Together with the un-gentle touch of ground, as if someone was in a rush to call the flight over and scream across the cabin – yes we are safe! – the women of the plane start to cover their heads. Every scarf embracing a woman’s neck becomes a head scarf in a count of seconds and it is as easy as sending your own arms into your coat sleeves.
I copy that and look away from the window, cannot be bothered by my reflection…
Once at the arrivals, Ali doesn’t come to pick us up as he said he would, so we kickstart our first adventure: to find our way to the hotel at 4 in the morning.
Today we have been exploring a lot of Shiraz and I enjoyed getting some treats for myself (those little plastic bags that make you feel like a local): a small bag of fresh baked cookies from a tiny bakery (some have walnuts on top and a filling of unidentified jam), a “Versace lady” perfume, as it was sold by a man in the street who was standing next to a tall shelf of glass bottles that might have contained any random liquid at all, a paper bag of 1kilo of pistachios, which made us decide that we are gonna have pistachios every day as long as we are in Iran (and I hope they are rich in fibers because I need them).
We visited an under-reconstruction madrasa and an under-reconstruction mosque, the tomb of the poet Hafez and a couple of bazaars.
The tomb with the garden reminded me of this park in Cairo, next to the Dead City, where couples would go and very discreetly hold hands. As me and Sam have to play the conservative couple -part too, we also held hands, very discretely indeed and for brief minutes.
The wow moment of the day was to walk in the Shan en Cherag shrine at the moment of the prayers; I managed to borrow a chador at the entrance without paying and went straight to the main prayers hall.
The image of so many women sitting together is surely a powerful one, it would only take a bunch of them to start a revolution! But I dont think a mosque is a place for such plotting…
Shiraz so far has a little of many of the places I have seen, the sidewalks of Athens, the traffic of Cairo, the chadors of Abu Dhabi, the rooftops of Jerusalem and the shops of Poggiomarino.
Today my head scarf dropped five thousands times, I need to tie my hair before wearing it. Also, I need to put some blush on my cheeks, because I look kind of sick when you dont see my hair.