axisofevil Young Afghani guide in Yazd, Iran - Axis of Evil World Tour
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Young Afghani guide in Yazd

Young Afghani guide in Yazd


Book Excerpt

... we had one last stop before leaving Yazd; the town’s centuries old main mosque. After a while touring mosques in the Middle East becomes like touring cathedrals in Europe; boring. At this one though we came upon a little Afghani kid who volunteered to lead us on a tour through the winding traditional alleys of the city. We readily agreed, abandoned the mosque, and took off after the little guy.

Professor got him talking and found out he was here with his father who’d come into Iran looking for work. He was a day laborer on some nearby construction site – leaving his seven or eight year old son alone most of the day to fend for himself. The kid had made good use of his time though. Only in-country for a few months he already spoke Farsi nearly fluently. Professor had little problem talking to him.

The little kid was fascinated by me, more specifically, by my size. I’m by no means a huge man, especially by American standards, but in Asia (outside Russia anyway) anyone over six feet usually gets a decent amount of attention. He kept asking Professor to translate questions asking how tall I was, how much I weighed, and, once he noticed my boots, how big my feet were.

It turned out to be one of the best walks of the trip; just traveling down the winding old alleys of mud brick (which you’d think would collapse in all the rain but apparently not). The Yazd specialty; the wind tower, was visible nearly everywhere. Badgirs, as they’re called locally, stand two to three stories high, depending on the wealth of the owner and size of the surrounding buildings. The tops have openings slotted and shaped to catch even the hint of a breeze and redirect it down the tower’s shaft. As the air heads down it is channeled to induce a spin that gets the hotter air to rise and exit, while keeping the cool air heading to the bottom of the tower. At the bottom lies a small pool of cool water. As the air hits the water it picks up some humidity, then gets spun into the house; both cooling and humidifying along the way. You can see these natural air-conditioners all over Yazd, and in many neighboring areas where the desert summers can be unbearable. ...

Copyright 2006-2007 Scott Fisher and All Rights Reserved.