XYZT, 51–59


Mashhad: Cooking Americans


As they rode along in the taxi cab, Annette became increasingly uncomfortable. Rolls of sweat ran down her back and pooled under her bra. She had to get the ski jacket off.

‘What are you doing?’ Fatima asked, noticing her struggling.

‘It’s too hot. I’ve got to get out of this thing!’

‘You can’t take it off, your arms won’t be covered,’ Fatima said, knowing full well the American would be arrested if she didn’t cover up. The Test had to wear a chador or a jacket in public. A lighter weight manteau wouldn’t work—there wasn’t one big enough to fit her in all Iran. ‘Keep it on, it’s the law.’

Law-abiding citizen as she was, Annette zipped the jacket back up. But she wasn’t happy…