" She had not been one of those Iranians who viewed America as the Promised Land. So she set out for her new country half excited and half resistant. The main thing was, she was joining Kiyan. Not even her closest girlfriends knew how Kiyan had grown to fill every inch of her head. When she stepped into the Baltimore airport and saw him waiting, wearing a short-sleeved shirt that showed his unfamiliar, thin arms, she experienced a moment of shock. Could this be the same person she had daydreamed of all these weeks?

She was nineteen years old and had never cooked a meal, or washed a floor or driven an automobile. But clearly Kiyan took it for granted that she would somehow manage. Either he lacked the most basic sense of empathy or he had a gratifying respect for her capabilities. Sometimes she thought it was the first and sometimes the second, depending on the day. She had good days and she had bad days - more of the bad to begin with. Twice she packed to go home. Once she called him selfish and dumped a whole crock of yogurt onto his dinner plate. Couldn't he see how alone she felt, a mere woman, undefended?

Telephoning overseas was not so common back then, and so she wrote her mother letters. She wrote, I am adjusting very well and I have made several friends and I am feeling very comfortable here; and in time, that became true. She enrolled in driver's ed and earned her license; she took evening courses at Towson State; she gave her first dinner party. It began to dawn on her that Kiyan was dressed more formally than his colleagues, and he didn't always get their jokes, and his konwledge of colloqual English was suprisingly scany. Instead of disenchanting her, this realisation made him seem dearer. At night they slept curled together like two cashews."

"...Then it was Maryam's turn: how long had she been in this country? and did she liked it?

Maryam hated being asked such questions, partly because she had answered them so many times before but also because she preffered to imagine (unreasonable though it was) that maybe she didn't always, instantly, come across as a foreigner. 'Where are you from?' someone might ask just when she was priding herself on having navigated some particularly intricate and illogical piece of English. She longed to say, 'From Baltimore. Why?' but lacked the nerve."

Dun gece Digging to America'yi okudum. Ne yaparsam yapayim asla kabul gormeyecegimi artik kabul ettigim bugunlerde bunlari okuyor olmam tesadufi degildir herhalde.


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