British Expats

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-   -   Back in the Day (https://britishexpats.com/forum/rest-world-62/back-day-941543/)

Gordon Barlow Jun 2nd 2022 3:11 am

Re: Back in the Day
 

Originally Posted by uk_grenada (Post 13118681)
My parents spent some years working for CENTO [think NATO trying to buddy up to the oil rich arabs] in Tehran.

I've always remembered it as CENTCOM - and I may well be the only BE member who has even heard of it, under either name! In 1964 Linda and I bumped into a couple of CENTCOM soldiers in Tabriz, and we went back to their camp for a meal in their cafeteria. We were a month into our Middle East adventure, and had hitched a ride with a bunch of Iranians on their way home from Germany in four Mercedes they intended to sell in Tehran. I've told the story in my other thread (I think), of how I was recruited to drive one of the cars for a day, safely in the middle of the convoy of course...

At the time, Iran was still ruled by the US's puppet Shah; the popular rebellion against him was 15 years away. Our hosts were middle-class and fully Westernised, but hated the Shah's cruel regime. (They would have hated his successors just as much - although at least the nation is independent now.)

uk_grenada Jun 2nd 2022 1:18 pm

Re: Back in the Day
 
"The Baghdad Pact (1955) and the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) The Baghdad Pact was a defensive organization for promoting shared political, military and economic goals founded in 1955 by Turkey, Iraq, Great Britain, Pakistan and Iran."

The US was also heavily into it. Interestingly B52 bombers were routinely serviced in the US base in Tehran, not sure why logistically. There was also the most ridiculous iranian airforce. Reza Pahlavi's son was a pilot in his spare time, so naturally he had an F1-11, there is a famous photo of 4 such planes sitting on one of the salt flats is the south of the country, and a large party and BBQ going on. Beats having a ferrari i guess. He also had a mercedes grosser. The ultimate dictator car - also owned by
Leonid Brezhnev, Nicolae Ceauşescu, Idi Amin Dada, Enver Hoxha, Saddam Hussein, Papa Doc Duvalier, Chairman Mao, Marshal Josip Broz Tito, Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il, and Ferdinand Marcos.

As Jeremy Clarkson commented - never cut one up on the road, firstly closing the window can cut your arm off, and secondly most owners also have an air force.

Gordon Barlow Jun 5th 2022 5:31 pm

Re: Back in the Day
 
Grenada... Of course you're quite right. I'd never heard of CENTO, just the COM military side of it. What a childhood you had, man! Tell us a bit more about it. Did your mother stay in England while you went to school there? Or were you privately educated in Iran? Did you learn to speak Farsi at all? Or Arabic? All good interesting stuff!

As I've said (somewhere) I spent only ten days in Iran, hitching and bussing from the Turkish border west of Tabriz down to Shiraz and across to Abadan - in the company of a girl I'd met in Greece. Our exposure to Iranian culture was limited to the slums we stayed in - except for the little group that gave us a lift in their Mercedeses from Turkey to Tehran, and put us up for the night when we arrived. They were middle-class university students in Germany, and one or two of them must have spoken English. Oh, and one other big favour they did us... The young woman among them strongly advised us to masquerade as a married couple, where we were going. So in the Tabriz market we bought a small gold-colour ring for about five shillings, and Linda wore that for the rest of our journey, across to Egypt and then up behind the Iron Curtain and back to England. Until now, I've never given that ring a thought. I wonder what she did with it. Chucked it away, probably, when she gave up on me. When we married, a couple of years later, she got a proper one, with a diamond in it. Cost a lot more than five shillings, that time!

Years after our big adventure, I learned that a 2nd-cousin of mine had been the British Vice-Consul in Kerman in 1942-44. If I'd known that during my travels I would certainly have gone there just to suss the place out.

morpeth Jun 6th 2022 6:42 pm

Re: Back in the Day
 

Originally Posted by Gordon Barlow (Post 13119403)
I've always remembered it as CENTCOM - and I may well be the only BE member who has even heard of it, under either name! In 1964 Linda and I bumped into a couple of CENTCOM soldiers in Tabriz, and we went back to their camp for a meal in their cafeteria. We were a month into our Middle East adventure, and had hitched a ride with a bunch of Iranians on their way home from Germany in four Mercedes they intended to sell in Tehran. I've told the story in my other thread (I think), of how I was recruited to drive one of the cars for a day, safely in the middle of the convoy of course...

At the time, Iran was still ruled by the US's puppet Shah; the popular rebellion against him was 15 years away. Our hosts were middle-class and fully Westernised, but hated the Shah's cruel regime. (They would have hated his successors just as much - although at least the nation is independent now.)

