The airplane rumbled across the tarmac of Tehran’s international airport runway 20 minutes ahead of schedule. So it was only 02:10 in the morning then!
Going through passport control took awhile but not as long as the luggage!
At 04:30 my head hit the pillow and all the lights went out.
The hotel is located “down town” in “petrol head heaven” a short walk east from Imam Khomeini square. If you want a spare part for your car, then you will find it here…or in the shop next door, or maybe across the road, or even around the corner ….
Later on in the day I went for a little walk around the neighbourhood. Crossing the road scared the s**t out of me and the pollution blocked my nose. After a couple of hours it was time for a siesta…which lasted till the late evening.
Saturday the 19th
Because yesterday was the official day off the traffic levels were lower…bugger!!!! I am not joking about how difficult it is to cross the roads here. Imagine playing frogger but you are the frog! However by the end of the day I’m sure I’ll be only a little scared as opposed to really scared.
The 1st thing that I am having “trouble” with is the money. There are about 18000 rials to the pound, so everything sounds really expensive. I paid 15000 for a kebab and drink, which works out at about 85 pence but it sounds a lot more. Then because there are so many noughts around the locals use the word “toman” to mean 1000 rials. So that shirt I brought didn’t cost me £2.5!
Over breakfast I was reading the local English language paper (always good to read the news from a different perspective) and saw that there was a photo exhibition in the arts museum. So after changing my money in the bank, that was my 1st port of call. The walk was long but enjoyable and due to the fact that every one looks at my strangely I wasn’t bothered in the slightest with the locals in this part of the world.
The photos on display were worth the walk. They definitely inspired me but for some reason I’ve become all camera shy. I only took 7 photos today (normally it would be at least 100). Hopefully it will change tomorrow because there are some really good street scenes around the place. I saw one guy loading 8 car tyres onto the back of his 125cc motorbike…I kid you not!
I walked to the national museum of Iran and then wondered why I did…very poor display!
In the evening I went for a walk with my camera. After taking 3 pictures outside a mosque I was told politely to put it away.
I get the feeling that Tehran is not going to be a camera heaven; I don’t have high hopes for the rest of the country.