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Friday, November 20, 2009

Guest Post: Daniel and Dina Nayeri

Today, in place of Former Flame Friday, I have a great guest post courtesy of Dina Nayeri, co-author of the newly released Another Faust with her brother Daniel Nayeri.


Daniel and I grew up in a lot of different places: Iran, Dubai, Rome,Oklahoma, to name a few. So we spent our formative years not really settled, the way other kids are. We were political refugees, which meant that the whole time we were living in Dubai and Rome, we were waiting for some other country to accept us. Ironic, since people pay a lot of money to go to Dubai and Rome for vacations. But when you've never been to America,the promise of "being accepted" is a really exciting thing that makes you run to the mailbox every day. The downside of all that is that it's hard to make friends and join a soccer team when you could leave any day without warning. I remember once when I was nine and in the equivalent of about fourth grade, I got the lead in a school play in my school in Dubai. The play was three months away and I was so sure (or really just hopeful) that we would leave for America within weeks that I told the teacher there is no way I would be in town long enough to play the lead. So the part went to some other girl. On the day of the play, I was a very grumpy extra.

Another side-effect of all this moving around was that Daniel and I were always in each other's business. We shared a room and toys and stuff, and since we were just learning English, we didn't have that many friends at the time. So here are some of the games we invented to entertain ourselves:

1) Claiming pieces of the floor, so the other person has to ask permission to walk across it (or straddle it, or avoid it, or leap across it).

2) Claiming songs, so the other person isn't allowed to sing that song without paying a penalty

3) Dina's favorite: cheating Daniel out of his pocket change by selling him intangible things or things that already belong to him (I am particularly ashamed of this one, because not only was it cruel, but Daniel didn't fall for it. I suspect now that he just rolled his eyes and handed over the cash)

4) Daniel's favorite: in lieu of learning English, he invented his own language, a very sophisticated one with its own grammar, special pronunciations, full set of usage rules, and working conjugation.

5) Another of Dan's favorites: singing annoying made-up songs to make me want to kill myself.

6) My current favorite: "would you rather." Has a better game ever been invented? I think someone actually wrote a whole book about this game."Would you rather" is (in the hands of the right person) possibly the world's best, most entertaining game.

Here are some things that I discovered about myself as a result of this super-genius pastime:

1) I'd rather be clinically obese and go to heaven (rather than be thin and go to hell), provided I'm allowed to hire a military-grade trainer, and someone can prove to me that hell isn't just the absence of being.

2) I would rather have sixteen ears and no mouth than sixteen mouths and no ears.

3) I would rather sleep on a bed of nails every day for a year than walk across a pit of de-fanged, non-poisonous snakes

4) I would rather lick the sweaty inner thigh of Richard Simmons than drink a cup of Thousand Island dressing

5) I would rather be the hundredth smartest person in the world than the single prettiest.

Huh... Looking at those now I see that I haven't evolved much in the last fifteen or so years. Way to go me. Also, thousand island dressing is the devil's work.


Thank you so much Daniel and Dina!


  1. Hi :)
    Thank you for having Daniel & Dina Nayeri here & thank you to Daniel & Dina for sharing.
    And a huge "ewwwwwww!" for the mental image of licking the sweaty inner thigh of Richard Simmons.
    All the best,

  2. You are first up on the Fallen Tour. Remember you can keep the book a week, than you need to contact me for the next persons addy.


  3. Haha what an entertaining post! I adore Would You Rather. I liked Another Faust a lot :)


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