Dream of: 11 October 1997 "Acquaintances"

I was looking at a map which showed ancient routes from North America to Russia. A line was traced along the northern shoreline of Canada, extending west to Alaska. At the Canada/Alaska border, the route divided, with one line descending south into Alaska, and the other continuing along the northern coastline of Alaska, then south along the western edge, and finally crossing the Bering Straight into Russia. The route continued through the vast expanse of Russia, descending south toward Iran, moving in the direction of Europe. I had never considered taking this route before in order to travel to Europe. I had always thought the only practical way to travel to Europe would be across the Atlantic, but now I saw the appeal of this route.

***

I was sitting in a compartment of a passenger train, traveling east through Russia, along the route which I had seen on the map. Sitting next to me on my left were a young man and a black-haired woman, whom I had come to know during the course of the train ride. At the beginning of the train ride we had talked some, but then I had lost interest in them and I hadn't spoken to them since. However, now that the ride was about to end, I felt compelled to say something to them. So I said good-bye. I then added that I would always remember them. I said I was sure I would always remember them because in the past I had taken many train rides such as this one, and I had met many different people whom I could still remember.

A series of images began passing through my mind, images of similar people with whom I had been acquainted for short periods in the past. One fellow in particular stood out. He was a thin short blond-haired fellow with a blond beard. I recalled that I had met him while I had been in prison in Tabriz, Iran during the time of the Iranian Revolution. He had been Swiss, and had only been in prison with me for a few days before he had been released. Since I spoke German, I had been able to converse with him, and we had talked a great deal during his short stay. I could still remember how much he had loved Switzerland, and how he would continually extol his homeland. I figured either his government or perhaps his family had helped him leave the prison so quickly. I on the other hand had languished for long months in the prison, finally escaping when the prison had been attacked by Iranian revolutionaries.

As the memories passed through my mind, I recalled that when I had first been arrested and brought to the prison in Tabriz, I had been carrying a back pack with me. The back pack had been confiscated, and of course I hadn't been able to retrieve it when I had escaped. I had also had some money which I had been forced to leave in the backpack. Now, in my vision, I could see the backpack sitting in a storage room, and I noticed that a silver coin was lying beside the backpack. I thought there must have been many more people who had had to leave money behind in Iran. The Iranians must have ended up with all that money. Some Iranians had probably become very rich during the Iranian Revolution, escaping with much loot to other lands.

As I had been reminiscing, I had been saying some things out loud, and the man and woman from the train – who were still with me – had been listening, and had become interested in what I was saying, especially the part about the missing money. They wanted to know more about the money. By now the three of us were already off the train, walking along a quiet dark street. Their curiosity about the Iranian money seemed pertinent, because I realized we had gotten off the train in Iran.

It seemed strange and eerie that I would be walking down a street in Iran again. Somewhat alarming. Yet I didn't feel afraid.

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