Story By: Laleh Chini
Kish is a beautiful island with attractive cliffs and beaches in the Persian Gulf that is a part of Iran. Around 30 years ago, the Iranian government decided to invest there and build grand Malls, hotels, and parks and transformed it into a tourist attraction. Many people from Iran started visiting. Nowadays, Kish has grown even more with amusement parks and attractions.
Around 20 years ago on a Spring day, as I was in Iran with my husband and 8-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter, we decided to drive from Shiraz with my mother to the south of Iran and then get a passenger ship to visit Kish.
It was a long beautiful road trip and after two days we got to the closest port to Kish. There was a Harborfront for small, classy passenger ships with services that were exactly like airplanes.
When we got to the ticket office they said it was sold out for the day and that there wouldn’t be any other ship until the next day. We were disappointed and really wanted to see Kish now that we had driven such a long distance.
There were some men walking around and whispering in people’s ear. We got curious so my husband got closer and found out that these local fishermen were taking passengers to Kish on their simple motorboats for a reasonable price. Of course, it wasn’t illegal, but it also wasn’t classy at all. They said they will take us to Kish in just an hour and a half when those ships took three hours!
We all looked at each other and decided to go.
My husband paid the amount and all of us went to the small boat without any life jackets. There were a few more people going to Kish along with us.
The Persian Gulf was beautiful as always and when we got further from shore, the deepwater became navy and phenomenal. All of a sudden, the clouds got closer and darker, and the Persian Gulf got angry.
The waves got higher and the little boat with us in it went up and dropped back down. I was holding onto my daughter so tight to prevent her from going up into the sky. My husband was holding our son between his legs so tight as if he was crushing his bones, but it was better than losing him into the scary, dark blue water.
My mother was praying and holding her arms around us and it seemed like she wished for longer arms. We were all soaked in water and were shivering and frightened. My husband yelled at the fisherman asking why he would take us when he knew there would be a storm. The fisherman didn’t really care. He just drove his boat as fast as he could. That was one of the longest hours and a half of our lives.
We all got to the shore of Kish safely and when we got there they announced that two of the 12 boats had sunk and they couldn’t find their bodies!
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