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Topic: Iranian Hospitality< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2013, 9:04 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've been traveling in Iran for two weeks now and really enjoying it. The people here are always ready with a smile and a welcome when they see foreigners. I shot this photo recently. Nothing special about the photography itself... it shows the usual glittering interior (Iranians truly love shiny objects), a man praying, and on the left, a young boy listening to his father's whispering's. I figured this was yet another innumerable instance where faith is transmitted to a new generation. Allah... the prophet Mohammed...

But I was wrong... because the young boy suddenly rose and walked to me and said - with the widest grin - "Welcome to Iran" - and then immediately turned around to his father - seeking reassurance that he said it correctly -- in the way that all young children do -- and the father smiled and nodded.

We had a quick chat - which was all that the man's limited English (and my two words of Farsi) would allow... but language was no barrier at all to Iranian hospitality.



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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2013, 9:20 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You know, everytime I have traveled outside the United States I have been welcomed warmly and shown that the more things are different the more the common human interactions are the same. I couldn't believe the number of times people would invite me Into their home.  Thanks for sharing.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2013, 9:30 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Looks like a unicorn threw up in that place.....
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2013, 10:04 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Echo - totally agree!

Lamebeaver - the major shrines are even more glittering (couple magnitudes of differences) but no photography allowed.  :(


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2013, 10:14 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My wife would want that in our entry...

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2013, 10:16 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Tigger @ Oct. 08 2013, 10:14 am)
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My wife would want that in our entry...

Your wife would want three Iranians in the entry?

(That's likely headed for the OOC thread...)


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2013, 10:16 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Tigger @ Oct. 08 2013, 10:14 am)
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My wife would want that in our entry...

...and you'd build it yourself.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2013, 9:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Awesome Ben! I'm glad to see you are taking pictures too. Pictures tell as much of a story as any.

What made them think you were a tourist??? Please share more...
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2013, 9:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'd be more interested in why they thought Ben spoke English.  My mental image of him is strongly Asian.  Maybe they just didn't know any Chinese, so they took a shot at English.  Maybe Ben's clothing gave him away as a Westerner, and most of them would understand some English.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2013, 9:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Damn we could use a lot more of this.  Really awesome, and the pic is worth a million words.  Thanks.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 09 2013, 12:12 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the feedback, guys!

English is THE language used by most all travelers around the world.  The photo was taken in Shiraz, the gateway to visiting the ruins of Persepolis - the famous capital of the old Persian empire - which Alexander destroyed.

There are many tourists here in Shiraz - Asians (lots of Chinese), Europeans, plus a small handful from the Americas (but not the US).   Interestingly, when I asked about room availability at my hotel - the receptionist exclaimed that I was the first Chinese he met who can speak English so fluently!  I answered that I should, given I am also American.  :)

Occasionally, I would also be greeted with a hearty "nee hao" (how are you - in Chinese).  It's all good.

In contrast, I am now in Kerman, which is a little off the beaten path.  Some people here seem "shocked" that I am a tourist - they all assume foreigners only come here for business.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 09 2013, 12:20 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Oh, about clothing...

Most all Iranian men wear western clothing - except for the clergy and certain folks around the periphery who still wear their traditional attire.   As for women, clothing range from chador (full covering except for the face) to blouse and pants with a head scarf.

There was recently a comment from Netanyahu that oppressed Iranians can't even wear jeans!  Let the record show that I see Iranian women wearing jeans every single day - in cities big and small.

Lots of misinformation out there...


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 09 2013, 6:07 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

How is the food?  I'm wholly unfamiliar with Iranian cuisine.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 09 2013, 7:34 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Got samosas?

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 12 2013, 11:00 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Speaking of food - I am actually getting pretty tired of Kabobs.  Two days ago,  I ordered a camel stew and it tasted suspiciously like beef.   Anyone in the know?

I just arrived in Esfahan - Iran's top tourist magnet.  It's also the weekend and the first two hotels I tried were booked solid.  Luckily the third hotel had rooms (whew).

I was ready to pay almost any price - just to have a place for one night, if nothing else.   Luckily,  the rate offered (and accepted) was quite reasonable.  I handed over my HK passport (as it contained my Iran entry visa) - got another nice welcoming smile - and a 10% discount.

I then noticed that one of the clocks on the wall showed LA time - and remarked that was my city.  "You are from America", the receptionist asked?  Yes.  OK,  I give you 25% discount.

