Wednesday, November 30, 2011
BRITISH EMBASSY TEHRAN
Front Gate to British Embassy (called English Embassy by brain-dead Obama) in Tehran, Iran where I encountered my first brush with death at a very young age (under four) and also saved a life.
The embassy had a huge pool for embassy staff adults and a small pool for children. Water in the large one was crystal clear despite its size, while the small kid's pool had clean water but was not painted white or sky blue like the big one.
Mother did not allow me to swim in the very deep adult pool without an orange colored inner tube as there was no shallow end (if I remember correctly).
One day, when mother had to run an errand she asked the wife of a senior embassy staffer to watch over me while she went out and would return in an hour.
She failed to warn the wife, a grey haired lady, that I was an adventurous child and only an ingrained fear of angering my mother and good manners in general, kept me in any semblance of control.
Well, mother was gone, the grey haired lady was busy talking to a friend and I wanted to explore. Actually test my swimming skills without the inner tube.
Moving to the far end of the pool, to avoid supervision, I swam out from an armpit high ledge around the whole pool and once away tried to remove the inflated inner tube.
My efforts served only to tip me upside down and I slipped under water until my feet hooked onto the rubber tube.
Instead of struggling to free myself, the beauty of the lightly blue, crystal clear water all around me proved fascinating, so I hung there upside down enjoying the visual sensation.
Back "on shore" the grey haired friend, who had no intention of going in the water and was still wearing her rectangular diamond studded - not waterproof -watch saw the orange round swimming aid floating empty and calmly and it took her a while to register that my absence from the scene was only explained when she noticed my two feet.
The calm water around me signaled her that I was already dead. The thought of a young child fearlessly but stupidly enjoying being upside down under water was beyond her reasoning, so fearing accusations of dereliction of responsibility that caused my death she dived in to retrieve me - dead or alive.
My lack of alarm was mostly because I had taken a huge gulp of air before being submerged and from very early on in life could hold my breath for several minutes, so felt in no imminent danger.
Being grabbed and dragged to the edge of the pool in the choking crook of her elbow around my throat was far more distressing at the time.
Mother had to replace the diamond watch and I never really lived that down. Not even when a few days later I saved a baby which had crawled off and fallen face down into the children's pool and was floating - unnoticed by her nanny.
Again, as a very young child myself, I naively asked the nanny if the baby she was watching was learning to swim. On her horrified shriek, I jumped in and pulled pulled infant out. It spluttered and smiled up at me.
BTW, though I may appear to have been a very dumb child, I ended up with an average IQ score of 157. Not enough for Mensa (160) in those days but way above the 150 required today.
The photos of so-called "student" mobs set in motion by the Islamic regime in Iran show lower intelligence than a three-year old child at that location so many years ago.