Unless you have been living on Mars (will Beagle II ever be heard of again?) you should have heard of the tragic earthquake centred on Bam, southeastern Iran. As well as killing 20,000 people and displacing many thousands more, the earthquake destroyed the historic city centre. Bam was going to be one of my stops on my 2004 Iran trip.

Bam is also famous for its delicious dates. I have a 800 gram carton of them in my fridge at the moment. I bought it after Ramazan and it cost 750,000 TL (about AUD 0.70). A previous carton, bought during Ramazan cost 2,000,000. The date is one of the foods (the sweet, kerebic is another) more commonly eaten during Ramazan, hence the higher price. In Adelaide, my family also bought Bam dates from a Middle Eastern shop near the wonderful Central Market. They paid AUD 4.00.

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