Actually there were widespread riots about the Shah's White Revolution in 1864 ultimately leading to Khomeini;s exile.

uk_grenada Jun 6th 2022 7:24 pm

Re: Back in the Day
 
I actually dispute that

they were religiously originated, nothing popular about it. Were you there?

morpeth Jun 6th 2022 8:50 pm

Re: Back in the Day
 

Originally Posted by morpeth (Post 13120352)
Actually there were widespread riots about the Shah's White Revolution in 1864 ultimately leading to Khomeini;s exile.

oops I meant 1963.

morpeth Jun 6th 2022 9:14 pm

Re: Back in the Day
 

Originally Posted by uk_grenada (Post 13120357)
I actually dispute that

they were religiously originated, nothing popular about it. Were you there?

Well I am unsure why if something religiously originated that means by definition it wasn't popular, and many landowners, and members of the former Qajar land-owning class also objected to the reforms.Some simply were opposed to more ;westernization'.

Perhaps widespread implies the size of the protests, however they were not inconsequential, and were widespread as the occupied to the east in Baluchistan, to the northwest around Tabriz.

No I wasn't there at the time- I base those comments both on what I have read, but also numerous conversations with both Iranians and foreigners who were there at the time, including several in the military. The opposition to the White Revolution some have credited as a turning point in Khomeini's career.“On 5 June 1963, the famous three-day-long bloody riots started in Iran. Khomeini was arrested for eight months, but on his release, he continued his criticism of the policies of the government. He was again arrested in 1964 and sent into exile, where he remained for 14 years until the revolution of 1979.

The Story of the White Revolution 1963 in Iran | by usmi | History of Yesterday

“While I hate to use Wikipedia , it states “Two days later, on June 5, Khomeini was arrested. This sparked three days of rioting and left several hundred dead. The riots were remembered in speeches and writings as the time when the army "slaughtered no less than 15,000" according to Khomeini.”

So I am not really sure what there is to dispute except perhaps 'widespread' is taken to mean to a greater extent than the numbers involved.





Gordon Barlow Jun 16th 2022 4:26 am

Re: Back in the Day
 
Which part of the world has the worst music? For Western ears, at least. What is discordant crap to Western ears is of course bliss to the natives! I will offer my three candidates, and other BE members can offer theirs.

Linda and I agreed that the finalists must include Bali. Yes, yes, Bali is just one island of Indonesia, I know. But its culture is different from all the other Islands. (As is its religion - singularly, an island of Buddhists in an empire of Islam.) We were tourists there in 1974, and paid for a concert of the local music. Our other candidates, dating from nine years earlier, were Egypt (a generous doctor included us in his family's box at a public concert that included a crowd-favourite belly-dancer and lots of local music) and Turkey (an amateur night at an Army barracks).

"Excruciating" is the only word that fits for all three - in my ignorant opinion, of course. Any other offers?

uk_grenada Jun 16th 2022 10:30 am

Re: Back in the Day
 
Japanese classical music. I think it may be the same root as bali, dischordant, without rhythm.

I was there temporarily working, and was taken to various incredibly expensive [they paid] and rare expressions of their culture. A weekend in a trad inn [3000 pounds] an afternoon in a geisha house [not as racy as it sounds] and lots of interesting usually food. My hosts were extremely gracious / generous and i couldnt do less than be courteous, but the music was a trial.

Geisha are interesting, they are quite happy to explain the racy history and the sexual stuff that went on / still goes on. Read about the rice cake....

morpeth Jun 17th 2022 6:50 am

Re: Back in the Day
 

Originally Posted by Gordon Barlow (Post 13122224)
Which part of the world has the worst music? For Western ears, at least. What is discordant crap to Western ears is of course bliss to the natives! I will offer my three candidates, and other BE members can offer theirs.

Linda and I agreed that the finalists must include Bali. Yes, yes, Bali is just one island of Indonesia, I know. But its culture is different from all the other Islands. (As is its religion - singularly, an island of Buddhists in an empire of Islam.) We were tourists there in 1974, and paid for a concert of the local music. Our other candidates, dating from nine years earlier, were Egypt (a generous doctor included us in his family's box at a public concert that included a crowd-favourite belly-dancer and lots of local music) and Turkey (an amateur night at an Army barracks).

"Excruciating" is the only word that fits for all three - in my ignorant opinion, of course. Any other offers?

Hi Gordon, I visited Bali several times in the sae time period, the Gamelan music I assume you are referring in the right circumstances I quite like as clothing

Bali was quite different then , not so overrun with tourists and so affrodable..