Hey, even if locals and truly hard-bargaining tourists can actually get even more,  I thought that was a pretty nice gesture.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 12 2013, 11:26 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Cool, keep us updated.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 12 2013, 11:33 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Lamebeaver @ Oct. 08 2013, 7:30 am)
QUOTE
Looks like a unicorn threw up in that place.....

Same thing in Iraq (once I was stationed at one of the major palace complexes that housed the higher ups).  The ceilings of the bedrooms are often painted with the stars of the night sky and a second perimeter of wainscot type molding towards the ceilings perimeter.

The hospitality of that part of the world in normal times is the stuff of legend, though other parts of the world are similar.  Especially at a household level where it is the male's duty and pride to take care of guests. You start running into that again in deeper Mexico and some of the towns reportedly.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 12 2013, 11:39 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Glad to hear your having a good time Ben.
I've heard similar stories of Iranian hospitality towards visitors.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 12 2013, 12:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yes, the hospitality here is awesome.

Just today, while waiting in the main hall for my bus to Esfahan, I went looking for the toilet - couldn't find one - and a man working inside an admin office comes right out asking if I needed anything - they do that for foreigners a lot!

As an aside, always use the toilet before getting on a long-distance bus in Iran.  They don't seem to do piss stops here.  I've been on several 5-6 hrs. bus rides.  Incredibly, Iranians from the youngest to the most elderly all seem to have no problem holding it in.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 12 2013, 12:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Ben2World @ Oct. 12 2013, 9:08 am)
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As an aside, always use the toilet before getting on a long-distance bus in Iran.  They don't seem to do piss stops here.  I've been on several 5-6 hrs. bus rides.  Incredibly, Iranians from the youngest to the most elderly all seem to have no problem holding it in.

Good to hear.

Cuz the thought of you wiggling in your seat in a bus full of Iranians just isn't funny at all..........no, really it isn't!   :D  :D
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 12 2013, 12:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ben

Did you get good close up view of the elburz mountains? I think they go up over 18,000 feet above sea level


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 12 2013, 1:00 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(hbfa @ Oct. 12 2013, 9:21 am)
QUOTE

(Ben2World @ Oct. 12 2013, 9:08 am)
QUOTE
As an aside, always use the toilet before getting on a long-distance bus in Iran.  They don't seem to do piss stops here.  I've been on several 5-6 hrs. bus rides.  Incredibly, Iranians from the youngest to the most elderly all seem to have no problem holding it in.

Good to hear.

Cuz the thought of you wiggling in your seat in a bus full of Iranians just isn't funny at all..........no, really it isn't!   :D  :D

I only got desperate one time.  After three hours on the road, the bus finally made a stop - and I went for the door.  An old woman grunted "NO!  Blah blah blah... document..." - meaning it was not a stop but just a quick pause for paper check.  But I needed to go and I was a foreigner and I knew the driver wouldn't take off without me if I was quick with it.  And then there was strength in numbers - two Japanese women followed right behind me!   :cool:

No Iranian needed to go - not one.

But boy was I glad I didn't meekly sat back down - because that bus continued on another three hours until we got to our destination!  And even at the destination - I witnessed some of the Iranians getting off and making straight for another bus!  Amazing!


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 12 2013, 1:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Dennis The Menace @ Oct. 12 2013, 9:46 am)
QUOTE
Ben

Did you get good close up view of the elburz mountains? I think they go up over 18,000 feet above sea level

Hi Dennis:

That mountain range slopes down toward Tehran - making it Tehran's "North Star" - a great navigation guide for tourists in this teeming city of 15 million!

The dramatic peaks are much farther north, but there are trails and ski slopes right at the northern edge of the city (Darband area).  In times past, the shahs of Iran built summer palaces there to take advantage of the cooler and cleaner air.

Have you been there before?


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 12 2013, 1:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Pics!
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 12 2013, 1:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

No

I haven't been there.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 12 2013, 6:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the updates, Ben.  Love the pic and the related story, as well as the rest.
Safe travels!


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 13 2013, 12:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

:) Great trip report. Walk well brother.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 13 2013, 7:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Always enjoy hearing of your travels - hope you continue to have a great time!
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 13 2013, 7:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

So under their clothing they all have catheters?

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If Light is in your heart, you will find your way Home. (Rumi)

The miracle is not to fly in the air, or to walk on the water, but to walk on the earth.  Chinese proverb

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 15 2013, 6:07 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Just looked stoned (but not really).   :p



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