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IRAN: Mr Behi/Steve

Friday, March 31, 2006

Back from new year vacation

I am now back from my new year vacation in the country side, east of Tehran. We spend so many days in a small mountain-side city with apple gardens that are still not in bloom. It was a good period to sit back and relax for a while and forget about the dust and rush of Tehran. I will write back soon but for now, listen to my latest podcast
http://mrbehi.blogs.com/i/files/BehiBC_02.mp3

posted by MrBehi @ 5:24 PM    6 comments

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Spring Time


Well it's officially the springtime. On Saturday night the clocks moved forward one hour and by Monday morning this had barely registered in my body clock...Monday was a struggle. I can cope with a eight hours of jet lag no problem, but shift the clocks forward one hour and I'm yawning all week.
Although one week of spring lag is worth it for the extra day light and the chorus of the birds in the morning. A friend at work commented how it was strange that the birds knew to get up one hour earlier as well! I then explained that they didn't wear wrist watches and had probably been getting up when we'd all been sleeping for the last few months (since they returned from migration)!
I've just returned from the supermarket, on return from work I realized we were completely out of food and the cat was miaowing at it's empty bowl and beginning to chew on the grass outside. It got me wondering how the basics differ in Iran?
I spent £105 on food and supplies and I think that will last the three of around two weeks (we'll have to buy fresh stuff in that time aswell).
Here's a basic run down of costs:


- Two litres (4 pints in the UK!) = £1.10.
- Six apples is £1
- A loaf of bread is 75p
- A chicken is £2.99

The biggest rip off is theses fancy light bulbs we have in the kitchen £2 each!!!
Normal abouts are abou 20p.
I then got some petrol it's about 91p a litre, to fill up my car cost me £42! That about get me abot 350 miles of driving.
I'm guessing that's probably more expensive than Iran but then wages in the UK are probably higher to compensate? Engineers in the UK typically earn from £25000 to £40000 a year.

So that's some hum drum stuff for you.

Work has been as intense as ever this week. I'm doing some testing to back up my analysis work this week. We are running a test to validate a side airbag we are using. They are pretty tricky to get right as we use a fairly simple model which assumes uniform pressure within the bag. The reallity is the flow is more complex. Particulary with regard to the venting the bag has. The bag has vents to allow the pressure to be tuned over the duration of an impact. The test we are going to do will hopefully give some data to try and correlate the bag to, therefore making sure our model is as predictive as we can be.

We have a big report out next week as well which I have to prepare results from my team for. It's one of the last reports before we begin to get tools made to build the car, so we need to get everything right. So the pressure is right on.

Anyway enough for today, I can smell dinner is nearly ready and I'm absolutely famished!

Steve

posted by Steve @ 7:14 PM    6 comments

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Iranian New Year is coming

Iranian New Year is approaching and I love the timing very much. The start of the New Year in Iranian calendar is synchronized with the exact moment the Earth finishes the entire circle of rotation around the sun and spring begins. According to the philosophy, we shall renew ourselves as the nature does in spring. I think it is a very sensible reason for having a new year and we do lots of things before and after the event. One of the historic traditions near the Norooz (the Persian name for the new year period) is the celebration the eve of the last Wednesday of the year, which was last Tuesday night. This is the night of joy and celebration and what people do, they make fires on the ground and jump over them, singing and dancing and since I do not know what time, there has been firecrackers going off dominating the atmosphere. This is so much fun.

Just four days is left from this year and one of the things that I m busy with is a complete apartment cleanup. This is another tradition for making things fresh and new. Tehran is a four-season city and you can smell the freshness of spring your window (well, you have to filter out the noise of the street traffic).

posted by MrBehi @ 6:11 AM    24 comments

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Mid Week Blues


So, I made it to Wednesday and much like the rest of the UK I'm counting the hours till the weekend.
This time of year England is grey. I catch a glimpse of the sun in the morning rush to work, sit in the office shrouded from the elements until half past five and then reenter the urban grey of the Midlands.

Last weekend was great. On Friday I played a gig with the new band I'm in (www.forevermoore.co.uk), only our fifth show and it went superbly. Saturday was recovery day and then Saturday night was my best friends sisters home coming party. She spent last year traveling, India, far east and Australia. She was looking great, although seemed daunted coming back to 'the real world'.
Sunday was the opening race of the Formula 1 season (I'm a big fan...). The race and especially the new qualifying didn't disappoint. Very much looking forward to the next race in Malaysia.

