topic: iran

into 2012

walking on the beach new year 2012

I came back from my adventure in Iran becalmed; no wind in my sails. It was foolish to expect to find those things I sought there; as if travelling were like going to a supermarket. Iran was a profound experience that I am still processing. Soon after I returned, my dog, Ninja, died; at 15, a frail old lady by the end. Her kidneys failed. I cradled her in my arms as the vet injected […]

the view from over here…

Just a quick post to comment on the ‘situation’ in Iran. Friends and family keep telling me that I’m “lucky” to have got out of Iran before this business with the British embassy in Tehran blew up. I cannot help but notice how the coverage on the TV here is very similar to that that I saw before I went to Iran. I cannot help further noticing that the comments people are making to me […]

being Persian

I wrote this on 19_11_11, but the internet went down at my hotel and, with the interminability of adding photos to this blog on a slow internet connection, I decided to finish this up at home. I nearly cried when I walked into the main hall of the Imam Mosque in Esfahan – overwhelmed by the beauty of that vast space. Perhaps the effect would have been almost as powerful had it merely been a […]

in Yazd

I wrote this on the 9th, but it’s taken me a few days to insert the photographs… Before I talk about Yazd, I want to tell you what happened today. I had, with pleasing efficiency, got up early, had a quick breakfast and had managed to see one last garden, as well as breezing through a museum on qanats (more about that later). A last minute rush to change some money, quick packing, ordering a […]

perspectives…

The bulk of this was written the day before yesterday, but I was unable to post it then. I have also added an extra paragraph just now, from my hotel in Yazd that happens to have wi-fi… I have just returned from five hours at Persepolis. This ruined palace is probably the single most important reason I came to Iran. But now I have that feeling of exhaustion that I comes upon me (I’m pretty […]

the kindness of strangers…

I’m in Kermanshah at the moment where it is raining gorbehah and sagah. To be able to inflict this (feeble) joke on you, I wanted to confirm what “cat” was in Persian and, since my bad pronunciation wasn’t doing it, and because my taxi driver’s English was rudimentary, I had to resort to making animal noises and feline impersonation (worse than rudimentary, I’m afraid). After an embarrassingly long period attempting this he suggested, cooly, in […]

In Tehran

The first thing to say is that I missed the terrible earthquake at Van. Lucky for me, and for the others on the train, not so lucky for those poor Turks. From previously knowing none, I have recently met quite a few, and have spent hours talking with some – so that now they seem to me less remote; I have had direct experience that they are, essentially, indistinguishable from anyone else I know. Seems […]

on the Trans-Asia Express…

Blue Mosque & Hagia Sophia interiors with exquisite Islamic calligraphy...

It was colder in Istanbul than in Scotland when I arrived, blustery and lashing rain. I spent the next day, my only day in the city, incredibly cold, but unable to return for an extra layer – I had not thought to bring warm clothes at all – because my rucksack was locked away in a cupboard in the hotel I had had to check out of. The Blue Mosque was closed for prayers – […]

going, going…

Laurel & Hardy A Perfect Day… Well, I have spent the past three days at the Persepolis conference and delivered my paper. I am pleased to say that it was very well received. When I have the time I will try and put it online and even, perhaps, put up a video of me babbling away – the whole thing was filmed. So, I am finally off to Iran and I can only hope that […]