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Sunday, 1 October 2017

From Yazd to New York (via Sussex) and The Three Amigos.

Over the next day or so,  I will take you back to our latest visit to Iran.
Road trips and desert sunsets were highlights of our two weeks.


I have also asked two women if they would guest blog about life as a woman in Iran.
So that will be exciting.









and I'll introduce you to the people we met along the way.......


but before that I'd like to fill you in on a little back story


The Three Amigos


Forty years ago, three Iranian boys became close friends in an English boarding school.

At eleven they were sent for different reasons.

Ali K. was a bright city boy.

Brought up in Tehran, his parents wanted to give their son
a good education.
They envisaged the return of a doctor or lawyer.


Ali 2
Was also from upmarket Tehran and ditto.

Mahmoud, later nicknamed Nass because of his surname,
was from a small village in the desert near Yazd.


the link here will tell you more

His family were anxious to tame the wildness in him,
They heard an English boarding school could be the answer.
Ali and Nass ...2nd and 3rd from left...2nd row from bottom

Soon after the boys arrived in their new home deep
in the Sussex countryside, their own country was in turmoil.

The uprising, followed by the Iran/ Iraq war meant they were stranded.
No money was coming out.
They had nowhere else to go.
It was years before they were able to return.


They spent the long vacations just the three of them in the rambling school.
The two Ali's later had guardians or relatives and escaped to London for holidays.


For Nass it was different.
Holidays were spent completely alone in the school while other boys went home.

The three friends became like brothers.
In later life, I nicknamed them the 3 Amigos.
They were/are so close.

Some of their stories are hilarious.

In  teenage years Nass went away with two friends and told the school they was visiting
relatives in London for a weekend.

The latter was true.

The London bit I mean.
They took off to Soho.
To experience life.
They sat in some seedy, dark place watching a blue movie.

Nass in an attempt to sound grown up asked loudly,
"Who is in this film? Anyone we know?"

The boys ran out in fits of hysterical laughter.

One of them asked,
"Nass, for crying out loud. Whoever asks who is the star in a porn film?"

They ran out of money on the first day.
I've never asked what they did with it.
I'm not sure I want to know.

Some of their stories make me cry.

One day I hope to get around to writing their story.
For now, we are busy with business.
So I'll have to content myself with a short precis.


When the three left school, Ali K went to the US to college.
Somehow over the years the other two lost contact with him.

Ali 2 was, suffice it to say, an Iranian "Jack The Lad."
A lovable, streetwise rogue, living  in London.

Nass had no-where to go.
He was trained and stayed on at the school.
The only home he knew.
He learnt on the job.

To become a brilliant PE teacher

One day he was a pupil.
The very next, standing with the teachers he was giving assemble as a member of staff.



He was almost 28 when I met him.

He often mentioned the Ali's and we hooked up with Ali 2 in London occasionally.

I was nervous of meeting these guys who meant so much to Nass.
Would they like me?
Would I like them?

I needn't have worried.
I immediately took to Ali 2.
Who wouldn't?
He, like the other two, oozing Iranian charm.


"So when did you last hear of Ali in America?" I asked Nass.
"Oh! It was years ago. He was in Philadelphia I think."
"Where about?"
"No idea. We will never find him now Bren. Let it rest."

But I couldn't.
Kept thinking it was like losing the only family Nass had known for twenty years.


I tried directory enquiries.
A long shot, I knew.
Did they have any listings for ?

"We have 3. Would you like the numbers?"

I called each of them and left a message.
What I didn't know then was that Phili has a HUGE Iranian community.
So, it was a longer shot than I realised.


At 3 am we were woken by the phone.
In between sobs,a strong American accent was saying,
"You found me. You found me."



At last the three boys were reunited.
Ali K visited the UK.
They played cricket together after so many years.


We visited Ali K in Phili the Christmas we were married.

It was his wedding present to us.
He was single then, living in the Italian area of Philadelphia, where they filmed Rocky.
Working in the fashion industry in NYC.

Outside his office in New York, Ali pointed out a
client who bought hats at the showroom next door.
Paul Simon.
He said he often passed people like Robert de Niro in the corridor.

It was exciting for us as we had never been to the US.



Very much a bachelor.
We arrived on Christmas Day and had pizza for lunch.
He had forgotten I'm a vegetarian.
I heard afterwards he was manically scraping off  pepperoni before serving.
After the flight I was too tired to notice.






"Wheres your nearest supermarket?"
"How should I know?"
"Er...How long you lived here?"
"Fifteen years."

He used to pick up food in delis on the way home from New York.
Microwave jobs.




Ali later moved to NYC and married.
We adore his wife and two gorgeous children.

They moved to Hastings on Hudson just outside the city a few years ago.

Ali has been for 30 years in the wholesale fashion business.

He has a fabulous warehouse in Brooklyn filled with high end menswear.
When we visited in February he was just about to open his own menswear shop in Hastings.
In a converted picture house in Hastings.





And that's where we come in.
We looked at the spaces between the clothes racks as he was setting up.

You know what we all thought?




Oh yes!









Later this year we will have some of our furniture
 among his lovely clothes in New York state.


Exciting hey??



http://nigelsdrape.tumblr.com/





This is where you will find 
some of our furniture later in the year.

So...behind the Co-op/chip shop in Arundel
 and Liberty of London
and now 
New York.

WOW!

Funny the winding paths life takes us on hey?


Good luck with the shop Ali
and lets all meet up again soon.

The three amigos together again!

Have a great day


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