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Published: November 23rd 2014
It is long time that i did not update my blog, maybe i am not enough motivated but today I am on my good mood :D and I am going to talk about some facts that you have to know in advance before heading to Iran! As we all may believe, human beings are all same having the same properties but in different shapes of personality which are mainly achieved based of the place of living (family values, environment ,society, etc)! Am I wrong?! So yes, it is important to know abit about a country and its people in advance! If it is your first travel to middle east countries, perhaps some items are totally new for you, if not there are many similarities between countries located in this geographic area. Here you are. Enjoy the rules and don't try to break them! ;-)
1- The language spoken in Iran is "FARSI" (or Persian) not Arabic! These two languages have almost the same alphabet but they are 100%!d(MISSING)ifferent! like any other European language with the same Latin alphabet having a wide range of meanings!
2- Do not mix Iranian people with Arabic nations. They will get furious and probably will start a long lecture about Arabs and Iranians and their differences!
3- It is wonderful to know some primary basic knowledge of Farsi language to make locals happy like "Salam" (Hello), "Chetorid" or "Khoobid" (How are you, polite form), "Merci" or "Mamnoon" or "Motoshakeram" (Thank you), "Bale" (Yes), "Na" (No), "Khoobam" (I am fine), "Khahesh Mikonam" (You are welcome), .....
4- Tipping is not required and required (between 0-20%!o(MISSING)f the bill)!!! depending on the types of restaurants and off course the quality of foods. In the luxury restaurants, for sure waiters expect to be paid but not in ordinary restaurant (or with a cash desk) that you go directly to cash desk to pay.
5-Pick pocketing is an issue in larger metropolitan areas like Tehran especially in the bus or metro. So watch out your handbag!
6-Restrooms in all restaurants and cafes are for customers but with negotiations everything is possible and no one cares if you use it! so feel free
7-Credit cards are 'NOT accepted' (due to Iranian bank sanctions) so do not forget to bring ONLY CASH!
8-Store exchanges don’t exist. If you are in Tehran, you can change your money in many exchange stores available almost everywhere but the main place for these stores are located in "Istanbul" junction! Even you can call them and they will bring the changed money at your place of stay!
9-Banks are open in the morning and for 2-3 hours in the afternoon. You will see thousand of different banks in every corner of streets!
10-You do not pay for the bag in the stores or supermarkets.
11-There is no pork and no alcohol served in the public restaurants (private life is different though!). Also, you can read about Iranian foods in this post of mine (https://www.travelblog.org/Middle-East/Iran/blog-841898.html
12-You may buy your train/bus ticket on board and they are very cheap (10-30 cents).
13-When going to someone’s house ALWAYS bring a gift with you. Some chocolates, cookies, flowers, something. You should show that you are happy with their hospitality and generous attitude!
14-Emergency numbers: 110 "Police", 118 "Phone center", 125 "Fire department", 115 "Ambulance& Emergency",133 "Taxi center", .....
15-Many museums are not open on Mondays (They often have website in English too).
16-Always consider sometime in traffic from 30 min to 4 hours depending on the area and rush-hours when travelling in Tehran!
17-People mostly talk about politics, polluted weather, economical problems,football so don't get surprised.
18-People love to boost about country, culture and their personal abilities and so on...... therefore, be prepared! ;-)
19-Sidewalks are somehow awful so people sometimes use streets as sidewalks and it is very normal!
20- Many shops are open till 11-12 pm everyday.
21-Restaurant are open till 12 at night.
22-There are many shisha and tea houses.
23-Women have to wear Manto and Roosari (head covering) which are explained in details in my blog here (https://www.travelblog.org/Middle-East/blog-845393.html
24- Totally different calendar is used in Iran which is called "Hejri-e-Shamsi" and is based on sun movements! Different years, different months, different days for example today is 23.11 2014 which is 02.09.1393 in Iran! you can use online converter to get to know about exact day!
