“Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me!”
We spent my most recent 25-yet-again birthday in Esfahan last week. Murph reckons that this is the 20th birthday I’ve spent with him – how’s that for making a body feel old!! No matter, his observation prompted a conversation that lasted all day where we tried (and failed) to remember where we’ve been on each of those birthdays. I decided that from now on we should take an official “Birthday Photo” with a landmark in the background. Ta-Da: me and my boys with the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Esfahan, Iran with it’s glorious, intricate, Islamic tile-work behind us.
I love Drew Gilbert’s What Does A World Traveling Dad Look Like? post about what he’s wearing after what, nearly two years on the road – with a toddler. A bunch of other fun (and funny) traveling parents have written up similar posts (see the links at the end of this page). Even though I’m a little late to the party, what I’m wearing in this photo gives a great insight into what happens to your wardrobe when you live out of a bag for a year.
1. The scarf
I picked this up on a day trip to a Karen village outside Chiang Mai, Thailand. The lady was actually working a similar scarf on her loom that day which, for me, gave some credence to the “hand-made locally” label. The fabric is a light cotton which is fantastic for the midday heat (and early-morning heat and late evening heat) in Iran in the summer. Before getting to Iran I thought that super-light silk would work better but a silk scarf slips off in the slightest breeze. At least the cotton has enough weight to stay on my head all day – a good thing because I’d rather avoid any interactions with the Fashion Police if I can.
2. The shirt
In Iran, I’ve been carrying around a backpack mostly full of clothes that I can’t wear: my t-shirts are all vests or short-sleeved and my skirt is too short. The shirt I’m wearing was a gift from an Iranian girl who we met on the plane from Tashkent. S shepherded us through customs and passport control at Tehran airport and made sure we had a ride to our hotel. We invited her to join us for dinner the next evening in thanks. She showed up with this shirt for me and a bunch of pretty, colorful scarves. True Persian hospitality at it’s best.
3. The pants
The dreaded convertible pants as described in my packing for a year post. North Face, bought at a little store in Winthrop Washington – a perfect pioneer-style, American West, country town. Check it out if you’re ever in the area.
4. The shoes
“Shoes” being a description for what you wear on your feet. These, in actual fact, are flip-flops. Bought on St. Patrick’s Day 2011 in a store in Bangkok because my original flip-flops fell out of the back of the motorhome we rented in Argentina. Believe it or not, it took a lot of shopping to find these shoes. My over-sized feet are not very strong and we wear flip-flops pretty much all day every day. With your standard $5 plastic ones I end up with aching feet. These Merrell Siren Thong flip-flops have arch support – and a pretty pink flower on the front. For the record, Murph and I thought that we’d have to wear closed-toe shoes (i.e. hiking boots) in Iran which we were not at all looking forwrad to, but on Day 1 in Tehran we saw enough people in sandals or flip-flops we decided that it was probably OK for us to show our toes too.