Jam, honey, bread, syncline

Browsing through the March pages in my 1986 diary, I found a tasty entry. I had just finished a horrible job at Bandar-e-Taheri,  on the Persian Gulf, in Iran. I was there to supervise drilling exploration for a proposed oil terminal. The job was horrible for several reasons, none of them due to being in Iran, or working with Iranians. Rather, it was a lot to do with working with some unlikeable ex-pats. And the food was dreadful. And I was sick (as was almost everybody in the construction camp, including the doctor) due to some mix-up between sewage water and drinking water…

On the day the drilling job ended, I happily commandeered a vehicle and went playfully exploring along a dirt road to the hamlet of Jam. En route I saw a magnificent sight: the fossil core of a syncline, that arrangement of folded rocks in which the strata are swirled in a “U” shape. I skidded to a halt and raced up the hillside to get a better view – a view that I sketched and photographed, as if on a safari.

Further along the road to  Jam I met a honey seller and bought a large jar of honey from him for 1500 Rials (about $20 at the ridiculous official exchange rate). All I needed was bread to fashion my own meal, reminiscent of my childhood favorite British meal: bread and syrup. Finding bread was easy. The road to Jam  ended in a tessellation of narrow alleys, where I found a delightful bakery, which made large, thin, floppy bread (sangak) that people draped over their arms, while warm and fresh. The baker was a very friendly man, typical of so many people I met in Iran.

A couple of days of bread and honey were enough to quell my queasy stomach. At least  until I resumed my journey and encountered the next place with poor water….


About Ed Medley

Ed Medley has been on a random walk for over 50 years. Many scribbles and snapshots at this site are from his vagabond transits; others are from his decades of international experience in geological and geotechnical engineering, academia, and mineral exploration prospecting.
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