This weekend will be a family one for me. This will involve lazy Friday with takeaway, board games, a film and probably a bottle of wine! Saturday we'll try and find a day out, I'll be on google pretty sharpish after this blog. Sunday we'll invite some of our relatives over for a traditional Sunday roast dinner.
I love Sundays with the family.

My Nan (Grandmother) is amazing. She is 78 and so full of life. She's also hilarious, sometimes intentionally, usually accidentally. My favorite
Nan quote is her description of an animal, after watching a wild life program mid week she tried to describe, "You know they had those sea creatures on it, the ones with the eight testicles'. Brilliant.
She makes me laugh so much.

I think sometimes when I talk to my Nan and her friends (usually boyfriends - my grandad died over ten years ago) I get an insight to how little we appreciate the life we have here in the UK. She was in the land army during the second world war. My grandad was an artillery man but was captured pretty much straight away so was prisoner of war for about five years. The uncertainty they went through during those years (with regard to freedom, peace, life and death) must be very similar to the feelings you have in the middle east. With 60 years of peace time behind us we have become complacent. We take our freedom and liberties for granted. That's really what I was getting at in my last blog. This fascination with more trivial issues is from our stability with our national politics. It isn't that we are not political at all and people do care. It's just that the issues are not close to us. Like they were for our grandparents and they are for the people in the middle east.

Anyway to leave you on a more trivial note. I noticed on your blog site some of your favorite albums, here are my top five tunes:


1. A day in the life - The Beatles (Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band)
2. God only knows - The Beach Boys (Pet Sounds)
3. America - Simon & Garfunkel (Bookends)
4. So what - Miles Davis (Kind of Blue)
5. Life on Mars - David Bowie (Hunky Dory)

Fairly typical Anglo-American stuff eh?!?

Nearly in there were: superstition - Stevie Wonder, I want you back - Jackson 5, Under the bridge - Red Hot Chilli peppers, I could go on all day...think I'll go and pop a CD on...


Take care,
Steve

posted by Steve @ 7:02 PM    9 comments

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Thursday Work

Wow.

I just read some of your blog's on your main page, it brings into context to me the difference in our lives. In the UK the trivial is the norm. We are more concerned day to day with celebrity and scandal than politics and ethics.

At work we have a site shop in the canteen on the newspaper rack outside I took note of some of the stories..

Broadly speaking we have three groups of paper, tabloids, broadsheets and what I term as inbetweenies (these papers pose a broadsheet style journalism but are really tabloids and in my opinion are the worst papers - at least you know that the tabloids are utter rubbish).

Today's UK tabloids headlined with a 22 year old girl who had been caught on a speed camera applying make-up, she was fined £200 but they couldn't ban her as in between this offence and now she had already been banned for drink driving!
One of the broadsheets headlined a story about Bush. His advisors (who were integral in the advice re Iraq invasion) have spokenpubliclyy that the decision to invade (ahem, sorry I mean liberate...) was a mistake, and why is Bush not listening to them now?
In all honesty Ididn'tt look at the inbetweenies but they probably had some scare story about how the UK housing market was about to collapse or we are all going to die of Bird Flu next week or how we shouldn't speak to anyone in case something horrific happens. I tell you I hate those papers, the whole of middle England (demographically) are reading them and becoming more and more afraid of the world.


Conversation at work was the usual mixture of triviality. 'Did you see 'The Apprentice' (TV show where people compete for £100,00 job with self made millionaire Sir Alan Sugar) last night?....I can't believe he didn't fire the nutcase...', 'Almost the weekend, are you out on the beers?'.
It struck me that I really am submerged in a capitalist environment, I'm trying to scrape 50 cents out of a $50,000 car to help increase company profits to greater than $X.XX billion.

I was late this morning. Ten minutes late leaving home equals about half an hour late to work, the traffic gets really heavy. When I arrived I remembered I had a meeting straight away and had to prepare some ppt's (Microsoft - you can't escape them).
Later we had a good look over a competitor vehicle and got dewey eyed over the front cross brace (how sad?!?).
I then stayed over and worked my usual couple of hours of overtime (for which I won't be paid because times are hard - we only made $X.XX billion last year you see - and if I don't do the time my chances of getting promoted and being able to afford the car I'm working on will be eternalldiminisheded).

