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I ran to Iran


It seems like it is everywhere.

Twitter feeds every minute and retweets every 2. This 'revolution' will be twitterized.

The enormous country that links the Middle East with South Asia but is neither, is on everyone's lips and in every flickr.

The world has briefly stopped worrying about Nukes and is suddenly worried about its people and whether they got a fair vote. Journalists interview well-heeled English speakers in Northern Tehran about their embarrassment at their president. Comments are made out the coloured fringes of hair that extend from the 'bad hijabs' and people are surprised at how beautiful the women really are.

Few make it to the southern edges of the sprawling city and beyond into the real seat of Ahmini-whatever's power. And fewer still ask, what if it was a fair vote? It's easier to think that the builders of Persepolis are like the film maker and cartoonist rather than the angry little bearded man and turbaned clerics.



But when I think of Iran I think of people, normal people.

-A border guard who was sad to see us leave and asked us to come back soon.

-A mother of 2 asking over a sumptuous dinner in their home why everyone hates Iran.

-The same mother ruling the roost, let there be no doubt of that.

-Concerned bus drivers taking you directly to hotels rather than the station.

-Flirty young women sharing Qaylans (Sheeshas) on the most beautiful square in half the world.

-Breadmakers refusing payment, even when offered more than 3 times.

-Feeling nervous with all the black mourning flags around mosques then being kissed by strange men.

-Air Conditioner salesmen inviting you in to cool off when its clear you're not buying.

-A taxi ride I wrote about where kind people shared my fear.

-Watermelon sellers testing each one to make sure you got the sweetest.

-Picnickers everywhere, literally everywhere.

Win or Lose, Fraud or Not, the fact will remain that if I had to name one country in which traveling could truly be called an experience, I would still run to Iran.

Have you been there recently?

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