Today we welcome Jennifer Klinec to the blog. Author of the quite frankly amazing book ‘The Temporary Bride’ where she details her travels to Iran to learn about the food and the culture but ends up discovering a whole new world and a love that threatens to risk everything…
The book – It’s the a story about love in so many ways – the love of food, the love and respect she has for Iran and the love for an Iranian man named Vahid. With a unique understanding and respect for her new home, Jennifer immerses herself in everything Iran has to offer. This is no naive traveller, she is rather a travelling ambassador of sorts who aims to discover the gems that are tucked away in family homes, markets, shops and steeped in tradition. Where women are kept hidden from society, Jennifer observes everything around her and questions what she doesn’t understand. Never judging, she is curious – and her love of the amazing food takes her deep into the heart of the country and its people.
Be aware that this book will make you so hungry and you’ll just have to have some Iranian style food to hand. This is one amazing diary of discovery….
Here Jennifer speaks of why she travelled to Yazd in Iran, why she choose this as her kitchen of discovery and what she found when she got there..
The couple who’d sat in front of me on the flight to Iran had looked at me as if it were the moon. Like most of my fellow passengers they shunned the provinces, preferring the tree-lined suburbs of northern Tehran.
But it wasn’t for monuments, tombs, the great ruins of Persepolis that I covered my hair and averted my gaze, stepping out alone beneath beneath the enormous, lifelike paintings of Ayatollahs Khomeini and Khamenei with their unsmiling faces and long, white beards.
I had come to Iran for its food.
Since I was a student in Montreal eating my first Persian stew, tearing fibres of lamb between a metal spoon and fork, breathing in the scent of dried black limes, I had chartered a course to this place. It is for love I was willing to sit alone night after night, eating in the empty womens’ dining rooms of the few restaurants that survived the revolution. It is for love I weaved through the men in crowded, ancient coffeehouses, tolerating the whispering and unashamed stares. It is love that drove me to visit a country ruled by fear, with a culture much overlooked and long forgotten.
I looked out and watched the women who hurried along the pavements in this city, wearing severe, black cloaks pulled forward to their eyebrows, with children scurrying close behind.
Despite living in a city known for the sensuous curves of its adobe passages and romantically named alleyways, the occupants of Yazd – the Yazdi – were famous for being conservative and financially shrewd.The men dressed in peasant clothes and cheap plastic sandals but were secretly rich, renowned for their furious bargaining skills.Transactions at the market, at the rice seller, in the narrow archways of the gold bazaar, were belaboured exchanges of tuts and hisses, whispered offers with lowered eyes, counter-offers protested while patting empty wallets in pockets.
Above my head the windows of apartments were blacked out with amber adhesive panels, frayed and peeling around the edges. The balconies were concealed more vibrantly with colourful sheets – bright paisley patterns, elaborate equestrian scenes – generously strung from sagging lengths of twine and tightly wound around black iron railings: the miniature worlds behind them betrayed by faint glimpses of an upended mop or a haphazard clothesline, the swishing of rubber flip-flops, the scratching of a corn broom.
I heard women whispering ‘teflaki’ as I passed, an empathy used for people who are fragile. I knew I was vulnerable in their eyes because I was alone.
It was a long way from London to this place I longed for, where I could untangle myself from everything. To Iran I was taking all my romantic ideas. I was bringing the best, kindest version of myself. In turn I hoped the best, most beautiful parts of Iran might reveal themselves to me.
With many thanks to Jennifer for sharing this with us! Right, we’re off to the market – lunchtime beckons!
You can contact Jennifer via twitter – @
Website – http://www.jenniferklinec.com/