Thursday, April 06, 2006

experience tehran

Few things about Tehran:

The view of snow-covered mountains. Wherever you go in the city, u'll see them. I simply love the view! But I am told that winter is almost over and the snow will disappear in few days...

As this is spring season, there are flowers everywhere. And there are lots of flower shops in the city.

One more interesting thing I noticed is that they sell flowers at traffic signals here (the same way how they sell stuff at traffic signals in Bangalore; but imagine someone selling flowers at traffic signals in Bangalore!!). This guy was more-than-happy to be photographed.

People are well-behaved and helpful. They stand in queue even to get ice-creams in small ice-cream stalls!!

I was most surprised too see Shahrukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai on the covers of Farsi magazines in a book-stall!! I tried to speak to the stall-owner showing the pictures of SRK & Rai, he said he knows about Amithabh Bachhan & Salman Khan too...

My colleague was held in immigration counter for long time at the airport. I was wondering why, but later came to know that all the person in the counter wanted to know was how Kajol is doing!!

Seven scenes: Few days back it was new-year celebration season here. The Farsi new-year is called "Nouroz". They keep the following things in houses.

It contains apple, coins, some grains, dates, garlic, some powdered spice, and egg. In Farsi, the names of all these things start with letter "S". And they keep fish, mirror, milk, water, Quran, and the sprouted grass. They keep this setup for 13 days.

(This reminds me of a ritual followed on Yugadi day in South Canara; they keep rice, vegetables, fruits, and a mirror in the pooja-room. All are supposed to see themselves in that mirror the first thing in the morning on that festival day. Just wondering how the cultures are similar!!)

This grass is sprouted from some grain. On the 13th day they throw out the grass; they believe that it takes the evil things away... Even in offices and hotels they had kept this sprouted grass.

Generally, people seem to have good opinion about India. "You from India?" they ask with a smile on their faces.

The taxi drivers drive so rash here (even Bangalore autowallas can't beat them in this!). Every other car has a dent..

Looks like everyone has cars here. That's obvious, fuel being so cheap they can afford to keep cars. Public transport looks quite decent, i'll try it some day. Also heard that they have metro.

Peugeot, Daewoo, Ford, Benz, Chevrolet - these are the common cars seen. Somehow they don't look jazzy though!! And no big vehicles like Scorpio and Innova here, except for a few Toyota Land Cruisers...

The place is hilly; if I go down to main street from the place where I am staying, it's a mini-trek back!!! Lots of ups-n-downs!!

We get variety of rotis; there are specific shops which make n sell only rotis. Iranians prefer these for breakfast; it's common sight of them flocking at these shops when we drive to office in the mornings.

The money: The value of Rial being very less, we end up paying thousands n lakhs. That feels funny. I am not used to the currency yet, have problem paying at shops...

The language Farsi has similarity to Urdu/Hindi. May be because Urdu originated from Persian. I have learned few words n phrases...

Food is a problem for vegetarians. I wonder whether they have any vegetarian dish in Iranian Cuisine... Just thinking about the special treats we used to have in pizza hut while eating pizza for lunch everyday...

That's all for now, more later if I find out more.

ps: it was lots of pain putting the pictures, so u better appreciate them.


Anonymous said...

Hi Shri,
good Info for v B'loreans.
I knew about "Nouroz" from RC. But the details u have given I wasn't aware of. If Autowalas in B'lore can't beat drivers in Iran,then u need to take care of urself and may be explore the public transport. Pics are really good(aap ke hukum sar ankho per :-) ). No they r really good.

u taking photos of flower selleers might have made others think how funny. :-)
In B'lore they sell vegetabeles in signals shri.

will be waiting for new updates on Iran.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shri,

Cool.. I enjoyed reading your 'experience Tehran'. The photos are superb.. you are really improving with your 'clicking skills' these days or is it just the magic of digital camera? ;)

Could you recognize all the folowers? same varieties which are found in India, is it?

WOW! they know our bollywood stars.. next time you ask the shop-keeper if he knows me, ok :)

Good we Indians are respected everywhere in the world. I'm proud to be one!

I'm relieved now.. even our rick drivers have got competitors :)

So Iranians reminded you of yugadhi... and do they celebrate Ram Navami by any chance ;)

Keep writing... we are waiting...