Last days in Tehran

When we arrive, we were supposed to go to our CS host respectively, but we figured out we had the same! As the metro is closing before 11pm in Tehran, we arrived too late. So we shared a taxi to Sina’s place. Good that we did not let our bag over the roof of the car, it just started to rain a few minutes later!

I met Nora via CS on the late afternoon. Nora already sent me messages in the first days of my trip, so I managed to see her after 1 ½ hour bus and metro. She brought me to the Khomeini ‘house in the North from Tehran. Khomeini was the leader during the revolution and became the first Supreme leader after it, ruling Iran for 10 years. After the wealthy life of the Shah, Khomeini always kept a simple house. It seems it is quite important for many Iranians to visit this place.

I enjoyed spending a few hours with Nora. From Iranian and Iraqi parents, she speaks fluently Arabic and her English is perfect. She works indeed as a translator between these languages, and told me about a Woman conference where many women from everywhere are invited by the Iranian government to show that Iran is good and the women get respect here. Indeed, Nora explained me she had a black Hijab because black is ‘chic’! We discussed also about how dangerous Bagdad is, where you have to live with the sounds of bombs. Very different from Iran! As Nora is only 22, she didn’t live the war Iran-Iraq as e.g. Siamak did in his childhood. This war was particularly tragic because it was a war between “brothers”: the Sunnite minority leaded by Saddam Hussein in Iraq forced the Shiite majority to fight against Iran (which is >95% Shiite). Those refusing were directly executed. The Iraqi part in Nora family is Shiite; fours uncles of her got executed like that (objecteur de conscience)

I spent a few hours in Tehran in my last day, firstly going to the National Museum I missed the first days. The museum is interesting, having some masterpieces from Persepolis, but mostly about archeology from prehistory until the 5th century, i.e. only before the influence of Islam. I suppose the Islamic Museum at the next door complete the story, but it was still closed.

I walked again down to the bazaar to get something else for lunch as the fast food “burger & pizza” like you see everywhere. Close to the Imam Khomeini Mosque, many people were selling fast food but Iranian like, getting a box of rice with chicken kebab for 30000 IRR (<1.5€).

The Ferdosi Street is impressive with half of the street (more than 500m) having one exchange office after the other!

I came back to Sina’s place to take a shower and get my backpack, then direction Airport. Same game as on arrival: I took the metro then a mini bus. But as I forgot in which metro station to get out, I asked Iranians in the metro and 2 guys were again very kind to come out with me until the Shohada station and find a mini bus for me! It was not really a bus dedicated to the Airport, but just going further in that direction. The bus just let me out in the highway passing close to the Airport’s parking, so I had just to walk the last meters through it until the departure gate. Tehran main international airport is quite small, just one terminal. It might be even smaller than the other Airport for domestic flights. As usual, I checked the duty free shop and figured out the products there are much more expensive than in a normal shop in the city. Iranian nougat (Gaz) or handcraft were even twice expensive than what I bought in the Imam Square in Tehran!

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