This is how I finally reached Iran

„You can call day after tomorrow if you really want,“ the lady shrugged her shoulders.

So did I and collected my visa in two days.” Catch up with the previous post HERE


So my Great Plan looked like this:

  • I will go [from Kyrgyzstan] to Uzbekistan.
  • I will apply for Turkmen visa.
  • I will go to Turkmenistan and prove that I have the permission to go to Iran.
  • I will go to Iran.

Well… At least I made it to stunning Uzbekistan!

My Real Life looked like:

  • I went from Kyrgyzstan to Uzbekistan. Checked!
  • I applied for Turkmen visa. Checked!
  • I didn’t get Turkmen visa [read the most tearful story HERE].
  • My Uzbek visa expired and I had to escape to Kazakhstan.
  • I flew from Kazakhstan to Iran.

Can you find a volcano?

Do you know this game – Who Is Going To Sit Next To You On Board? Is he talkative, is she anxious, is he nervous, is she a child – you never know! This time I got pretty lucky as my neighbour turned out to be an Iranian Famous Pianist. So let’s make it clear. Our flight looked like this: me sitting and watching videos from his phone [about his concerts]. He sitting and pointing to his piano in the video and saying “piano”. Or “water” [don’t ask]. These two words he knew in English were more than enough to also have great conversations about history and politics. And hey, it was twice as much as I knew Persian so, bravo. The flight was cool and fast.

We landed in Tehran and I must admit I was a bit anxious. I felt that whatever is going to happen in Iran, it’s gonna be extra memorable. Every woman around me put on their scarfs or hijabs, and I did the same. I had no idea how much hair I need to cover, what happens when my scarf falls down etc. The Famous Pianist looked at me, put his thumbs up and we left the plane.


My first lunch in Iran. 

Two hours later.

I have already met my Couchsurfing host. We are at the big market because I’m in need of something more covering than just long-sleeved blouse and jeans.

Who doesn’t know then 90% of the time I hate shopping. Luckily my host seemed to enjoy it a lot more, so he was running from one seller to another, negotiated about the prices, checked the materials and colors, and I was just exhausted [but grateful] walking after him. Luckily there were also some raw almond sellers and other cool people to give my attention [and money] to.


Raw almonds.

Did you know that Tehran is big? And I mean, BIG. After our shopping tour, a walk to one mosque and lunch break in the local cafe we took a metro, 2 buses and a taxi and just 3 hours later reached my host’s family house [well okay, it was out of the city they said but I couldn’t really make a difference].

So what was my first impression about Iran?

Good. Really good. Still, at the same time I had a feeling like I switched from bicycle to monocycle and had to learn how to ride again. So many new rules, norms and traditions.

But do you know what I currently have but didn’t have back then?

[To be continued…]





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