Sunday, April 23, 2006


I arrived in Tabriz & gave Hanif a call. He told me to take a taxi to Bagher's place & that he'd tell Bagher that I was coming. To my surprise Bagher was standing right behind me. He'd come to meet me at the train. He took his role as a host very seriously.

I had started the day wanting to cycle out of Tabriz but had to meet Sebastien, a French cyclist who I'd met on Friday & who also wanted to cycle to Esfahan. Company might be nice, for a while at least. Getting in touch with Sebastien took all day. He & Etienne (South African cyclist met on Thursday) had been adopted by a friend of Bagher's. However this guy managed to confuse everything & as a result no successful meeting took place, though I got word through by leaving a message at their hotel. By that time I'd given up on leaving town until the next day.

Bagher took me around more Tabriz sites at the same dizzying pace as previously, zipping in & out of traffic, going the wrong way down one-way streets. It was fun but I will enjoy the slower pace of touring again soon.

Iranian hospitality involves a lot of responsibility on the host, much more than in the West. Bagher didn't go into work the time that I was staying with him, though partly it was weekend. He cancelled important appointments because he had a guest. He wouldn't let me pay for anything, even shopping purchases that I made in the bazaar. It was great hospitality but it could be a bit overwhelming at times for one coming from a culture that isn't used to it.

I cycled 0 km

No comments:

Post a Comment