A day without a smile is, well, kinda boring...
Today was a pretty normal day for me at Powell's Books in Portland, Oregon. At least, that's how it started.
I got my coffee and found a place in the fairly crowded coffee shop to sit, to write, and to read. At the same long table with me was my friend Arnold, who creates amazing flowers out of napkins and little else. Also, a group of about three or four people gathered 'round him, watching with awe and getting him to chat with them while he worked.
At long tables, you often get to meet new people. Today was my lucky day. Sitting across from me, also watching Arnold do his thing, was Ali*, an Iranian photographer and artist, visiting family in the US, along with his wife, whose name, I fear, has fled my memory, though I do remember thinking it was such a lovely name.
Anyway, I asked Ali about his camera, how good the video capacity was, and so on. We began to chat. I was amazed.
Ali lives in Tehran. He told me it's a big city, about 14 million strong. He said he loves his country and that he hopes we never have to go to war with each other. He also said that, in Tehran, and in Iran generally, the people really like America. Much more than, say, Europe or Australia. Why? I asked.