Story by: Laleh Chini
First published in Sep.21.2017
Traveling was a big part of my childhood. We were originally from Shiraz. My father loved driving long distances.
He believed that all Iranians should see every spot in Iran first before traveling anywhere else in the world. Because of this, we’d gather in two or three cars along with our extended family and drove to different parts of the country one month of every summer to see centuries worth of history of Iran.
Undeniably, Iran is an incredibly beautiful country with many historical sites to see and for us kids, every one of our road trips was the epitome of a dream vacation. There were no school or homework, only endless playing and freedom ‘til we dropped. I loved adventure and kept my eyes open to record every second of it; maybe I knew one day I would write about those days.
One summer, we wanted to head towards the north. The north of Iran is the greenest part of the country. The weather is mostly foggy, rainy and the humidity is very high. Our eyes never got tired of watching the beautiful forest and green lands.
The trips were never tiring because we’d stop frequently along the way. This time, my father chose a green land beside the road which looked great for having a lunch picnic break. We all helped spread the carpets and layout all the things we needed. As our mothers were preparing lunch, us kids didn’t waste any time and started playing while our fathers laid comfortably on the carpets and talked.
Shortly after, the sound of a man shouting came from a distance captured everyone’s attention. My father said that we might be on somebody’s land and made them mad. We then noticed a man running towards us. My father got up really fast and wore his shoes so that he could be ready to talk to the young man. As he got closer to us, we started to hear that he was yelling, “Get out! Get out!” My father started apologizing and explaining that he didn’t know he had stopped at a private property. The man got close to us and said to my Dad, “Sir, you are sitting on a snake land!” At that moment, everybody looked down and saw thousands of snakes covering the land. The snakes were so black and brown, many piled up next to and on top of each other that it looked like earth.
Everybody started screaming and jumping up and down. The scene was terrifying and at the same time hilarious. All the kids and mothers jumped into the cars while the fathers were scared as well, but they had to act brave and get all of our things off the land infested with snakes. The young man said, “Don’t worry these snakes aren’t poisonous.” And he helped us get our belongings.
It might have been a scary moment with no lunch, but an unforgettable day.
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