Saturday, 17 May 2014

Impressions from Iran (1) - SMILING FACES from Bush's AXIS of EVIL 伊朗印象(1)- 布希 “邪恶轴心” 的善良嘴脸

When newspaper-reading friends first learnt of my plan to join a few retirees for a trip to Iran, their common reaction was: “Iran? You be careful huh.” As departure approached, I became slightly nervous about adventuring into Bush's “Axis of Evil”, braving a “yellow travel alert” dutifully echoed by the Hong Kong Government. I even considered buying insurance for the first time. However, anxiety was no match for my curiosity about the only other ancient civilisation which still thinks reasonably independently.

前阵子有几位退休朋友自己组团游伊朗,我立即报名参加。除了中国,当今世上还能基本上思想独立的文明古国就只有伊朗,非要看看不可。 但很多经常看报纸的朋友们知道之后,都面带忧色地警告我小心。“踏足美国的邪恶轴心非同小可,惟望三思而行。” 可惜退缩已经太迟,最后只有鼓起勇气,与家人拥抱道别之后,战战兢兢地登上飞机。
The immigration officer at Tehran’s Khomeini Airport looked rather international: indifferent and unwelcoming.

However, once outside the airport, I noticed something conspicuously different about the Iranian people. I reserved my judgement just in case. After two weeks of touring Southern Iran, I can now safely conclude that it’s the friendliest country I’ve ever been to by a huge margin; and I have done quite a bit of travelling in the past.

From Theran to the countryside, mosques to bazaars, bohemian Shiraz to religious Qom, ebullient coffee shops to the macabre Tower of Silence, Iranians of all ages, men and women, even soldiers and mullahs, would smile and salaam, enquiring where we were from if we just looked and nodded. “Mind if I take a picture?” we often asked. Not once was the request not cheerfully accepted. When lost in the streets of Iran, fellow pedestrians would spend as much time as necessary to help, making clarifying calls, even offering to show us the way.

Pictures smile better than words. I’d share some photos, and impressions of Iran over the next few days. Let’s take a look at George Bush's evil people, their landscape, markets, mosques, food, artifacts, and heroes.


由德黑兰到农村,从肃穆的清真寺到热闹的市集,咖啡厅到拜火教的天葬场,不论在前卫的设拉子(Shiraz)市,或保守虔诚的伊斯兰大本营 Qom,只要你微微点头,伊朗的男女老幼都会回以灿烂热诚的笑容和问候。问路於伊可以令人十分过意不去。一般的伊朗人随时会花上十分钟为你指点去路,打电话澄清,甚至亲身带你走上一段。


A 7000 years old Demon casting a spell on W.  正在念毒咒危害布希的七千年妖魔
Vicious siblings, obviously 明显邪恶的兄妹

Woman suffocating kid in public 恶毒妇人在街头窒息女孩 
A friendly Prince of Darkness I met on the Street, trying to show me the way to Eternal Damnation 

W's Little Devils  布希的邪恶学生 (1)

More Little Devils! Run W!  更多的邪恶学生,布希还不快跑! (2)

Evil students trying to point us in the wrong direction 分明作状指路的邪恶学生

Tourist, camera, and her human tripod 拍照游客与人肉三脚架

Counterfeit Mr. Bean in Yadz Bazaar 憨豆先生的伊朗爸爸

Architectural students with violent tendency 有暴力倾向的建筑系学生

Evil! A campaigning politician 邪恶小孩模仿拉票政棍

Look at his diabolical face W.! 看!看他的邪恶嘴脸!

Fiendish female students  心肠恶毒,笑里藏刀的女学生

Girl-eating Demon and dinner posing as grandpa and granddaughter  


George said...

Probably would have been more convincing if the tourist/author did not look ethnic Chinese. I assume that the outcome would be similar if the author were a Caucasian with an U.S. passport in his pocket, but it would convince the more naturally skeptical in the West.

James Tam 谭炳昌 (过渡) said...

I suspected that too George. Unfortunately, I did not see any American tourist there. Most of the Western tourists were German, Scandinavian, or Portuguese, and seemed to have enjoyed similar hospitality.

James Tam 谭炳昌 (过渡) said...

I've subsequently been introduced to this excellent travelogue by Rick Steves which seems to show that the average Iranian are no less hospitable to Americans than they are to others:

George said...

Yes, I have just seen the Rick Steve's program on Iran. He was trying hard to convince the American policy makers that going to war with Iran is "not worth it."

My wife and I went to Syria in 2008 and were planning to take in Iran next but for various reasons did not get around to it as of now.

You might be interested in my travel write-up on Jordan and Syria,

James Tam 谭炳昌 (过渡) said...

Interesting write-up on Syria! Hope you get to visit Iran soon :-)