A Broad Abroad in Iran: An Expat’s Misadventures in the Land of Male Dominance


A Broad Abroad in Iran

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Number 2 in the series of A Broad Abroad

A Broad Abroad in Iran: An Expat’s
Misadventures in the Land of
Male Dominance

It’s July 1977, in Esfahan, Iran, one year before the bloody start of the revolution, and two years before the U.S. Embassy take-over, when expatriate Dodie Cross finds herself in a strange world, some­where between the Old Testament and the Space Age. Her life takes on twists and turns as she tries to acclimate to the soaring changes in temperature and altitude, culture and attitude. She suffers indignities as she’s pinched on the bum at the bazaar; grabbed on the breast by a motorcycle passenger — who doesn’t let go for a block — as she crosses the street with her arms weighted down with groceries; chased and rocked by angry country dwellers as she sails down a whitewater river in a raft.  She also comes across the stoning of an adulterous woman in a place she should never have been: the bowels of the bazaar. In 1978, Dodie takes a job as secretary to the head of Security at Bell Helicopter International, and soon learns of the civil unrest in the capital as thousands of fist-waving radicals gather in the streets screaming for the removal of the Shah and death to Americans. As the riots escalate in her small town of Esfahan, and martial law brings in tanks, Dodie knows it’s time to leave. Her wake-up call is a Polaroid that comes across her desk picturing a fire-bombed bus with bodies lying about — the same type of bus that would be transporting her children to school in one month. She tries to convince her husband and his company friends of the danger, but they disregard her fears as paranoia, while the company offers the men a ten thousand dollar bonus to stay on for another year. She handles most things thrown her way, but as the revolution becomes a reality, and her children are in danger, she gives her husband an ultimatum: “Stay here, or leave with us. Either way, we’re outta here.”

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