" Welcome to the Natrix Matrix " Natrix's Profile
... I wonder, does that make me a VTIP ??
Anyway, I thought it was time I shared a little bit more about myself with the much appreciated VT-community. All the VT-members I’ve ever met have been really cool and I’m grateful this forum exists!
… I was born in Teheran in 1979, the year of the revolution. Belonging to the Bahá’i Faith, the largest religious minority in Iran, which has ever been persecuted by fanatic muslims and still suffers from grave Human Rights violations in Iran, we fled the country while I was only 4 months old. Ever since, I’ve been living in Friedberg (Hesse, Germany) with only few interruptions:
Friedberg is a town of about 30.000 inhabitants near Frankfurt. It’s a nice town, but I’ve always found it rather dull. The coolest thing about Friedberg (beside the fact that it’s close to Frankfurt…) is that Elvis did his military service here. There’s a tiny Elvis square with a sign in commemoration of him and even Elvis pilgrims find their way to Friedberg sometimes. But there aren’t many places to go out except for a couple of cafés. And I guess I’ve always been too “urban” for this place with my cosmopolitan attitude and eclectic taste. At school I only found few friends: exceptional souls who were more intelligent, sensitive and creative than the rest. Most of them were in the philosophy club, some of them were gay. Now they’re spread all over the country and I only see them at Christmas break. I think now you get an idea of why I enjoy travelling so much …
After I finished school I went to live in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, for 10 months. I basically took a year off for personal growth, serving the Bahá’i community. Ever since I'm in love with the countries of former Yugoslavia. The tragic history of the Balkans and the questions it raises fascinate me as a social scientist, but what actually got me to go there (and again and again...) were the people. I’ve found many good friends in Croatia, Slovenia and Macedonia, they're so much fun, and so far these gorgeous countries are the only ones I consider migrating to. I love the culture of the Balkans (the music, the food …) and the unique blend of cultures it represents. This region is also blessed with a natural beauty that always makes a trip worthwhile.
When I began my studies, Frankfurt became the centre of my life, though my hometown remains Friedberg. Frankfurt is generally not very popular compared to other German cities, it’s perceived as the cool city of finance. I’ve always liked Frankfurt though. It's a modern and cosmopolitain city and has a lot to offer culturally!
From September 2005 - June 2006 I was in another phase of “interruption” (from being stuck in Friedberg …): I spent a year in Lyon, France as an exchange student et oui, oui, j'ai me bien amusée!
I returned to Germany just in time to experience the world cup here and I enjoyed it a lot. The slogan "Die Welt zu Gast bei Freunden" was a great theme and it was great to see football fans from all over the world in Frankfurt.
I am neither the typical tourist with pockets full of money and a packed agenda nor the hardcore-backpack-traveller. I mostly travel to see my friends or family or because I have something to do in a place (for example I teached some English lessons during my trip to China). This is due to financial reasons - I am only a student after all - but it also allows me a somewhat “authentic” experience of the places I visit. My travels are also concentrated on Europe since it is so expensive to fly to far-off places. So I’ve never been to Australia, Thailand or Ecuador, which I’m sure are among the most gorgeous places on earth. But I’ve learned to find beauty in less exotic places (for example behind our house):
I’ve been thinking a lot about nationalism and identity in recent times (especially while I was in Macedonia …) and have come to the conclusion that the whole concept of nationality is really stupid. I for my part am proud of both nations I belong to – Iran and Germany. I could just as well be ashamed of them though. And anyway, Iran for example had a great civilisation thousands of years ago – but what does it really have to do with me? Is it the blood in my veins? Or the piece of earth I was born on? Does it give me the right to look down on people of “less exalted” cultures? It certainly doesn’t.
Actually, the only group I really want to belong to is the Bahá’i community. A quote from Bahá’u’lláh goes: “Let your vision be world-embracing”. Another quote says: “That one indeed is a man who, today, dedicateth himself to the service of the entire human race". The meaning is that we should be concerned about what serves best the needs of mankind as a whole and not our little group, whether national, ethnic or religious. In a globalised world this seems the only way to go. I admit that following this exalted ethical standard is not always easy. Putting off prejudices and false nationalist arrogance is hard work, for me at least. But I'm trying my best and I hope that the perspective I've got as a Bahá'i will help me to become a true world citizen. There are beautiful things in every culture and I don’t want to deprive myself of this richness …
I really enjoy photography and like to share my photos on a phantastic website called flickr - a very special window to the world!
I also love good food and to go out with friends. I don’t drink any alcohol but I know how to goof around and have a good time.
Music is also very important for my soul’s equilibrium. I got myself a big fat Ipod so I can take my music collection anywhere …
I also love concerts and movies and ballet …
Nature I enjoy for looking and feeling rather than exhausting myself – I don’t seek athletic challenges so to say :-)
However, the single most dear and precious thing to me in this world is the cause of Bahá’u’lláh. It’s the sun in my galaxy. So I’d like to leave you off for now with another inspiring quote from the poetical Persian Bahá’i writings:
"If you desire with all your heart, friendship with every race on earth, your thought, spiritual and positive, will spread; it will become the desire of others, growing stronger and stronger, until it reaches the minds of all men."
Well, I hope you will enjoy my pages and find some useful information in them. If you have further travel questions or would like to meet up, I am always glad to help!
My Hospitality Club ID is "Lotosblossom" by the way.
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