IRANIAN-AMERICAN RELATIONS, D.C.-STYLE....

IRANIAN-AMERICAN RELATIONS, D.C.-STYLE. When did "Do you speak Farsi?" become the new pick-up line in D.C.? First, I read this report on Michelle Persaud, dubbed the number one looker in The Hill's annual 50 Most Beautiful People issue:

Seeing her dark eyes and mocha skin, her flowing black tresses and expansive lashes, [men] sidle over, take in a breath and start speaking � Farsi!

�I just look at them and smile,� the Maryland native, who has no Persian ancestry, says with a chuckle. �I get that all the time.�...

Although Persaud looks Iranian, her family comes from the small South American country of Guyana, a former British colony where East Indians, Africans and Europeans settled centuries ago.

And now, not two hours ago, some man followed me from across the street, into the TAP office building, and up to our seventh floor offices in order to try to hit on me. His opening line: "Do you speak Farsi?"

Are there really that many Iranian women living in the city that this works? It's not like Farsi is Spanish, our unofficial national second language, or as if there were a huge Iranian population here. Or are Persian women supposed to be especially comely or something, so that this is now the new sweet-talking ice-breaker and I'm just not clued in enough to know this?

Whatever's going on, it sounds like Iranian-American relations on the ground here in D.C. are a heck of a lot friendlier than they are in Turtle Bay.

--Garance Franke-Ruta

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