Well, what can I say? Let me introduce you to the Persian Princess that is Arezou…. I first met her whilst serving a 13 month Section 3 detention in 2019-2021. She was working at Adferiad Ward (Acute), St Cadoc’s Hospital, Caerleon. Arezou is dark and mysterious and quite pretty to go with it. She was very friendly to me from the outset and I had learnt a bit of Arabic and Farsi (Persian) in the past so we had a connection there plus I have some Iranian friends in the music business. I’ve read several books on Iran and although it is a state that oftne doesn’t align with traditional Western democratic views, I feel drawn to the hidden wonders of the Orient and it was pleasant being able to meet a native from that land and discover a bit of culture and tales from there. Arezou is an NA or nursing assistant so technically isn’t qualified. These nurses are at the brunt of the system, right on the front line. They don’t hit the same pay rewards as their qualified cousins and they often have to deal with the toughest problems within the Mental Health sector. They have the advantage of being around the patients more and can actually chat and get to know them properly. Arezou is not stupid, far from it. She is a qualified psychologist with a good degree yet she chooses to work as an NA. Her reasons were complex but I think at her tender young age she may have found her calling. I was trying to constantly push her to go for a position as a psychologist as I thought she was very good, calm and collected to talk to and I felt that I opened up a fair bit to her. As soon as I got some leave from the ward (escorted) it was Arezou who took me on my first date (I always say this when a female member of staff takes me out lol) – We headed down to the local posh restaurant, The Priory, where I like to take a coffee. It was a nice Spring day and we could sit outside. As soon as we got out of the hospital Arezou was flat out on her mobile phone, ignoring me, but that is the way of the younger generation these days. She was catching up with her buddies and planning her next shopping trips and evenings out. Now. Arezou is a bit of a social butterfly. She likes high end entertainment. Not a quick trip to the local pub, Arezou was straight away showing me pictures of her posh evening dresses that she picked up on her last trip to London or wherever and she was boasting about how on the weekend when she’s not working she’s often living it up in Mayfair wine bars or at exclusive posh dos in the Capital. This was quite entertaining and different to the usual dross you might get from mental health workers. She’s a classy gal u see….
Anyway, fast forward to the Priory and Arezou is nervously sipping her coffee and I’m loving mine as away from the ward where caffeine is banned it is just heaven after several months without a coffee just to down one and get a little lift in your system. Arezou is back surfing her dresses. Then there’s a shout and it’s my old mate Niki. He’s got his child in his arms and family are piling out of the Priory restaurant behind him. We have a good catch up as it’s about a decade since we last bumped into each other even though we chat on social media etc… I have to explain away why I’m there and I’m just upfront and honest. I tell people straight about my dire situation and how I’m a victim of Mental Health services. Honesty is the best tactic in the murky world of oppression. Anyway, Arezou looks bowled over by Niki and is being quite coy. He shoots off and we bid each other farewell.
Arezou is absolutely wowed and I ask her why and she says oh you know the such and such family! I can’t believe it and it turns out that in her high end social world Niki is quite the star and is well known. He is a Swiss banker after all lol…. She can’t shut up about her extravagant world all the way back to the hospital and our first date went wonderfully! At least she got off the mobi for a bit…. I chuckled to myself about how coincidental meetings can really chirp you up…
Anyway, Arezou and I were best mates for a bit. She got me into an Iranian Radio app on my iphone and I did discover some decent electronic music out there plus gave a few authentic Persian artists some of my listening time. She tuned into DJ Wez G and also had a good surf of this http://endofterror.org website, feeding back to me her views which were postive. During my stay there was a crisis with Iran. President Trump of the USA ordered a drone strike on a senior Iranian Military figure and he was executed by the US Military. It was all over the news and there was a lot of anti-Iranian propaganda. It looked as though war would break out. Arezou was worried about her mother in Iran and I was trying to reassure her that all would be OK. I felt that she felt a bit isolated maybe. I decided to cheer her up and we first tweeted together @POTUS (US President) and then Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, pleading with both for a peaceful resolution to the dispute. It was quaint and despite the horrible circumstances of being incarcerated at least we were able to do something constructive.
Anyway, Arezou got shifted wards (over to Pillmawr rehab) and our time together was restricted to when she used to walk the patients there over to our Adferiad back garden fence so that we could have a catch up.
She wasn’t perfect, Arezou, as none of us are. You’d ask her for something like a towel or some toiletries and she’d say automatically, ‘Yes, I’ll get them now’ and you’d be sat there patiently waiting and Arezou would just disappear, not to be seen for about half hour or an hour. The Iranian now is like in about an hour’s time. You just had to learn to put up with it. When you lost your patience and sort of reminded her as time wanes on she’d snap but then after an intial burst she’d be all smiles again and she’d go and get your stuff for you…. I miss Arezou and hope she’s doing well. It’s a blessing for the NHS to have acquired her services and she is a true asset to her homeland.