Saturday, June 1, 2013
There really is no one simple answer. There are however a number of not very complicated ones. For starters, I had not been there, a fact which by itself, is not enough. There are a lot of countries I have not been to, 104 of them to be precise. Although there is the fact that during my visit to India, it seemed like every time I liked a work of art, building or garden, I would learn that it was actually Persian.
But there were 2 factors that swayed me more then any others. One was the absolutely fabulous Mezrab cafe in Amsterdam. Many summers ago, I stumbled across their former space in the Joordan and decided to go inside for a bite to eat. I was greeted by this kind and wonderfully gracious woman, whom I would later dub Mama Mezrab. She told me about her musician son, who was on tour, and suggested I stay for the musical jam session that evening. One bite of the heavenly ash-e-reste soup and one note of her even more heavenly singing voice and I was hooked. I began to hang out at the Mezrab every chance I got, eventually meeting her husband, her ridiculously talented son and the majority of Amsterdam's Persian community. It was always an oasis of warmth, kindness and creativity that made me long to visit this place this they spoke of.