Akbar opened the gates and helped me push my bike through into the court yard of his guest house, the first act of kindness I had received since entering Iran, 300 kilometres deep into the country. I guess the escorts thought they were helping, but their abrupt, rude joking, their fast driving and trying to push me along by driving incredibly close from behind wasn’t what I would normally appreciate in any human being.
Arg-E-Bam, view from the fort outer walls, this shows how much has been re-built since 2005
Get use to this look as this is how I have to make sure I am covered up in Iran.
‘Welcome to Bam’. Akbar grasped my hand and shook it wildly. I let out a sigh of relief – maybe this is where Iran will get better. If it doesn’t I’m just going to leave this country, this was how run down I was feeling.
Questions like, what was I doing? Why am I putting myself through this much crap?rolled though my head. I was losing it. I had completely lost the romantic idea to this way of travelling. Even thoughts of going home kept popping up, also encouraged by a couple of family members who had no idea what I was going through right now, but suggested I take a break and fly home for Christmas. Wow, the idea of being home for Christmas was defiantly a romantic one, not only could I see my friend, attend a wedding but sleep, wash and clean my clothes whenever I wanted, a dream that would never happen here.
Within a few minutes of sitting down with Akbar, I started to feel myself become more relaxed. I had a black chai in my hand, a sugar cube dissolving in my mouth and I could get off my chest everything about the last two days. Akbar took my whining in his stride and told me I’m not the first, nor am I to be the last to complain about how I was treated in my first few days in Iran.
I ventured out of the safety of Akbars guesthouse and headed towards the city alone, without a police escort for the first time in ten days. It was an odd feeling to be free from the escorts but on the flip side I was now bound to cover my hair, arms and bottom at all times. While walking down the street towards Bam’s main attraction,‘Age-e-bam’ the fort of Bam before it was destroyed in the 2005 devastating earthquake, I got more of the warmth that radiated from Akbar from fellow Iranians. Ok, so maybe this country isn’t all like the Pakistan / Iran border areas.
Akbar bent over backwards and helped me find a supermarket, a sim card for my phone and introduced me to a young chap called Raza, who sat down and helpedme decided what I’m going to see and do in Iran and then gave me a small bottle of wine. Wow, I never thought I would find alcohol in Iran, but yet it does exist. These acts of kindness gave me a glimpse through to a better Iran, lets hope It does get better than this.
Johan & Milda and here is their blog http://2up2far.blogspot.com/ these guys were the first overlanders I had meet in AGES…