First identity theft incident

My wife isn't all that swift with junk e-mail and so-called phishing. We think because of that, we had our first bout of identity theft. This afternoon we got a message on our answering machine from a nice gentleman (very nice all things considered). He had sent a number of online messages about our auction for the watch. I called back the number he left and told that we didn't have a watch for sale on our auction account on eBay. I immediately when online to the website and there was a watch with 33 bids with the highest at $8,100.00.

We tried to change the passwords, but whoever had hijacked my wife's account had already reset the password system. I got into online chat with eBay's support staff and they reset the account and cancelled the illegal auction. My wife thinks that she might have gotten one of the phishing e-mails that ask for her eBay account info. Now we are going to look at her credit report, just to be safe.

Reshte Posht-e Paw

Today, my wife (and I helped a little) made ash-e reshte, a traditional noodle and chick-pea soup. It is cooked on the second day of a significate journey of a loved one; this ritual is called reshte posht-e paw (noodle for behind of feet (walking away)). Two days ago, my mother-in-law went on her first pilgrimage to Mecca, hadj. My wife's sister made enough soup in Iran for 100 families today, but we only made some for ourselves and some of our local friends. We are not even supposed to be making it, but my wife and I both felt it was good to do so. We'll be having it for lunch soon and I can hardly wait.

My mother-in-law's hajd

This evening, my mother-in-law in Iran will be starting her first pilgrimage to Mecca, or hadj, in Saudi Arabia. This pilgrimage is one of the five "pillars" of the Muslim faith and a goal to obtain in the religion, of possible. The trip was a norooz (new year) present from her sons. She has been extremely excited about this. She had been to Karballa four years ago and that was the first time she had ever left her country. And going to Mecca and Medina will be the furthest away she has ever been in her 70 some old years.

She will be flying to Medina tonight. Four of her sons and one daughter, out of nine, and their families will be with her at the airport to see her off. This is a common tradition in Iran. Two days from now, my sister-in-law will make a very large batch of a traditional noodle and chick-pea soup called Ash-e Reshte (literally soup of noodle). The soup will be given out to the families and friends of my mother-in-law. This is done whenever someone leaves for a significant place for the first time.

In one week, my mother-in-law will go to the neighboring city of Mecca from Medina where her real pilgrimage will start. Unfortunately, her hadj is in June and she does not do well in heat, but that might be good for her faith.

After one week in Mecca, she returns home to Tehran and there will be a big party. A common tradition is that one or a number of goats are procured to be ritually killed. The meat is then divided and distributed to the families and friends of the returning pilgrim.

Safar khosh, maman jan!
(pleasant journey, dear mother)