now at 58 I can understand why my family (parents and grandparents) considered me crazy.  I guess I was.  I should have known that things were not what they appeared when the Sunday before we were to leave the next week, 60 Minutes did an entire expose about the small details that are often left out when recruiting people to go.  It was too late to back out, so off we went.  BHI put us up in a hotel near the airport (DFW).  It was a tearful goodbye to all our family members, in particular my grandfather that we called Papa Jess.  Papa Jess was gaga over all babies, but the firstborn had struck a particular chord with him.  He begged me to leave him with them.  Everyone brought little things for Jeff to play with on the plane, such as Legos, colors, and Stretch Armstrong.  STRETCH ARMSTRONG!  Who in their right mind would bring that?  For those of you that are too young, or those that need a refresher, Stretch Armstrong is a toy that stretched.  About 2 foot tall, 20 pounder, full of some kind of yucky substance that allows the rubber to stretch.  How do I know what was inside.  Well, how do you think?  He was a 3-year-old.  When they were all gone, we got a pretty good nights sleep and boarded a bus to the airport early the next morning.  After extended delays, we finally boarded and made the 4 hour flight to New York.  Having all the delays had made our arrival at JFK airport late at night.  We were expecting someone to meet us and guide us through the international custom thing, but that didn’t happen.  Of course, the flight to Tehran was delayed ( I found out a lot more about Iran Air after I had lived there for a while), and we were ushered into a bare room with concrete floors to wait.  We sat (tried to sleep) on that hard, cold floor for several more hours until our flight was finally announced, and off we went for a 13 hour non-stop flight to Tehran, Iran.  Oh my gosh.  There’s just not much else to say, but we did arrive.  We came out of the plane door to a steep set of stairs that led down to the tarmac and a waiting bus.  Trying to get my poor baby to the door with his little Amway carry on, coat, my carry on and coat, and that STRETCH ARMSTRONG was beginning to look impossible.  We finally made it to the top of the steps where Jeff promptly balked.  He was tired, half asleep, in a different time zone, never having flown and he plopped down at the top of the steps with me standing behind him pleading with him to go just a little more.   By this time, I was carrying two coats, two carry on bags, and 20 pounds of a yucky substance that lovely gift.  I just wasn’t able to pick up the 3-year-old as well.  Everyone filed around us and down the steps until finally the flight attendants and pilots came out.  By this time, I had just sat down beside him as we watched the last passenger bus depart for the terminal.  Thank goodness for the first of many kindnesses shown to us by Iranian people, as one of the pilots swooped down, picked up Jeff and carried him and the STRETCH down the stairs with me scrambling behind.  They put us on the employee bus, and we rode to the terminal.  We were there.  Now what.

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