The exploration of the Grand Bazaar was a big task for a small Rabbit. This old historical bazaar in Tehran is a maze of several corridors, over 10 kilometres in length, each specialising in different types of goods. Leo’s Rabbit got lost (at times also literally) in the bazaar’s alleys bursting with goods, noisy shopkeepers and a massive crowd of shoppers.
Most lanes specialise in a particular commodity: copper, paper, gold, spices, nuts, clothes, porcelain, carpets, and almost anything you can possibly imagine. Rabbit loved a variety of colourful goods, exotic spices, nuts, beautiful fabrics, unique jewellery and handicraft. He had a little laugh when he noticed a lane of stores selling fake designer labels (literally labels, not clothes!) and a fake Apple watch that doesn’t perform any functions, but is supposed to look like a real deal :-)
There are also few reputable restaurants and street food shops within the bazaar, as well as guesthouses, banks and the impressive Imam Khomeini Mosque. Leo’s Rabbit enjoyed a lovely kebab sandwich bursting with organic vegetables, and freshly made pistachio milkshake (well… actually three of them!). Rabbit loved it; it was most delicious and invigorating beverage he ever tried (he thought that on his next trip to America, he should speak to Mr Kevin Johnson to introduce pistachio Frappuccino at Starbucks) ;-)
At some point the crowd in the bazaar was really dense, with motorbikes and trolleys promptly manoeuvring between people, and our little Rabbit was a bit frightened from being run over by a piece of fast-moving haulage equipment. Thankfully he found safety in PapaMus’s pocket. Overloaded trolleys pulled by manpower are the main means of transportation of goods within the bazaar. Being a ‘trolley driver’ is a proper job, and every trolley is officially registered and has its own number plate. Rabbit thought that being a ‘trolley driver’ in the bazaar is a very hard physical work and he felt much respect for people of this profession.
Leo’s Rabbit likes people of Iran and they did not disappoint him during his visit in the bazaar. He was once again blown away by their hospitality and kindness. Everyone he approached received him with friendliness, helpfulness and real joy. He was given a cup of tea, offered a ride with one of the trolleys and people were taking photos with him. He felt like a one Very Important Rabbit (VIR) indeed!
After hours of wandering the labyrinth of narrow streets and alleys, Leo’s Rabbit left the bazaar very content, with full belly carrying bags of fresh herbs, nuts, spices and a newly acquired carrot sharpener (Yes! He found one!).
‘The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.’
Leo’s Rabbit just finished reading Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson. He read it for the first time few years ago, but this is one of those books that inspire and energise him, so he likes coming back to it again, and again. He regards it an astounding masterpiece with an incisive, honest and beautifully told story, and the best book he has ever read so far (although he is just a little Rabbit, he is a big reader and he went through a lot of books in his lifetime).
Isaacson’s book is a biography of Steve Jobs, a co-founder of Apple, a complicated, obsessive, charming, peculiar personality, and a passionate visionary whose dream was to ‘put a dent in the universe’. And he did.
The book is written with a great attention to detail and offers an unbiased portrait of a flawed genius. Jobs could be charming and lovable, but also crude, unforgiving, hurtful and maddening. His out-sized personality was captured by the author with a brutal honesty. It’s certainly not one of these ‘sugar-coated’ tales about a successful entrepreneur. It’s an intelligent and captivating story of a complicated man who wasn’t perfect; a man driven by his desire and passion to create ‘insanely great products’ that make life more magical. And the magic happened for Rabbit, so it did for billions of Apple, Mac, iPod, iPad, iPhone, iTunes, App Store and iCloud users.
Leo’s Rabbit bought his first MacBook Pro just over 10 years ago and he never looked back. He loves the feel, quality and simplicity of beautifully crafted Apple products and he is willing to pay a premium price to be part of Apple culture that embraces creativity, diversity and thinking ‘outside the box’.
Apple’s clear core values present in company’s every action and communication, integrity and emotional appeal made it undeniably one of the strongest and most admired brands in the world. In his book Isaacson offers a compelling study of Apple’s success and an inspiring business account of the events leading to it.
Even if you are not an Apple fan and you have no interest in Steve Jobs’ life, the book is still worth reading as it’s also a fascinating and richly entertaining history of the most exciting time in the information age and the birth of our modern digital world.
All in all, this is an outstanding book and Rabbit cannot recommend it highly enough. It’s an epic biography and superbly told history of digital age. ‘Essential reading, better than a million carrots’, says Rabbit :-)
Tehran with its metropolitan area is home to 23 million people, and a large number of feral cats. There are no official statistics available but just during a half-an hour city walk, you a likely to encounter 20 or more street cats; the number doubles in the parks and green areas. In the city infested with rats, cats are welcomed animals as they keep the population of rodents in check.
