Inside Iran with Shiva the Spy

Gosh darnit! Wait, GOSH DARNIT – I cry! Here I am minding my own business, slowly, but surely working my way into deciding when I should settle down and travel only to places near and close by when I stumble upon this business. Ugh – this is exactly the kind of material that gets me worked up into dropping everything for the umpteenth time and zooming over to Iran to tighten up the little Farsi I already know and more!
From the FAQ’s page of this cool inside look at Iran you will learn a few things about Shiva. For starters it is her real name and she is not a spy. What is true is this: Shiva went off to Iran to study a most wonderful language called Farsi with strong focus on reading and writing. She recently graduated from USC and has a lot more FAQ’s to share on her website should you need additional info on why you should go Inside Iran with her.

Now, even though she hasn’t updated since June she has enough musings to keep you informed and entertained for awhile. In her last entry she introduces someone by the name of Arash Hamidi who has taken some amazing photographs around the country. Of these photos I would have to say the Tehran city night shot is one of my fav’s, but let’s not stop there. The entry previous to that describes Kordistan, Kurdish people and has some very good photos as well. (Not from Arash Hamidi, but great still!) And last entry I’ll briefly describe is the hilarious Crooked Bus story. With every turn of this red-eye bus trip from Tehran to Bonneh I was cracking up. Well first I feared for the poor author’s life, but everything on the smuggling goods bus worked out eventually. Thank heavens and Shiva for providing an honest American view (with the exception of being a spy) to a country so often looked down on.

Word for the Travel Wise (04/24/06)

Anyone out there know whether or not
Lonely Planet co-founder, Tony
Wheeler returned from Iraq
? If he hasn’t just yet I’m betting a slew of loyal Lonely Planet readers will jump on
the bandwagon and book flights to the country once he does. I found only two Iraq blogs where he notes his arrival and
explains that his travel is non-related to any death wishes. In fact he is spending his time in the Kurdistan region
where life in the country tends to be pretty tame in comparison to war-torn Baghdad. For those wishing to follow in Mr.
Wheeler’s footsteps here’s a little Kurdish lingo lesson for the day.

Today’s word is a Kurdish word used in Iraq:

jiyan – to

I plucked this word off of Wiki’s
Kurdish word list
simply due to most people’s pessimistic thinking that a trip to Iraq automatically equals an
untimely death. Obviously this is not true, however one should proceed with extreme caution and do their research
before jetting over to the area. Learning Kurdish online won’t be easy, but here are a few resources you can use: My Language Exchange (find a pen pal looking to exchange
the Kurdish lang for your native tongue), Wiki (Kurdish lang
background and short word list) and this Kurdish Language
and Linguistics site