Every year something is different in Iran that catches your attention. This year was the lack of Paykans on the Iranian cities and roads! Once the working horse of Iranians of different backgrounds and trades, it is now extinct and replaced by Pride!
Armies of Prides from Taxis to unmarked private taxis to private cars have replaced Paykans and now roaming Tehran and country roads! It is actually much flimsier than Paykan and if you are in any kind of accident you're bound to get injured one way or another! Especially if there are 5 passengers or more in the car! I think my beloved Jian had more room!
Starting this summer there are reports that cars older than 20 years will not be allowed to drive in Tehran. That was sad for me because many of the older cars are now antiques and some people have actually taken care of them and they look good and work well. I don't know what will happen to them.
I'll try to write few separate blogs to talk about what I saw and memories this time around. Darband is now under renovations and the beloved Darband Restaurant and Darband Hotel are no longer ;-(
This year people were talking more to me and I felt a little like talking as well. The talk of the day of course are the nuclear discussions, compromises and Khamanei drinking the poison and fucking compromising once and for all! Most people are pinning their hopes. Inflations is sky high and though I don't know the every day purchases of food staples in supermarkets or other items, people everywhere are talking about beef being bizzillion toman and simple things such as string beans being super expensive! Loobia polo is now expensive! Milk is now blackmarketed and shortages abound.
As it is with Ahmadi's stupid policies he is asking vendors NOT to carry some items so that the prices would fall back! Dollar is near 1600 Tomans and has dropped because of possible compromises. Banks are now offering 20% plus interest on 5 year deposits and everyone is putting their money away whether they are poor or rich. If they can gather 10,000 Toman they'll put it away to get 20% interest. I don't know how much are bank loans, didn't ask but assume about 28% or so. I have a bad feeling about the Iranian banking industry and feel like they're running a ponzi scheme. Don't know.
I talked to many people and they're all complaining about everything and blaming the regime. Although, after we complain for 20 minutes or so the conversation gets tiring and they'll start talking about their aspirations and better personal news. As if they want to tell you they're making it. The nationalistic culture shows up and they're ready to rally for Iran.
I was always undecided about sanctions, sort of like Obama's position on Gay Marriage! After my latest trip to Iran I'm against sanctions, not because it's hurting ordinary Iranians and such but because when I look at the 30 some years of Islamic Republic the only times people have risen and protested are the relative times of prosperities. I know some on i.com will ask what prosperity? But I don't care what these people ask, they're entitled to their opinion and I'm entitled to mine and my observations.
All and all people are working and trying for better futures within what's available to them. Same as we do here in America and elsewhere. Of course there are restrictions that we don't face here but they work hard, raise their families and have their lives. Idealists amongst them are leading the way to expect more as it has always been throughout history. At some point if Idealists are successful, which they usually are in the long run, others will join them and demand change, major changes.
As always it was a pleasure to walk among my own people speaking the same language. Now what's this I hear JJJ selling his shares?! He must be the king of leaving i.com! Father of all leaving i.com!
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