Smoke and Mirrors...I was at one with it. It was nothing but a house of cards, from the initial planning stages right up to the departing flight from Iran. Secrets and lies - a resounding yes. Discoveries and truths - a whispering nod. As it all brought me to my knees more than once.
A Tower of Silence at the Zoroastrian Burial Grounds,Yazd, Iran. I am the figure in black in the lower right.
I had at that point in my life been to about fifty countries and lived and worked in the Middle East for almost a decade. I visited many Muslim countries all over the world and spent a month in Malyasia, time in Egypt, Jordan, Syria, the list is long. But nothing prepared me for Iran. The jewel in the crown which pierced my temples as I wore it; forever altering my consciousness long after the precious headress was discarded.
At the mountains in Iran.
I should have know something was in store for me in that country. While in Damascus at the Iranian Embassy where our visas were issued, an Orthodox nun, proudly wearing her full habit, would periodically waltz in and out of the building all the while bossing everyone around. The Iranians rewarded her with tea and laughter while she was there and miraculously the smiles did not disappear quickly as she left. That should have been my first clue.
My male traveling companion pretended to be my husband while we were there. He is gay, I was married to my ex-husband at that time. See, we were hopelessly in sync with the smoke and....So we begin our travels throughout Iran with our dedicated guide. Ebby, an Iranian who lived in Germany for the last twelve years and is blond due to his Russian ancestry. We all travel together traversing the country, in an Iranian montaged car that looks like, but does not sound like a Chevy Nova. It appeared as if three Westerners, Americans in this case, were on holiday...with no American Embassy, no American money or credit cards accepted and only the Swiss embassy on Wednesdays, between noon and 2:00 pm, possibly offering any assistance if things turned bad.
Truck drivers are the same all over. Check out the "babes" on either side of the license plate.