Friday, April 26th 2019

“Every dark cloud has a silver lining” Iran week 1.

 ...so they say.           

I have to admit, that the first 4-5 days in Iran weren’t the best and wasn’t really what we were expecting. Mostly because of us…and I truly believe in laws of attractions, therefore I guess we were not attracting the most positive experiences.  

The reason for this was because, we have arrived to Iran from Turkey. Where we spent 6 weeks in total, and we got very accustomed to the country, the people, the habits, even the language. Therefore once we entered Iran, our expectations were tightly connected to Turkey, and we compared everything…hence a bit of disappointment in our feelings.
Iran is hectic, unorganized, dusty, noisy, full of motorcycles that never give priority to pedestrians, taxi drivers which drive like maniacs and bring you to different places than what you actually wanted. Every time I was crossing the street I was hoping just for good luck to make it safe to the other side. We were being ripped off constantly, as we couldn’t really figure it out, how much life costs here. The battle between all of these has brought exhaustion to our minds and bodies.

(The boys also were tired :) )

Tired in Tehran

Lost in Tehran

Lost in Tehran

Iran smells like oil. Or better exhaust. Everywhere and constantly. It is so strong, that it is impossible not notice it. This is due to the fact that the cars and motorcycles are probably form the 80’s, at their best.
I became angry, upset, and frustrated. Where is my 3G and wi-fi? Where is the language I started to slowly control and understand (Turkish)? Why there are no restaurants at every corner? Why I have to struggle for every little step I want to make ?
In Tehran, it took us 3 full days to start to understand the city, and only in our 4th day we managed to do a bit more sight seeing, and not just riding buses, metro or being trapped in the traffic jams.

Ex-American Embassy, Tehran, Iran

Ex-American Embassy, Tehran, Iran…ups ! :)

In this 4th day, Iran has showed to us it’s beautiful face. It has opened every door to us, in the most polite way possible, it has brought light to our lives. And we made peace with it. We began to understand the people, the country and even Tehran. It was the moment when positive energy has started to surround us, therefore…the rest of our trip became different.

(the small carpet from the picture below, is made from silk and costs 1500$. I touched it and it felt like I’ve touched the clouds…but I said sorry, we will buy next time :) )

Persian carpet seller, Tehran. Iran

Persian carpet seller, Tehran. Iran

Persian carpet bazar, Tehran. Iran

Persian carpet bazar, Tehran. Iran

Suddenly everything was in the right place, the drivers seem to be knowing what they are doing, the motorcycles drivers have been probably riding since they were kids and will know better to avoid pedestrians than vice-versa. Suddenly I didn’t fear anything anymore, and I relaxed. I forgot about Turkey, and looked at Iran through my newly born eyes.
Now I could see how kind the people are, how help comes without asking for it, how people smile at us without reason, how everybody is really well intended to help and give us the best advise. In Farsi most probably, but that doesn’t matter anymore. Just smile and say: merci. You’ve made their day.
On our 4th day in Tehran, Iran has rewarded me for my change of attitude. Has given me the right to rest. To find cool places where I can sit, enjoy a delicious coffee and a cake, look at people and smile.For which I was deeply grateful.

Art gallery, Tehran. Iran

Art gallery, Tehran. Iran

Art gallery, Tehran. Iran

Art gallery, Tehran. Iran

Tehran, Iran.

Now, I love this country. I love it’s dust and deserts, the old women always adjusting their scarves and smiling kindly at me when looking at how clumsy I am when arranging my scarf , the prayers, the mosques, the beautiful young girls and the old men without teeth smiling at us. 

All in all….. la vita e bella !

Relaxing time, Tehran. Iran

Relaxing time, Tehran. Iran

Iran

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8 Comments on ““Every dark cloud has a silver lining” Iran week 1.”

  1. Yup… Always takes time to adjust yourself to a new country and standards.
    But glad that you did it.
    Beautiful photos.
    PS… Im stilll envious ;)

    1. Clabbe, don’t be :) I trust you will be here very soon…knowing how ambitious you are when it comes to travelling:)
      Big hugs from Shiraz !
      Mara

  2. Hmmmmm we did not enter overland, we flew to Teheran AND also skipped Tehran, … and went direct to Qom. Also we were couchsurfing, so did not have to deal with ho(s)tels, …. for Taxis we always had our hosts adress written in Farsi, … so no issues. Hitchiking was easy, mostly people did not even charge for taking us to any place.

    We were never ripped off, in none of the cities, not even from money-changers. Opposite, once we got too much money from them :)

    I hope you are on the most enjoyable way now !!

    Cheers Tobi

    1. Skipping Tehran might have been a good decision, however I really wanted to see it. Yes, couchsurfing helps a lot, and people are very nice, our hosts were amazing..but since we are travelling now for over 3 months, we can’t always couchsurf, so we need to alternate the options.
      Well, if you were not ripped off..I can say lucky you, cos till today we still have to fight with everything when it comes to pay, as the prices are automatically risen for us. Even locals have tried to help us get a fair price for a taxi, and the drivers were rudely shouting at them that we are foreigners and will not take us unless we pay more. We got rejected from about 4-5 cars, and the last one gave us a “normal” price.The poor local man was very embarrassed…
      Some things are better now…but as a general opinion, can’t say I am much impressed.

  3. Mara, Alex,
    Very interesting story and photos! Thank you! any plans for some short videos from Iran?
    P.

    1. Thank you Pavel, yes planning to post videos as well, as we made quite some few…but technical details are yet to be finished.

  4. well , I must just add that many cars are new , but made in Iran , and people ave many crashes , and rain and dust does not let the cars remain fresh , while in west where I have seen , people use their personal cars only when they need it , in Iran people regularly use their own cars , that’s why they do not look so fresh

    1. Thank you for your comment, yes it is true, but it is a very different picture than the one I am used to :)

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