Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Stanford Village (Simin's letters 1952-3)

Translated excerpts from letters of Simin Daneshvar (ISBN 964-448-218-2).

page 53:
"where i live now is called a village, quiet, beautiful, nice climate. But in reallity, it is a grand university, magnificent and prestigious. and it has interesting professors too. But the students here are not that good. I can be just as good as them. I have enough money. The give us 160$ per month for expenses. they pay 50$ per month for tuition and 90$ per year for books. So 160$ is more than enough because the room rent is 25$. A sunny room in the women's dorm, in next to Jane's. (same girl whose husband is missing in Korea) Jane has a car and drives me to school. Food is approximately 80$ a month; other expenses such as cleaning products, post, cinema and transportation roughly 20$ ..."
page 85:
my room is quiet. my neighbors are reasonable. All married women: either widowed or their husband's in war. The food they give is good for boxers or footbalists. i don't eat even 1/6th of what they give. [...] in the midst of all these blessings, when I see these more than tall people waste food, I get aggitated. They fill a tray, and waste half of it. eat a bit of everything and the rest? you think they give it to beggars? No. they throw it away. In the trash. And the black women, holding black black children come and fill their bags with the trash ...
page 96:
You know, usually the studious people come to Stanford because this is a clean and quiet village that doesn't have the big city's entertainments, but has every educational facility from books to laboratoirs to academics. That's why the smart ones come here and work hard. Anyways, Iranians have a good reputation here and I am happy about that.

Related posts:
Simin and Jalal
Eisenhower's role in 1953 Coup: Simin's letters 1952 Stanford
Iranians ace Stanford's difficult PhD enterence examination

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