Most Iranians don’t keep pets at home, but many shopkeepers and cat enthusiasts tame stray cats and feed them regularly. Leo’s Rabbit loves and admires his fluffy, furry friends (don’t forget that his family pet is a cat called Whiskey), so he grabbed couple of chicken breasts from the fridge (don’t tell MamaMus!) and embarked on a journey to a nearby Laleh Park, where he could feed the cats. He encountered a variety of beautiful, good and poorly looking, animals, all sort of breeds and fur colours, and he was happy to watch them eat. He captured some of them in his photographs.
In the beginning of this year Leo's Rabbit set up few goals for himself. He has been working towards them, but in some areas, he found the journey not really rewarding. He therefore decided to re-evaluate the path he took and he made some changes. He also decided to post his inspirations less frequently, as he realised that seeing his face (well... he believes he is beautiful :-) ) every day may be a bit overwhelming for some (all his two readers) :-)
Rabbit knows that a change doesn't happen on its own, and if we only dream about our goals without taking an action, we won't achieve anything.
This year he is putting his excuses aside (I am just a small Rabbit; My ears get on the way when I exercise; I don't have enough carrots to pay for the gym; I can only type with one paw; I am scarred of what other rabbits are going to say about me; I am not pretty enough; I am not smart enough; I experienced a tragic loss and I am depressed and can't do anything; I am tired; I am busy.... and so on...), abandoning victim mentality and building his character through work, one little hop at a time. The truth is, that in spite of all his flaws, he has every advantage to succeed. So does the rest of us. All we have to do is to take action.
Leo's Rabbit loves the above quote and strongly believes, that even a little Rabbit, like himself, can make a difference and leave his pawprints behind.
Welcome to the 'Rabbit Inspires', a new venture of Leo's Rabbit :-) Every day he will share with you one quote that resonates with him, conveys his beliefs or inspires him. Hopefully, some of you who follow the Rabbit (hmm... if there are couple of people reading this blog, besides Rabbit's family ;-) ), will also find some inspiration here. Well, that's the idea anyway :-)
If you already know our story, you would've learned that Rabbit Travels came to life after devastating loss of our son Leo. We want to keep his memory alive, but also create something positive out of our experience. Leo's Rabbit travels, shares his experiences, inspires (well... he would like to think so...) and embraces life on behalf of Leo. Today's quote is a testimony to his little existence.
Today Leo's Rabbit, like many of us, is reflecting on the passing year and preparing for the next. He somehow feels, that he did not live up to his full potential. He's been places and learned a lot, but he also had many dark days overtaken by grief. He did not accomplish all his goals and there are things, he would have done differently. But that's ok. He learned his lessons.
Rabbit just finished setting up new goals for the coming year. They are big goals (especially for such a little Rabbit), but as you already know (that is if you've been following our Rabbit :-) ), he is a dreamer and he believes that almost anything is possible, if we only put our mind to it, stay motivated, work hard, persevere, and get up after each fall and work even harder.
Rabbit wants a better future, and he knows that he is the only one who can make it happen. He is determined to make most out of the coming year. Are you? :-)
So, let's crack this bottle open and start an amazing year filled with new exciting challenges, colourful experiences, meaningful people and fulfilled dreams. Happy 2018 Everyone!
'People spend too much time finding other people to blame, too much energy finding excuses for not being what they are capable of being, and not enough energy putting themselves on the line, growing out of the past, and getting on with their lives' - J. Michael Straczynski
Leo’s Rabbit, together with his human family, wishes you all a wonderful festive season filled with many magical moments shared with your loved ones. Let’s make this Christmas special - let’s fill our hearts with love, spread positivity, show our care, give hugs, give more, judge less, and find peace in forgiveness. Let’s focus on the light, hope and joy, and create many beautiful memories that will last a lifetime. Merry Christmas Everyone ;-)
Leo's Rabbit is a big reader. He likes books and he believes that they 'tickle' our imagination, broaden our mind, offer new perspectives to look at things differently, introduce concepts, inspire, help ignite new ideas, prompt to take action, and sometimes they can be life-changing. He decided to share with you his reads, hoping that some of them may also inspire you, and may even bring something positive into your lives.
Today Leo's Rabbit is buzzing with ideas and positivity. He just finished reading an inspirational book by Simon Sinek 'Start with WHY' answering the question 'How great leaders inspire everyone to take action'. The Rabbit loved the book and the concept of the Golden Circle presented by the author, who suggests that truly great leaders and organisations that achieved a loyal following, always first define and communicate their values, beliefs and purpose (they start with their WHY), then their processes (their HOW), or their product (their WHAT). It makes sense. It is the WHY that inspires the loyal following. The organisations that know and stay true to their WHY don't need to use any manipulations to drive sales or encourage following. They don’t practice price drops, promotions, fear, aspirations, novelty, endorsements - all common manipulative tactics in business. Instead they inspire. People follow them not because they have to; they follow them because they want to, and because they share the same values and beliefs, they share and want to be a part of the organisation's WHY.
