Flirting in translation.

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Photo: arm-wrestling my new friend Mohammad in the courtyard of Sunrise Hotel, Esfahan.

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Four strapping young men came to Sunrise Hotel yesterday, where we’re staying in Esfahan. As soon as they put their bags in their room, one of them introduced himself as Mohammad from Mashhad (not to be confused with my guide, Mohamad from Tehran), and started asking me something about the Internet connectivity, since we both had iPhones. But we just didn’t have enough shared vocabulary for me to understand what he needed. However, he was very flirty, and we exchanged Instagram handles. When I got online again in the afternoon, he’d liked every single one of my selfies, going back a year.

That night I was reading on one of the divans in the courtyard, sitting next to a box of gaz (pistachio nougat) that I’d bought to share with anyone who came through. He came down from his room on the upper balcony and sat down next to me. He showed me he was using Google Translate, typed something in Farsi, and then hit the translate button. It said:

“with my lips I would like to download software ?you are stable”

I started laughing so hard that tears came out my eyes.

He retreated back up the steps to conference with his friends.

A few minutes later he leaned over the railing to invite me to come up to the upper balcony with the box of gaz. I said, No (nah in Farsi), I’m comfortable, you come back down here. So he did. And then I challenged him to arm-wrestle. His three friends, plus Mohamad, took up stations around us to record the event on all available media on their smartphones.

It ended in a draw.

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Follow my travels in Iran on Instagram.


5 Comments on “Flirting in translation.”

  1. Lacey says:

    That’s a very satisfying love story beginning to end.

  2. Think I’m going to steal Mohammed’s line!

  3. kirizar says:

    Although his attempts were laughable, in the right light, they were probably more romantic than many a pick-up line delivered on purpose.

  4. Daniel says:

    What he meant to say was: i need to download something from your lips … i just need to get connected. That is what i presume he meant. In parsi in means better and funny.


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