There I am, seven years old, adrift in a crowded, noisy room filled with a language I recognize but barely understand. A familiar smell of saffron, cardamom, grilled meat, and expensive perfume spikes the air. Someone leads me to a long table, known as a sofreh, that suggests a banquet hall in a fairy tale, intricately laid out with things that excite my little girl self: brightly colored fruit, flowers, gold coins, delicate sweets, and an ornate mirror. Curiously, near the center, a live goldfish swims inside a glass bowl. I want to know what it all means.