Anyway gonna sign off now and watch channel 4 news - they are live in Isfahan, Iran! Reporting on the hot issues you know all too well.Signing off...Steve

PS A bit of a jumbly rant today.Sorryry.

posted by Steve @ 6:22 PM    12 comments

Mr.Behi, Life and blog from Tehran

Hi there! This is Mr.Behi I am an Iranian blogger and you might have noticed the strange name and I am not suprised because it is not my real name. I made this decision when I started my blog (by the way, this is the address http://mrbehi.blogs.com). Here in Iran the government is not very patient about things you write if you offend it so to stay in the safe side, I am using "Mr.Behi" as my name and here he is:

I live in Tehran, the capital of Iran that hosts more than 12 million people. It is live and beautiful but also crowded and noisy. I was born here 28 years ago and spent most of my childhood, education and higher education. I am a science graduate and am working for an international ener
gy services company. We are actually serving energy giants with technical stuff so that they manage their reserves better. I am very involved in modeling of hydrocarbon reserves. This is a great job as far as motivation at work is concerned but at the same time is very demanding and requires me to travel very often which is also fun and gives me the opportunity of meeting some great places and people.



I am married to my beautiful Mrs.Behi who I met during University time and we are living happily together as if we are just met. I am so blessed having her …

I am a blogging fan and have been doing this for the last year or so. My blog “Adventures and Mr.Behi” is my adorable child indeed. I live with it and it helps me to track my life. My personal photographs are there in “Impatient pixels” which is my little photoblog.

So much to say really. I will keep writing so hopefully I can share my experiences here in Iran and I will not be surprised that many would find the image I draw to be very different from what can be precived from the media. This is the magic of blogs to take you into the minds of people so you sense the heartbeats of different society.

Steve, I think me and you getting together is one of the nice crashed and I am glad you did not prevent this one.

Here we go…this will be a great one…

posted by MrBehi @ 8:03 AM    4 comments

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Work, rest and play...


Hello, well how do I start this...

My name is Steve and I'm a fairly regular guy.
I live in Coventry, a city in the centre of England. Coventry has a rich industrial history and fittingly I am an engineer. I work for a prestige car company, I won't say which one but you can probably work it out with a quick 'Coventry prestige car company' on google!

I was born in Coventry in 1978 and apart from my three years studying Mechanical Engineering in Leeds (North England) I have always lived here.



Last year I married my wife Rachel. We met at school in 1989 but lost touch until around four years ago when we met up via the website friendsreunited!

I had always liked Rachel at school but never quite worked up the courage to tell her, fortunately with a few more years life experience I managed to let her know how I felt!

Rachel is currently studying law at University. Together we parent her 8 year old son.



So... that's a bit about home life, on to work and the play I guess.


My job is quite technical I work in computer aided engineering (CAE). I use a tool called finite element analysis (FEA) to assess different designs of vehicle in crash test scenarios. It's a virtual test. This helps design vehicles without building expensive prototypes. I am currently assessing future vehicles for an American crash test which involves a 1500kg truck type barrier hitting a car in a side impact at 30 miles per hour. It's a really severe test as the dummy inside is a small female model which is really very fragile. We are having to overcome a lot of challenges to meet the requirements - the pressure is on at the moment. I run a small team of engineers focusing on side impacts, rear impacts and quasi-static load cases (things like roof crush of vehicles). I really like my job it's always throwing up new challenges and forcing me to use my brain!


In my spare time I play bass guitar in a band. I've been playing music since I was eight, starting off as a trumpeter in a brass band and then picking up the guitar (and then the bass guitar) in my teens. The latest group I'm with is a blues band which plays songs buy the artist Gary Moore. I'm not really a huge blues fan but I'm enjoying the band none the less. It's a seven piece group with a three piece brass section. Have a look at my old band website (www.mrben.com) and there is a link to the new band stuff.

My old band (Mr Ben) was a five piece band playing rock and pop music typical of the UK charts from the last 40 years (everything from The Beatles to Coldplay). This band was really good fun. We played together for three years and finished last year. The guitar player in the band was my best friend from school and the other guys were really good friends too. We had a great time playing pubs, parties and weddings.

Anyway I better sign off here - I've spent far too much time on this for today - Rachel is looking a bit lonely as I type away...

Steve.

posted by Steve @ 7:11 PM    6 comments

Friday, March 03, 2006

Welcome

Welcome to Channel 4's 121. 121 is a place for alternative perspectives on countries in and out of the news, an opportunity to go beyond the tired old tales and get a fresh story from everyday individuals. It's based around international dialogues (using ‘blog’ technology) between paired individuals with similar concerns or occupations from the UK and the other country in question.

posted by Clifford @ 8:38 PM    5 comments

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