70 Days and what left of it…
I was treated very well in Iran even from official side, but still there are some things that doesn’t make so much sense from western point of view (but also from the view of some locals i take with).
After i left the Country i can speak frank about these things
Iran shows at its best. As a progressiver Country with a curious and well educated Population. The Roads are (compared to Asia) in a superb condition.
Infrastructure is growing and working (in the bigger cities) very well
You can buy everything you can imagine, even if some things come illegally into the country.
Iranians love Cleanliness, the Villages and Cities look very clean even if the Dirt is thrown on wild garbage dump outside the Villages…
The the things that annoy the People (those i met) the most are the Restrictions from the Islamic Republic
The most Questions from Men are about women and alcohol. The Restrictions and their (implied by western Media) totally wrong picture of the West has grown an Illusion that every western woman is easy to „get“. The suppression of all sexuality from daily Life leads to casual sexual assaults. It is dangerous for woman to walk around alone in the night through cities. These Assaults lead to spirited Areas for Women in the Metro, Public Buses and elsewhere.
Women have to wear a scarf called Hijab and Additionally a Dress that covers the bottom. They are not allowed to ride a Bike what is founded on the koran, where mohammed prohibits woman to ride a horse…
Being together for Man and woman is under special rules. Walking around with a „strange“ woman in a city can lead to Questions about the Relationship. My Excursion with an Esfahanian Girl was probably not avenged cause i am a tourist and it was in a touristic City…
Touching each other is a total different story: In this case the Rule of Mahram an Namahram is obtaining. Man and Woman are just allowed to touch each other when they are married (Mahram) before (or in the Family) it is forbidden (Namahram), this also works with the Hijab, a woman is just allowed to show her Hair to her Husband or to the Family. This is handled more or less restrict in the House. In some liberal Houses the woman walk around in western clothing while in some traditional houseolds the woman just enters the room to bring something in… In some cases it was also possible to shake the Hand of some woman…
As you can see only the woman are having restrictions. The Restrictions to the Men are just a few. They are not allowed to wear shorts in public, while in the House it is usual to walk around with shorts and barefoot.
In conversations and watching it went clear for me that islamic Rules are just a capitulation in front of the instincts of Men. Women are not allowed to pray infant of Men, because the man is looking on her bottom and can´t concentrate on praying.
If you take a look at different rules from this point of view, they make a lot of Sense, but its a sad commentary for the men.
My kind of traveling is also illegally in Iran. I first realized it when i visited a police office in Esfahan. My Host was accompanying me and the police officer asked them what they are doing here. They are not allowed to host me, they say it´s to protect the Tourist. There where some thieveries in the Past. I think it´s more a protection against too much contact with foreigners… But still Couchsurfing and Warmshowers is growing fast in Iran…
All these Rules are handled more or less strict, depends on the City and the Mood of Authorities. In some regions you can see just black Textiles while in other Cities the Scarf is just an Accessoire that is fixed magically on the back of the woman head… It is also a miracle how it stays on the head while riding on the back of the motorcycle…
Iran is a very rich country, rich on resources (Oil, Gas, Minerals) but it only reaches a few of the Iranians. In the North of Iran you can see these richdom in the Weekend-House Villages and when you walk around in the Streets of Teheran you pass Car-Salons with Porsche, Maserati and Ferraris… In the Shops you can see the most expensive stuff, but only a few people can buy it.
The Collecting Boxes i mentioned in my first Story are organized by the government and collected by the political wing of the Army so it is not really shure if they really use it for the poor or for buying weapons!
It´s not all roses
For the most of Iranians the Era of Ahmedinedschad is a horrible and lost period. He radicalized the Rules in the country and isolated the country in the world. They build one´s hopes on Rohani now.
The West is against the will of the government very popular in the Country. American and western Products are against the propaganda the ultimate
The wish to study abroad at an western university and to leave the country is strong. A lot of Iranians can’t see a future for them selfs or the country in the actual political system.
After they found an agreement in the nuclear issue the Mullahs played the propaganda-card and started protests on the streets against USA and the West. The duplicity is remarkable.
The Restrictions of the last Decades outbraved the country and developed a crafting-mentality that reminds me on eastern-germany… Cars run as long as possible and unrepairable is almost not existing.
Iranians are very proud on their Country and their History. In pre-islamic time it was a stronghold of knowledge and culture and a lot of things had their source here. After the Isalm came a lot of these things lost step by step and the islamic revolution did the deepest cut in the younger history. The Mulahs (the Locals just turn the finger like a spiral over the head when they speck about them) wiped away the old elite of the country with an iron fist and created a stabil Regime that based on Fear. This makes a resistance very hard.
I am curious how it will develop in the next years.
It was a unique Opportunity to take a inside look on this system and throw away a lot of prejudice. My plan is to return an see what has happened since my last visit…