<< magazine top >>

Hubble - Bubble vol.1

In this issue I'll recap the travel in Iran with making commentary on my latest work "Hubble-Bubble". In the evening of the first day in Iran, I was walking downtown of Tehran. Suddenly my eyes met on people's when I glanced into the shop window. I was frightened. Because clients sit at tables facing on strange machines and looked at me. It looked like a factory's assembly line. One of them signed me to come by. So I got into the shop.

It's a chai-khooneh, tea house. Then I made sense what they were doing. Smoking hubble-bubble. A black pipe was connected to the each antique machine and they put the pipe end on the mouth. The TV monitor above the glass window showed a football game of Iran league. They had not watched me but TV.
"Wanna try it?" the master passed a pipe to me. Well, so quick suck. "What does it tastes like?" He asked to me. "Vanilla" I said. But he didn't make sense. So I used another description. "Oh, tastes like Ice Cream" The clients around me roughed. Although the hubble-bubble wasn't the first time to me, the sketch was very impressive. So I put it as a title on my latest photo session.

The next city after Tehran was Kerman. In the east end of Iran, close to the border to Pakistan and Afghanistan. The area was famous for the ancient mud-city ruin called Arg-e Bam. However it's collapsed by the earth quake 11 years ago. After that I heard the number of tourist was declined. Moreover it got security issues was along with the neighboring countries' political unsuitability. So some guide books still put an alert on the area. But for me, Kerman was "must go place" to me after visiting Jaisalmer in India.

My impression of Kerman is a laid-back town. Although the town itself was big enough, same as other towns in Iran. Residential area was spread out far away to the foot of mud mountains. I had seen a same type of soiled mountains in the west part of China, I remembered. The trees lined along the street. It's also common in the ancient Silk Road towns. Kerman was only 1500km both from Kashgar in Xinjang of China and Jaisalmer of India where I'd visited before.
People's face was various. Maybe because it's place where got lot of immigrants form Afghanistan. I had believed characteristic features of Afghan people was clear cut face and mustache. But some of them looked like me, the mongoloid. When I was taking a portrait in the bazaal, some Mongolia face kids were taken over in front of the camera, and some body suggested me "Take their portrait" "OK!" "Are you from Japan? We are from Kabul" "Uhhh" There was a sympathies between person who had features look alike.
I looked up a world map later. Certainly Afghanistan was located slightly more north than Pakistan. The features came out from west edge of China, through Kyrgyzstan then Afghanistan, maybe.

The highlight of Kerman must be a bazaar. Actually, I've seen many bazaars through the travel. The Kerman was the most beautifully renovated. Moreover it's still being extended. In the modernization, traditional bazaar was taken place to the shopping mall especially in big city. However in local town like Kerman, bazaar was still center of the community. If you go there, you can find anything. If you go there, you can meet friends for talking to.
So how's the actual security condition of Kerman, after all? In my opinion, the downtown was OK. But in the out skirt of the city, the area where poor people live in was slightly tricky. I got some calls like "Give me your camera" If it's Europe it must be ended up some criminal matter. But nothing was happen. I thanked for being Iran.
Unfortunately, fun and danger is always next to each other.

Feb. 2014

Today's piece
" Hubble-Bubble " Tehran, Iran 2013

fumikatz osada photographie