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Published: August 16th 2010
First impression of Iran - the people, they have been absolutely wonderful and very welcoming.
We crossed the border on Friday, August 13th and headed towards Kandovan where we did a homestay thing. Driving into the city/villiage was amazing, most people seemed to wave, or smile as the big Dragoman truck drove by.
The following day we stopped briefly in Zanjan to visit the bazaar and have a look around. We split off from the group and just wondered around. Sadly we only brought out our small camera to take a few photos. We found that so many people seemed excited for us to take their photo (quite different than many other countries we've travelled to). For example, we walked by a bakery and the guy making bread motioned for us to come in and take a photo of how they make their bread.
Another guy noticed that we seemed to be looking for a restaurant, pointed us in the right direction and made sure we got something to eat. Since it's Ramadan here, most restaurants and shops are closed during the day. The restaurants that are open are somewhat hidden behind sheets or have their windows covered
in newspaper to be discreet.
Our next night we spent bush camping on a friendly farmer's land. Once we got set up, he and his family came by to chit-chat. Unfortuately it was pretty tough to communicate since we had only the lonely planet guide book that had limited Farsi/English translations. But we managed to get various messages across. They seemed excited to see some of the wedding photos we had on our netbook. It's too bad we didn't think to bring more photos from home to show people.
On a personal note, since entering into Iran I've had to wear a head scarf and long shirt/pants to cover up. It's been incredibly difficult and somewhat frustrating especially in the heat. But I figure, I can 'suffer' for the 2 weeks here while I'm in Iran, the women here have to live with it for their entire lives. It gives me a chance to see how it would feel.
We have found that both Facebook and CNN have been blocked by the Government. So for the next few weeks while we're in Iran we will rely on email and travelblog for communication.
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