Some very quick impressions about Iran:
Bloody hot (she says with a beetroot-coloured face)!
Women at both extremes – those who cover up completely with a black Chador, and those who flaunt as much as possible the restrictions they are currently placed under (the headscarf is meant to cover all hair).
Water fountains everywhere in the cities with drinkable water (at least I didn’t get sick) Awesome idea!
Donation boxes along many of the main streets in towns. Love this idea as well!
Rice paddies and blackberry bushes in the northwest. Not sure why I was surprised to see rice paddies given rice is a key ingredient in Iranian cuisine.
Desert further south – somewhat similar to what you see in Chile
Upright beach shelters used as tents for camping – including on the footpaths and in the parks of towns. There are actually signs to tell people not to do this.
People picnicking. Even during Ramadan, groups of Iranians would spread out their blankets under a tree and picnic … with no food.
Trucks! Soooooo many trucks (unfortunately I didn’t manage to get an illustrative photo)! I thought we had a truck problem in Australia on our roads, but the numbers of trucks travelling the roads in Iran is truly staggering! Fortunately, and unlike Australia, the Iranians have built dual carriageways to allow you to overtake.
Motorbikes! Sooooooo many motorbikes! And they go anywhere and everywhere, including everywhere that pedestrians are trying to walk. Watch out!
Billboards of martyrs everywhere lining the sides of the roads
As well as:
- Images of Ayatollah Khomeni and the current Ayatollah Khamenei are everywhere! Apparently, even though Khomeni has been dead since 1989, he adds weight to Khamenei if they appear together
- Traffic lights that don’t actually control traffic – the majority just blink orange
- Speed bumps everywhere
- Dead watermelons on side of road, their pink guts splattered all over the bitumen, drying in the sun
- Men everywhere
- Very few people smoke, and I never saw anyone drinking alcohol (it is illegal, but there is a black market)