Postcards from Iran #5

Here is another posting from Dane about his experiences so far in Iran. This is labeled as #5, so I got this one a little out of sequence. Just keep that in mind and scroll down through the list to see the other posts he has submitted. Thanks again for visiting and if you have any comments please email them to me at brenda@caravan-serai.com. – Brenda

After looking back through the last communique I now realize that my spelling is both horrendous and atrosous. In my defense let me just say that first; the connection can be a little slow; second, I’m a little road weary at the end of the day, and lastly, I can’t spell. One of you has already commented on my “barely” soup comment which of course was suppose to be barley soup, etc. Thank you for your understanding.

And, I’ve noticed that I have been giving glowing reports on my Iran experience, and now fear that I may be accused of working for the Iranian Chamber of Commerce. I assure that I am not. In fact, though every personal experience I have had has been positive in regards to the Iranians and their good nature, we did see propaganda in Tehran.

While in Tehran we did get to drive by the building with the American flag in a vertical direction. At the end of the stripes are falling bombs. The caption reads “Down with America”. Our guide made the point that this graphic has been up for 25 years. This is the building that FOX News shows over and over on their news casts. The point here is that this is a Iranian government sentiment, not an Iranian people sentiment. Propaganda works in two directions.

Even today, we stopped on our way from Yazd to Shiraz to look at (another) 🙂 mosque. I talked with an Iranian who wanted me to know that he likes Americans. It was a small exchange but that was his main message. Shopping in the Bazaar in Yazd yesterday resulted in the same message over and over, young and old. “We like America, we want them to come here and spend money.” They didn’t actually say they want us to spend money, but that is essentially the message. Come to Iran, exchange cultures, leave your money and bring a little bit of Iran home.

Speaking of the Chamber of Commerce, Dick Cheney is either visiting or has just visited Azerbaijan. Can you guess who is the CEO of the American-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce? If you said James Baker III you’d be right. And, his sidekick Henry Kissinger is a member too. Azerbaijan borders Iran. I mention this because I think it is significant in understanding the politics between Iran, the United States, Russia, and Georgia.

ON the way to Shiraz we stopped to see Cyrous the Greats’ Tomb and the ruins of his palaces. Some columns of the palaces still exist with some minimal relief sculpture, the tomb is more complete but has scaffolding all around it. We will see Persepolis tomorrow along with tombs carved into the limestone mountains. Tomorrow there should be a lot more detail and intact architecture. I am looking forward to this.

I should talk a little about Shiraz. It is very cosmopolitan here, even more so than Tehran IMHO. At first blush, this feels like a place where many Iranians come for vacation. Our hotel even sports a couple of palm trees and the climate feels more temperate and less arid. The hotel is huge and feels like it could be in a major European City. Though there are many differences, Shiraz reminds me a little bit like Tashkent, though Tashkent is a much larger city. Shiraz has a population of 2,000,000. The feel here is much more relaxed and the dress is less restrictive here then in Kerman or conservative Yazd.

Well, you’ve wasted another 30 minutes -That’s it for Car Talk- until next time.

-Dane

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