Gordon Barlow Jun 22nd 2022 1:46 pm

Re: Back in the Day
 

Originally Posted by morpeth (Post 13122481)
Bali was quite different then , not so overrun with tourists and so affordable..

Gosh, wasn't it just! It seems to have become quite a dangerous place, judging by news reports. And overrun by tourists. Of course, back in the day, there weren't many of us foreigners clogging up the beaches and towns. I hear stories of junkies' needles scattered around on Kuta Beach, which is sad. We were there in '74; when did you go? And were you by yourself?

Gordon Barlow Jun 22nd 2022 5:22 pm

Re: Back in the Day
 
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...work-home.html
And wow! Just look at the news just in, reported in the DM. It makes all the sense in the world for the Bali government (or is it the Indonesian government?) to open the door to "digital nomads". We have had this in Cayman for a few years now, and it's a truly excellent idea.

morpeth Jun 24th 2022 4:53 pm

Re: Back in the Day
 

Originally Posted by Gordon Barlow (Post 13123595)
Gosh, wasn't it just! It seems to have become quite a dangerous place, judging by news reports. And overrun by tourists. Of course, back in the day, there weren't many of us foreigners clogging up the beaches and towns. I hear stories of junkies' needles scattered around on Kuta Beach, which is sad. We were there in '74; when did you go? And were you by yourself?

I went with my girlfriend in 1974 and 1975, I was in high school in Jakarta at the time.Probably better now in north of island I have heard similar stories. We went by train the first time stopping along the way, but at the time I spoke fluent Indonesian and some Javanese, so it made trip easier.

Gordon Barlow Jun 30th 2022 10:42 pm

Re: Back in the Day
 

Originally Posted by morpeth (Post 13124289)
I went with my girlfriend in 1974 and 1975, I was in high school in Jakarta at the time.Probably better now in north of island I have heard similar stories. We went by train the first time stopping along the way, but at the time I spoke fluent Indonesian and some Javanese, so it made trip easier.

Morpeth - you can't leave us hanging, man! What were you doing in school in Jakarta? Were one or both of your parents Indonesians? And what kind of language is Javanese? I've never heard of it before.

I've reported here that Linda and I spent a month in Indonesia, when we lived in the New Hebrides. At the end of that month, we stayed in the Jakarta Youth Hostel for a night - in a very crappy part of the city - and then stayed with an Australian banker and his wife whom we had known in the New Hebs. That was a bit more comfortable!

morpeth Jun 30th 2022 11:49 pm

Re: Back in the Day
 

Originally Posted by Gordon Barlow (Post 13126109)
Morpeth - you can't leave us hanging, man! What were you doing in school in Jakarta? Were one or both of your parents Indonesians? And what kind of language is Javanese? I've never heard of it before.

I've reported here that Linda and I spent a month in Indonesia, when we lived in the New Hebrides. At the end of that month, we stayed in the Jakarta Youth Hostel for a night - in a very crappy part of the city - and then stayed with an Australian banker and his wife whom we had known in the New Hebs. That was a bit more comfortable!

No my parents were not Indonesian, just my father was working there and so I went to school there. Jakarta was a great place to be a teenager at that time. It wasn't the over-built traffic nightmare it is today- nor sinking. You may know that the government is planning to move much of government agencies to a far off island as part of Jakarta literally sinking.

Most Indonesians used to specific regional language of dialect at home, and Indonesian outside the home or in formal circumstances. Similar to Italians before say 1970, would speak regional dialect/language at home, Italian in school or work.Javanese is the language of Java, and associated in literature/arts with the old classical Javanese of the royal court. In Karata there is an often hilarious dialect called Betawi ( i.e. from the old Dutch name for Jakarta, Batavia) which incorporates a lot of Hokkien Chinese words. If you are not too sensitive politically correct, there is a youtube series called How to Act Indonesian which might make you laugh.

Indonesian/Indonesian-Chinese food I think is great, and outside of Jakarta in the villages one can find a very tranquil life in most respects. The poverty isn't as crushing as it can be all too often in India, and certainly country has more on the ball then the Philippines.

In the 1970s country was just emerging from the Sukarno era where much stagnated in Indonesia after the Dutch were kicked out. For $20 or $25 one could have dinner, visit the three basic discos in the city, driven around by Pedicab or chauffer, see all from movie stars to gang leaders, to general's sons to foreigners all in same places, and on way home a late night snack of street food.

Language easy, less than 10,000 words and no grammar.

In the villages they have Shadow Plays with gamelan music, and last overnight, telling stories from the great Hindu epics, and the whole village gathers together to watch. quiet an experience.

I used to bring latest music from London or bought in Singapore and sell to DJ;s so I have all the pocket money I could even spend.


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