The capitalDecember 4, 2017 in Iran
Yes, we made it to Tehran - by metro from Karaj!
Even though taking the metro sounds like a convenient and unchallenging project, we should be taught better. The closer we got to the city center, the more crowded became the train until finally various men rudely pushed and shoved each other in order to get into the train.
As we wanted to stay together, we made the mistake to go into the same (mixed) compartment not considering the 'Women Only' sections. The consequence: While entering the train a few men touched Silke on purpose.. The exclusive sections for women initially seemed weird to her but they promptly became reasonable!
First sight on our list was the the Golestan Palace which impressed us with its effortful and beautiful tiles and mosaics, mirror decorations and treasures from the whole world.
As we said before, we love the bazars. But the one in Tehran is way too bustling and too large. More than 10(!) kilometers of a labyrinth make it probably the largest in the world and we decide to escape after a short stroll.
Another sight is the Azadi Tower which was renamed after the revolution and means 'tower of freedom'. This seems grotesque to us because the freedom of the people in Iran has been severely limited since then. After sunset, we spot an Iranian couple quickly kissing in the cloak of the tower. Is this why the tower became the symbol of the modern Tehran? A still and hidden bypassing of the rules?
Noticeable: Whenever people reveal us as Germans or we make the mistake to expose us, it may happen that people start showing us pictures of Nazis which they received in WhatsApp groups like 'NaziNews' with hundreds of members or even do the Hitler salute on a bazar.
If we shake our heads or ask the 'why'-question, these people react with incomprehension. A questioning of things or clarification doesn't seem to be common for many Iranians...
Another anecdote: The weight lifting world championships are on TV and we became aware of the manipulation of the media in Iran. An Iranian, Sohrab Moradi, wins the gold medal and during the award ceremony he refuses to shake the hands of the American lady who gives him the medal. He says a few words and the lady seems to understand and accept. This is what we see on the Iranian TV.
But our host shows us the whole ceremony on his smartphone: The other men on the podest, from Uzbekistan and Lithuania, shake her hands, of course, after receiving their medals and Moradi tries to explain himself for almost a minute whereas she reacts visibly shocked and uncomprehending (physical contact in public between men and women is forbidden for Iranians).Read more