In the summer of 1985 one of my dreams came true and we traveled to California for summer vacation. My in-laws had settled down in San Jose. My brother-in-law, married to an American, had a little one-year old , whom we had not met yet, and my mother and father-in-law lived close by.
We booked our flight Berlin-Duesseldorf-San Francisco with LTU charter company and I was so excited.
San Jose was a bit of a disappointment. It was flat and unattractive, but San Francisco was awesome. My childhood friend (Dudster) lived there and finally after close to 10 years we were reunited. And it was not only my friend, but a large group of close friends from our time in Tehran who had moved to the Bay Area and we had a great reunion with all of them.
Besides getting together with family and friends, my dream had always been to visit the US one day. I grew up among US military families, visited an American kindergarten, and was influenced by the AFN radio and TV station in Tehran. Comic books, magazines and paperbacks in English were all that I read. I was looking forward to tv-dinners, candy bars and cool-aid. Malls, Disneyland, KB Toy stores, Sears and Montgomery Ward, and All-you-can-eat buffet restaurants were my target. I was happy. I felt free and not watched and criticized as I felt in Germany. Our friends from Iran all lived here, although they complained a lot, to me, however, this was my destination, the place where I wanted to live one day. Ten years later we moved from Berlin to San Jose.