Iran Tour Report #3

Subject: Iran travel #3

Today we are in Kerman which is interior in the country south and east of Tehran. We flew on a small jet yesterday, and thankfully we will not be getting on another airplane until Thursday. I say thankfully because Iran is conducting anti-aircraft military exercises for the next three days. There is no outward appearance of the exercises, life is normal here. Just glad not to be in the air if you know what I mean.

In spite of the back and forth between Israel, Iran, the U.S, and now France no one seems to be outwardly concerned, in fact it is much the same feeling I got when in the States. I read on the Internet that the Israeli President does not want an attack, so I think that takes some of the tension off. Anyway, enough politics because in our travel we are remote from these thoughts. It’s been a great experience so far.

Kerman is a small desert town that is now being rebuilt after it was destroyed by a devastating earthquake in 2003. Bam, an outlying town was home of the largest adobe structures in the world. It was also destroyed by the earthquake. Instead of going to Bam, we traveled to a magnificently restored citadel in Rayen. The countryside is reminiscent of the Serra Nevadas, or the Mojave Desert, or perhaps parts of the Yakima Valley. Mountains surround us.

The weather is hot and dry, but it seems less hot than Savannah to me.

We’ve seen a couple of mosques today and went shopping in a bazaar. I bought a nomad camel saddle bag and tomorrow I’m going to shop for a camel. (Just kidding Gail, I’m not really going to buy a camel)

So far, every night I wake up around 2:30 in the morning. This makes no sense because that is 6:00 PM in Savannah, seems something is out of whack. At this point, I’m going to keep getting up at 2:30 so that when I get back to Savannah I can sleep until 6:00PM. (Just kidding, Gail)

People don’t understand a lot of English, but they usually understand a few words. It is fun to connect with some of the Iranians because they want to know where I am from. They think we are from Germany; guess the Germans are Iran’s number one visitors. When they find out I’m from the U.S. they are always friendly. And, even though we don’t get to have an in depth conversation they are grateful that we are here because it shows them we are interested in them and their culture. And of course, they like it when we buy things.

Some even thank me for being here, though that could just mean they don’t know what else to say.

It is fun to watch the girls (Just kidding, Gail). The ones in their 20’s seem to be stretching the envelope. They wear bright colors and show more of their hair. One girl had a pierced lip (in Tehran), and another had bright eyeliner on. They only have their faces showing so they are very adept at make-up techniques.

Our guide tells us that many of the girls are getting nose jobs, and in fact, I have seen women with bandages on their petite noses (in Tehran). He also tells us they have other types of augmentation as well. Seems things are the same the world over.

Somewhere I read that Iran needs to create 800,000 jobs per year to stay up with the growing population. The majority of the population is under the age of 30. Gas is now $2.50 a gallon, up from 40 cents per gallon equivalent not long ago. This is putting the average Iranian in a pinch just like in the U.S. and it seems their economy like ours is not looking very bright at the moment. The Iranians would like more Americans to come here and spend their dollars.

More later.

-Dane

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