Sunday, May 10, 2009


Okay, just when I thought Iran couldn't get any crazier and things are surely going to calm down now soon, it moves up a gear and goes even madder. The new hotel was super. Western toilets, hot water and an elevator with elevator music. I went out to get some late breakfast and 20 minutes on the street it all began. Amer from Tabriz spotted the tourist looking into his guidebook. We chatted for about 10 minutes as we strolled about the city. He was a very interesting guy with just perfect english. It was his day off work as a teacher and he invited me to a nearby cafe for some tea and a smoke of the waterpipe. We were there for about a hour,then we moved to a restaurant he recommended and had this fantastic dish called 'dizi'. There was quite a lot of skill needed to eat it (its hard to explain), then he took me for a drive around town. We went for another waterpipe in a different cafe, went to the Bazaar (a 1000 year old market with 5000 shops in it). Went to an amazing monument structure that was also a museum to Iran's greatest poet (his name escapes me now). Meet a wonderful old man who ran a shop in the bazaar, went for another waterpipe in a different cafe. The old guy recited poetry in Farsi, then we went to the Blue mosque. And it was about 8pm when Amer drove me back the hotel. This guy just gave up his entire day off to guide me around the city, introduce me to his friends and show me the best places to eat and visit. Apart from the lunch, he paid for everything. And at the end of the day he was so disappointed that I could not stay a few more days so he could take me more places and introduce me to his girlfriend and other people. His final words were "this has been a great day and I will always remember it". Anyone who knows me, knows its not too often I am stuck for words. But this particular evening I was thoroughly stuck for words. Its just so overwhelming. Really overwhelming......... OVERWHELMING IRAN.

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