Iran, day seven

The bus to Kashan was an easy ride. Especially because I slept most of the time as it often happens when it is so hot inside. The driver turns the heating on really high and with the sun hitting on the bus windows there is no choice than taking the time for a sound nap.

The hotel we are staying at is another traditional house like the one in Yazd with this beautiful central courtyard where everyone likes to sit and sip tea (or surf the small uncensored internet). We walked through the town but everything was closed as today it’s Friday so we decided to stay in Kashan another day and skip the visit to Tehran we had originally planned. We will go there another time, we imagine it to not be an easy city and it wouldn’t be fair to build an opinion about it just by being there for twenty hours.

Kashan and some towns we saw, have plenty of torn down buildings, houses with half of the walls fallen apart and lots of empty yards of mud in between buildings…all of which resemble post-war scenarios, at least in most of the neighborhoods.

Another typical thing is this unexpected smell of gas and the snaky noise that it makes when it leaves the pipes…all around town! Basically, most of the houses have their domestic gas pipes going through the outside walls and are left open facing the streets…so unusual!

We went to the big mosque and walked all the way around it, until we heard some confusing shouting, there were ten men, of different age and weight and they were having the time of their life just playing volleyball on a day off.

I have to confess, I am still trying to shoot with my camera a picture of women in chador… I am often drawn by the elegance of the “cape” that makes these women look like commas on a wordy page when they walk across town.

Tonight we had dinner at the hotel and shared the table with Gilles, a highly charismatic figure like only a repented ex-businessman turned “professional traveller” can be. Apparently, if you had some cash in the 90s to buy real estate you could be rich by now. Not rich-rich but travel-budget-rich for sure. Gilles had a house in New York that he then sold to buy one in Paris that then sold to buy one in Berlin. But he also has a house in Damascus – I think he really likes the Middle East and that is why he speaks arabic and a little bit of farsi and he is so so knowledgeable about the area’s history and religion and customs.
The thought of becoming a professional traveler is intriguing. I think tonight I am going to dream about it.

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