Bushehr - Where every man has a gun

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Middle East » Iran » West » Bushehr
October 18th 2008
Published: October 26th 2008
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I met Saed on the bus. Everything about him was dodgy, and he looked like a stereotypical junkie. He tells me that Bushehr was uber dodgy, and that as a tourist I would probably be bashed, robbed, and left for dead. He offers to show me around town and says I can stay at his house as he lives just outside the city centre. Stupidly, I agree. We get off the bus outside Bushehr and jump in a taxi. I ask him how far it is to his house. "Thirty-five kilometers" he replies "and I haven't got any money, can you pay for the taxi?". As we drive, he tells me how dangerous the road is, and that anyone hitch-hiking will certainly be murdered and left in the desert. "Everyone here carries a gun - its a dangerous place". Great.

We get to his house in a hick village called Ahram, and he calls his junkie taxi-driver mate, Iskander. The two of them want to know everything about drugs in Australia - price, availability etc. This is getting real dodgy. They tell me they will take me into town for the equivalent of $45. I get them down to $15 and we head into town. Saed says he will show me around town, this consists of driving along the foreshore for 500m and saying "This is it, there's nothing else here". He takes me to register with the police (as all tourists in Bushehr must do) then to a guest house, where he tells me the owner is a scammer and all my stuff will probably get stolen if I leave my room. I say goodbye to him and sit in my room, wondering how I am going to die. After ten minutes I get over it and head down to the foreshore.

The foreshore is absolutely bangin', the whole town is out, picnicking and smoking qalyan. I quickly realise that Saed is full of it. I meet Ali, a top bloke who invites me to his house the next day. We talk for a while and I head back the hotel. All my things are still there, and the owner is a nice guy. Saed is a dick.

The following day, Ali cruises past on his motorbike and offers to help me post my carpet. As I'm sitting on the back of the bike weaving through the traffic, with a 10kg persian rug under my arm, I experience what being Iranian is all about. After visiting the post office we head to Ali's house, where he shows me his gun collection. I feel nervous standing in his house holding a loaded Dragonov sniper rifle while his kids are running around the place, so I hand it back to him. I tell him about my experience with Saed. "Yes," he says "those people from Ahram are crazy - they all carry guns and smoke opium". Mmmmmm.....


26th October 2008

Funny as hell
This one is really funny. You can easily write comedy (but serious) books man :-| I am writing from New Zealand reading this and imagining you as on of my Aussie friends in Bushehr. Can't get better! I am from Tehran but I have been there for 6 months in childhood. Yes, everyone has a gun and smokes opium there. Hehe, just joking ;-)

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