I was asked if I would write a third chapter on my last trip to Iran and I quickly replied “sure!” but I didn’t think about how familiar Iran became and how difficult it is to translate that into words.
For this reason (and because I’m too lazy to find another way), I am going to interview my parents (YES! my parents came with me this time) about their experience and share that with you instead.
^^^ what my parents look like under gun threat. Quite casual.
“Parents, good evening. I am going to ask you 10 questions about our trip to Iran, ready? Ready.
1>>> Say something in iranian
mom “Khoda hafez”
dad I don’t remember any word! Just to play safe, I would say “Inshallah”
2>>> If you had to describe Iran with a color. What would that be?
mom&dad together sand
well, that was an obvious answer…
3>>> what was the strangest thing?
dad indeed the maneuvers in the toilet [ndr toilet paper can't be flushed in the toilet, it doesn't sound like a big thing, but believe me, it changes everything]
mom the fact that women relax, chitchat and nap in the mosque [not sure if this can be said out loud, let's say it can]
4>>> ok, now memory question, what did you visit?
mom private houses, musea, bazars, archeological sites, parks, mountains and deserts, stations and streets
dad Tehran, from North to South, from West to East [that is more or less accurate, but not true], Taleqan and Yazd. Including metro and train stations
[apparently public transportation got a lot more attention than I could expect!]
5>>> how was the weather?
dad we were lucky, it was hot but not too much, it even rained sometimes. I think it was the ideal period [May] to visit both the mountains in the North and the desert in the South
mom hot and polluted in Tehran, unbelievably cool on the mountains. In general it was enjoyable
6>>> what did you think of the dress code?
dad every country has its own customs and traditions
mom better than expected! Anyway the people that we visited are very flexible on the imposition of the hijab
7>>> did you ever feel unsafe?
dad no, but Sourena [my, now, husband] was always with us
mom no, never
8>>> so would you travel Iran on your own?
dad I would say no, I think that English is not enough to travel around
[that is an interesting couple answer...]
9>>> what detail caught your attention the most?
dad the energy for change and modernization
mom the flags blowing in the wind, everywhere
10>>> give a piece of advise to a tourist who just arrived in Tehran
mom if they didn’t arrive yet, I would tell them to learn English, avoid the hot season and to not forget the cash. If they are already there…well…if they are general tourists I would recommend to go around during the day, but that counts for every metropoly, if it is a single woman, I would tell her to contact someone that I know in Tehran [eh, eh now she has contacts...]
dad just become friend with a local
thanks, that was it
dad khoda hafez
mom and now?!”