Settling in Iran

 

Iran is very well organized. So to survive there, you just need to get organized, too.


Islamic attire

Theoretically, a woman should always well a headscarf in the street. But this does not concern all women, as many of them feel like showing off with fresh-bleached hair or recently done nose – nose jobs are very popular here.
Back to headscarf. Women rather do not wear it at home. Natasha from Western Teheran has expanded her home space to her street. She feels comfortable wearing shorts and her hair tumbling down. And she's not the only one.
Headscarfs are no longer in fashion in Western Teheran.
“Take off your scarf,” Farhad said as we were entering a Sufi meeting. I looked around. Women in the meeting were showing not only their hair, but also their shoulders. In my tunic and cargo pants I was the one most covered.

Money

The bank system in Iran works great, only it is not connected to any European system. So, our cards do not work here. Theoretically, you should bring all cash with you and have it on you all the time. However, there are ways to deal with this inconvenience.
“If you're short of money,” Farhad offered some advice, “go to a bank, ask someone to give you their account number, text it to me and I will transfer money to that account. You will get it in a few minutes.”
Natasha had an even better idea.
“I can give you one of the prepaid cards. You can pay money onto it and use it.”
Unfortunately, the idea failed because Natasha forgot her card PIN.  

Facebook

Officially, it doesn't work. But stay cool – people in Iran will always find a way. All you need to do is install an anti-filter or a proxy app and there it is! Maybe Facebook's not fast, but it works!

Water

You don't need to spend a fortune on bottled water. You can drink tap water in Teheran with no fear. And all around the country there are taps with cold water in the streets every several hundred meters. Which is why the locals don't carry water bottles with them, but mugs.
Talking about water bottles, when they do get refilled they are done so with vodka rather than water.
“And we keep water in vodka bottles,” a friend explained to me at a party. Well, I must have been staring at one spot on the table for too long.

Social life

There are legends about partying in Iran. People in Iran love to party and no one would be able to force them not to. Only you need to have 'connections' to have immunity in case of a police raid. 
The regular middle class with no 'connections' do not need to get dead drunk to have fun. They can do with a vodka bottle filled with water, a bowl of dates, cookies and musical instruments. When they started to play, I got shivers. Surely these people do not lack fantasy. 
Suddenly, in the middle of the meeting someone said: hey, let's have a campfire in the mountains. They all got on the cars and drove off.
The next day someone else suggested we should have a morning pick-nick. It took half of the day to pack up, but we finally made it. And here's another Iranian feature:

Lack of planning

In the end, somewhere towards the evening we left Teheran. On one of the corners in the mountains Natasha gave a signal to stop, I saw smoke. The spot was perfect – with a small campfire on the top and a pile of trash on the hillside. Just imagine what Natasha was able to find there! A pillow, two carpets, and a few wooden boxes – all that was enough to spend there about an hour, because none of us had thought about taking any food…

Traffic

Not as bad as they were telling me. The number of cars isn't always appalling, and the crazy guys tend to drive towards the middle of the road, so the berm is safe. Another good thing – I know where I can expect the danger come from, cause usually they don't go the wrong way. Although it's not the same with scooters. But even when they do break the rules, they keep to their own and pass me by on the right, and not on the left. I have eyes in the back of my head and start to develop…

…good reflexes

What a useful feature! I remember to always look people in the eyes, even when I'm just ordering shishkebab.
„One?”
„One”
„Sure?”
Unfortunately, I realize why the guy looked so surprised when it's too late and my dish is already on the table: a huge loaf of bread with one tiny sad shishkebab inside.
Yes, I'm still learning how to survive in Iran.


Non-alcoholic party

Pick-nick

Water distribiutor

Traffic

The traffic


Is it a date?:)

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