about   |   writing   |   archives

Missing, A Good Thing II

Tehran: minimal park signage

A late walk through a rather sizeable local park in an effort to stretch my legs. By 10:30pm the remaining visitors are families checking out the animal enclosures, couples and groups of male youths. I suppose sitting on exercise machines whilst smoking is a double act or rebellion where ever you are in the world. They smile, nod and like teens the world over check out my footwear.

Many of the strategically placed two seater benches have views of greenery, and of other two seater benches. Watching me watching you. I assume to know very little about Iran (though at this stage maybe a little more than you) but there are two striking features of this park – both things that are missing from comparable parks, say in the UK or the US. The first is that the children’s playgournd is, well, not enclosed. The second is that the only signs in the entire park direct people to ‘Don’t drink this water’ or ‘Drink this water’. Nothing that suggests anti-social behaviours within these grounds. Signs can tell you a lot about the norms in a culture. A lack of signs may also speak volumes.

But at what point does the public display of signs become redundant?