If the WHY is at the centre of everything the organisation do and say, they have high integrity and we are drawn to them, we perceive them as authentic. Leo’s Rabbit understood why he likes Apple so much and why he is prepared to pay a premium price for an Apple product. Apple’s WHY is very clear, they are all about challenging the status quo and empowering an individual to think differently. Our little Rabbit is a dreamer, he is an idealist, he aspires to be creative and he shares the same values and beliefs as Apple does. He wants to be a part of Apple culture, he identifies himself with everything that Apple stands for and he is proud to be an Apple user. Apple’s WHY is so crystal clear that it inspires people (I shall say creatures) like Leo’s Rabbit who become loyal and passionate customers and followers.
Leo’s Rabbit thought it was an excellent read and the author’s concept of the WHY is applicable, both to an individual's sense of success and fulfilment, and also to organisations in general. The book gave the Rabbit a fresh perspective on how he went about doing things himself and it triggered some new ideas. He strongly recommends ‘Start with WHY’ to anyone who wants to be inspired.
If you are unsure if this book is for you, and you would like to learn more about Simon Sinek’s concept of the Golden Circle before reading it, he has also presented his ideas in one of most popular TED Talks on ‘How Great Leaders Inspire Action’. Rabbit loved it!
“There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.
This morning Leo's Rabbit woke up to a beautiful winter landscape. We haven't had that much snow in Leamington Spa for ages, certainly not in the Rabbit's lifetime. BBC News reported that an amber weather warning has been issued across large parts of the country. The deepest snowfall has been in Sennybridge, near Brecon in Wales, where up to 30cm (12in) of snow has been recorded. In the Midlands, roads and many motorways are covered in snow and although it will cause a lot of inconvenience for commuters and travellers, it's indisputably a beautiful landscape, especially if you are sitting at home by the fireplace eating a carrot cake and don't have to go anywhere. And that's exactly what Leo's Rabbit is doing this Sunday afternoon.
The world covered with a white, fluffy 'blanket' of fresh snow somehow appears more peaceful, calmer and more beautiful. When the Rabbit looks out of the window, it is as if he is looking at a beautiful painting. Everything is so different and magical. A typical grey, dark and unattractive winter day brightens up. Our Rabbit never have seen snow before, so he is fascinated by its enchanting effect on the world. After a short walk outside, he is sitting by the window and watching snowflakes gently fall from the sky. Let's all chill, slow down a bit and enjoy the change of scenery, like the Rabbit does :-)
Can you guess what the Rabbit is dressed as? As a hint, I can reveal that he also carved himself into his Halloween pumpkin. The very scary Rabbit is preparing to go trick-or-treating in the evening and he will surely terrorise the whole neighbourhood (he is the scariest rabbit in the world right now!), so get these carrots ready! Happy Halloween Everyone!
Today Leo's Rabbit discovered a superb Golabetoon Craft Shop and Art Gallery located within Outlajan Market at the Grand Bazaar in Tehran. Its outstanding window display with a vast selection of bespoke handicraft immediately caught Rabbit's eager eye, and he promptly entered the shop. Exceptionally friendly owner greeted him warmly with a big smile inviting for a browse around the tastefully arranged shelves. Rabbit found himself surrounded by a unique collection of traditional Persian art and souvenirs. He was especially impressed by the spectacular hand-painted pottery and ceramics and exquisite jewellery crafted with a great attention to detail. Leo's Rabbit could not resist temptation and bought a pair of distinctive metal-ceramic earrings for his friend. He was mesmerised by quality leather and kilim handbags, but could not decide which one to choose. Please don't forget that Leo's Rabbit lives in MamaMus's handbag, so selecting a new one feels for him like buying a new house. Not an easy decision indeed!
Although Rabbit did not acquire a new 'house' for himself, he left the shop very content with the whole experience. He thoroughly enjoyed the authentic feel of Golabetoon Craft Shop with its delightful, inspirational handicraft.
Leo's Rabbit 'lives' in my handbag and he travels with us everywhere we go. He has pictures taken at various locations, tourist attractions and places we visit. As a part of this blog we will describe Leo's Rabbit Travels to share our personal experiences from these visits. Hopefully couple of people (apart from us :-) ) will find it interesting and may even feel encouraged to visit one of Rabbit's destinations.