Category Archives: Middle East

Day 269: Under the skin of Iran

Mural outside the ex US embassy in Tehran (*see below for the story)

Last night in Iran. Tomorrow our Silk Road chapter begins. A little excited about the upcoming journey, a little nervous about the unknown, a little fazed about adapting to another new environment.

In retrospect, Iran wasn’t quite how I imagined it would be. A lot more developed, a lot more open, a lot more en mode. The people are very very curious; we had a full time job of answering the same questions from strangers wherever we went: “Where you from? Are you married? Do you have children?” Let me guess what you’re gonna ask me next, “what do I think of Iran?” Bingo.

Continued 繼續看…

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Day 262 & 263: A Red Village, A White Salt Lake

Red village of Abyaneh spilling down the mountainside

Abyaneh: the red village

Made a stop in Abyaneh, a small Zoroastrian village south of Kashan. Heard about this place from many Iranian friends so decided to drop by and see what the fuss was all about. It’s on the way from Esfahan to Kashan anyway. Continued 繼續看…

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Day 259: But isn’t booze here illegal?

The 33 arches bridge spans gracefully across the Zayandeh River, Esfahan

I’m intoxicated and so is Big Evil who’s driving us around Esfahan for a taste of the “nightlife” here. KF is in the backseat saying silly things, clearly a tad drunk. We’re halfway through the bottle of vodka Big Evil had just bought from the neighbourhood dealer. This is a side of Iran I never imagined of experiencing… Continued 繼續看…

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第二百五十九天:放過我可以嗎?

在寺內剛好遇上拍古裝片

Jameh Mosque (Masjed-e Jameh):全伊朗最大和最舊的清真寺,多次地震也震它不倒,留下來的是歪歪曲曲的圓柱和牆壁;有愈千二年歷史的清真寺見證著改朝換代,時至今天我們依稀見到不同時代的建築特色和巧手妙工 (每個圓頂的雕刻都公整卻不一樣),可惜這個應該很莊嚴的地方,來朝拜誦經的不多,卻有一大群跟著導遊的青春少艾在喧嘩在留倩影拍沙龍照,其實她們根本不用跟導遊,何不借我一用? Continued 繼續看…

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第二百五十八天:波斯的前世今生

美麗的伊斯法罕
伊朗,一個被隔離的國家,來了二十多天,我對之有了嶄新的概念,與媒體上看到的全然不同。因為被指支持巴基斯坦的恐怖活動和研製核武,美國對此國家進行經濟封鎖,但曾經與伊拉克抗戰八年的伊朗有絕對經驗和能力去抵禦這樣的制裁,多年來屹立不倒,不能說之成功,只可形容為支撐著,畢竟經濟 (失業、通漲和大量人才流失海外) 和社會問題依然是大問題。 Continued 繼續看…

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Day 257: House of Strength

Inside an Iranian House of Strength

Zurkhaneh, the house of strength, is a traditional Iranian gym where men go to exercise and frequent “performances” are held. Our LP highlighted this as an interesting window into Iranian culture but I couldn’t quite understand our guidebook’s description: Continued 繼續看…

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Day 256: Windcatchers in the desert

The full moon rises behind mountains in the horizon, the twilight sky slowly turns dark. There’s no better soundtrack to this serenity than the soothing echo of songs coming from mosques left, right and center. It’s prayer time and the singing voices carry so much grace we are left silent standing on a rooftop overlooking a panorama of mud brown houses. We’re in Yazd, an ancient Silk Road city said to be one of the oldest in the world. There’s a lot of interesting things to see, from badgirs (windcatchers) to qanats (subterranean aqueducts) to traditional desert homes (or mansions, rather). Continued 繼續看…

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