Trip to Iran. Part 2
March 15, 2004
I wake up with the sound of the telephone at 9 in
the morning. It is Soheil, my good friend. Soheil and I have known
each other for a few years but
had not actually
met. He is calling to welcome me to Tehran and to set up a time
to meet. It's a crisp sunny day. I look from the window
and am amazed of the
satellite dishes sitting on top of most houses. In the background,
the majestic white
Mount Alborz embraces the city.
After a quick breakfast, and armed with my camera,
I am out to Valiasr Street. I
am in awe of the busy traffic. I have one day to sight-see and
friends. The next day I am off to Ahvaz for an international conference
As I am walking down the street I see a woman running
towards a dentist's
office and she seems to be sticking something in her mouth. Later
I find that she
is brushing her teeth, probably late for a dentist's appointment.
I come down
the street and reach Saie Park. The park actually looks much nicer
than I had
I have a problem. Crossing the streets seems like
task as I see no realistic way of crossing. I find a gentleman
who agrees to
guide me across the street. Crossing the street will
give a person a
huge adrenaline rush as drivers are experts in stopping just
at one's toes
without actually running the person over.
Later in the day I have my second
amazing experience. As I am waiting for a
taxi I see a Paykan that looks a bit strange. After I look more
realize the car's hood is practically lifted upwards making a vertical
the driver. Nevertheless, he is still driving. Amazing! Where
in the world would I have so much excitement in one day.
I meet with
Soheil later in the day. We have lots of catching up to do.
He invites me for coffee at Hotel Homa. As we are driving in
the streets I have
flashbacks to my childhood. Although Tehran has become a large
city, many of the neighborhoods look exactly the same. The apartments,
etc., even the shops. The feeling is one of nostalgia mixed with
The day ends rather quickly. I am back at the
hotel and pack for my trip to
Ahvaz. The next day a taxi takes me to the airport. I rejoice
finding out my plane is an Airbus and not a Russian Tupolov.
I think this very fact may just have increased my life expectancy
The trip to Ahvaz is smooth. After 50 minutes
we land at the airport. I
see palm trees and many brick houses from the air. After picking
luggage, I see a man holding a "Conference" sign. "That's
my ride," I tell
myself. To be continued...