25-Weather: every city has its own climate and it is very different so you will not get bored! ;-) Usually, weather is nice from September-November and then in March-April. Hot weather is on july &auguest in some cities and in some other cities in the north west of Iran even during summer time, there is snow.
26-Iran is a country with various climate and for example, you can have snow in some cities during summer time or vice verse, having sunny weather in winter is common in some other cities.
27-Schools are closed from last days of June till the second week of September and many Iranians travel during this time too! high season!
28-Don't worry once again.News in media are very different from daily life of people over here so hopefully u will see it with your own eyes. read about it here https://www.travelblog.org/Middle-East/blog-841203.html
29-The main ways of transportation inside the countries are planes, buses and trains (there is no car sharing system like the one in europe). There are different types of buses and trains based on money you spend. I mostly prefer bus because they are comfortable, inexpensive and you can see everywhere while travelling. The quality of intercity buses (there are different varieties) especially to main cities are perfect. If you are going to Mashhad i recommend to use either plane or train!
30- We don't celebrate x-mass and new year like the way you do! Our new year starts on 21 of March with 2 weeks public holidays! People would say Happy Nowruz ("Nowruz Mobarak" or "Nowruz Pirooz" in Farsi) or Happy New Year ("Sal-e No Mobarak") everywhere to everyone! It is high season here so if you plan to travel during this time, don't forget to book tickets and hotels in advance! read about it here: https://www.travelblog.org/Middle-East/Iran/blog-841298.html
31- Do you know what is "Taarof" if not, learn about it before coming! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taarof)
32-Learning English language is so common these days. If you have a question, ask some of young generations around, almost all can help you out and they are usually interested to start a conversion with you on your impression about Iran and Iranians!
33- If you are not in a tour, young people will come to you and will start speaking! Don't get scared or don't think you are so especial that they came to you :D There are not that much tourists over here although Iranians are familiar with western society thanks to internet and satellite TV so they are a kind of curious to know about you and the reason you chose Iran. ;-) They mainly will welcome you, asking this famous question " Where are you from?" and it is possible that they invite you for tea or meal at their houses! 😊)))))))))
34- People are friendly and having life in their eyes. Watch their eyes! :D
35- A course of meal costs between 2 euro to 150 euro (one person) depending on the restaurant and the location and the style!
36-Boys and girls mostly live with their parents till they get married! However, some modern young people who have enough money for living expenses, have their own private apartment and living lonely or with their gf/bf but it is not common at all.
37- There are 2 types of taxi, shared and private. There is no taximeter and taxi-drivers will mostly charge you as much as they can! So ask about the fare in advance! Anyway, compared to Europe, taxi is very cheap here. maybe from 1-10 euro
38-There is no car stop at zebra crossing so watch the cars when passing the street!
39- These days you will see many girls and boys holding hands in the street, shopping malls, restaurants and etc so it is not a problem if you wanna have physical contact with your mate in public!
40-Education is very important for almost every family. They do everything to support children to have higher education even. Hence, most of people are educated, having BSc, MSc, PhD, MBA, BA and etc graduated from private or public universities but many work not in the areas of their expertise.
41- Weekends are Thursdays and Fridays not Saturdays and Sundays! Although, most of the shops and supermarkets are open on Fridays but banks and other offices are closed on Fridays and working till noon on Thursdays.
42-When you buy something (clothes, furniture, utensil, tools, handicrafts, and etc), the first and last owner is only yourself! So, re-check before paying ;-)
43-If you are travelling during Ramadan month, be aware that officially eating and drinking in public is forbidden from sunrise to sunset therefore restaurants, cafes, fastfoods and so on will be closed till sunset so for the breakfast or lunch you can eat at hotel's restaurant or you may buy your own food from supermarket and eat it.
44- You can take as much as photos you want without any problem. Even some photos from other people ;-) (one German girl who traveled to Iran recently, confirm this by sending an email to me! )
45-What more?! ask me :D
(I will update this post. but you can ask me your questions to help me in putting new information over here! thanks 😊 )
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