Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write something AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL (10/02/14)
- TITLE: Flowers anyone?
By Trudy Newell
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One of the adventures of living in Tehran was the ‘one-toman taxi’. Taxis would drive up and down the main streets in an east-west or north-south pattern. I loved the hustle and bustle. If I wanted a taxi I would hop in along with the others and tell the driver where I wanted to get out. If a taxi slowed down and I didn’t need it; I’d jerk my head back slightly and click my tongue in typical Persian style to indicate a negative.
One day around 5 p.m. I took a taxi to visit some friends. As soon as I got into the taxi, the young man next to me started talking with me. “Oh, no, this is not good.” I thought. I knew better than to carry on a conversation with a man, so I tried to end it. I did my best to discourage him, but my nonverbal clues such as shaking my head, keeping my eyes downcast while staring straight ahead didn’t faze him. No matter how I tried to ignore him, he just kept on jabbering away. My stomach started churning and beads of sweat popped up on my face. Then before I knew it, a giggle escaped my clenched lips, followed by another, and another. Little did I know this was NOT the right response.
“Oh, you nice American lady. Will you marry me?” he asked.
My face turned red and purple, as I sat there wanting to die.
Holding a bouquet of flowers, the lady sitting next to him smirked as she watched me squirm in my seat. He said something to her in Farsi, and she handed him the bouquet. The next thing I knew he gave me the flowers. I had no idea what to do, so I had the taxi stop. I threw the bouquet back at the young man and got out. Highly indignant, I took the next taxi that came by.
Waiting for another taxi, I paced back and forth. I rehearsed the situation trying to figure out what in the world had gone wrong.
The next morning I was talking to Dick and Doreen, co-workers who had been in Iran for a number of years.
“Something real strange happened,” I told them.
“Yesterday I was taking a taxi north when a total stranger proposed to me.” I then related the incident. Suddenly they burst out laughing. Cultural lesson number 97 – Ladies do not giggle in the presence of men. It’s considered a ‘come on.’
I learned my lesson well. When I tossed the flowers back to the man in the taxi, I quit giggling. This became so ingrained in me that for years I hardly giggled. It wasn’t until I met Mike in 1999 that I began to relax, and started laughing again. He brought the sparkle back to my eyes. I found out that it’s okay to relax, have fun, smile and laugh. God has a sense of humour, and has given us a sense of humour.
Life is serious, and we need to take the important things of life seriously. Yet, I can take time to enjoy the roses, and rejoice in the good things God has given.
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