I really have no idea or imagination to fill in all the gaps from the Thermopylae war and Marathon to what could have brought this little tea saucer (probably bought in Plaka) at the Quesayriah teahouse in Esfahan. Much to my surprise I got this teapot, yes, I agree, Irania, but this saucer? I have to remember one day to tell youthe story about a greek “hindu” yogi from Peiraias.
This is only the second day in Iran, yet it seems like I have been here for weeks. I flew from Doha, last night 01:00, reached Tehran, everybody cool at the airport, welocing, Yunnan, yes Yunnan, ok, stamp. Just a gentle reminder “hijad and proper cover keep women healthier and purest”. Right. It will be a long journey.
I am travelling with Laia, a catalan architect who has permanent pink glasses, and therefore is blessed ith a nicer view of the world, that the average whiner (like myself). We exchange some 600euros, got some 8700000 iranian rial, and went out to get a taxi. In the aeroplane we met Habib, and mid-40s iranian guy, who is working for a service company for the oil industry. Very friendly, he asked for my cv, he promised they will pay well, but they have to see the cv first. He also promised to give the contact of his friend in Shiraz, plus a few tips on what to eat in Esfahan. We met him outside the airport again, where he helped negotiating with the taxi. Negotiating is major thing here, especially for non-iranian as you get to pay some x10 more the price. This doesn’t come as a surprise. They have a not-so-straightforward system of quoting prices in toman, while the banknotes are in rial. And guess what: 1 toman=10 rial. So, pretty easy for a stupid tourist to get tricked, no? But then again, even if you pay the x10 price, still you’ll get by.
After 180.000 rial and 1 hour mad driving, we reached the bus station with the luxurious volvo buses to Esfahan. The taxi driver helped us get tickets: 50000 each (about 3euros) for 500km! The bus has a hostess; the hostess cleaned the bus so much you could actually lick it. In the bus we also got breakfast, and comparing the distance/price/breakfast with the ones provided by KLM, I want to get a frequent traveller with the volvo buses!
We reached Esfahan around 14:00. Taxi to the prominent (not) Amir Kabir hostel and off a quick walk to the great Imam Square. And then we were knock out till 22:00, when we woke up only to sleep again.
The main problem of the day: juggling between long dress, trousers, headscarf and toilet paper in a squat toilet without any place to hold/lock or leave any of the above object. But I am improving…