In the nineteen-eighties, when I was a child, my family rarely took vacations.

There had been a revolution in Iran, and there was a war on.

Most of our trips were to the gardens of family and friends; a couple of times we went to Shomal, as the green band of forests south of the Caspian Sea is known.

In those days, travelling was all about us pleasing the group.

I was told to keep the frogs and cats away from my paranoid aunt.

In the afternoon, when my uncle went jogging, I had to run behind him, carrying a boom box playing “Eye of the Tiger.” He had just returned from the front, and he loved “Rocky.”

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