How to get around in Iran

#Hitchhiking

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Hitch Hike?! What's that? Hitch hiking is not that easy in Iran.

Putting your thumb out means something offensive, waving cars to stop makes you having a lot of cars who stop to ask you if you need water or anything else and if you draw a sign than you will be picked up by an incredibly friendly Iranian who drives you all the way back into the city to the Bus Terminal.

If you find an English speaking person, it is most of the time not good enough to explain what's hitch hiking and where you actually want to go. So if you really want to hitch hike than you will need a lot of patience and time.

Otherwise you also can take a bus. The luxury of VIP busses are incredible! Better than flying first class you are able to cross the county for 100.000 up to 360.000 Rials.

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If you take a non VIP bus it can end in those really old Mercedes busses without any cooling. It's an adventure to travel in those busses and they looks cool, but I recommend not to sit in the back above the motor, it will get freaking hot there.

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Taxi is also a good choice. For distances like one or two hours by car you can go by taxi and won't pay much more. All the yellow Taxis in Iran are controlled by the government and can't charge you more than normally. In very rare times you will pay less in a private Taxi.

#Words

Farsi is not the easiest language to learn. Though any Persian will be very exited about any word you speak in Farsi.

We got very well around with the following words.

"Salom" means "Hello"

"Chetori?" or "Chubi?" means "Are you well?" or "How are you?"

"Chubam" means "I am fine"

"Mersi" means "Thank you"

"Hosh Bachtam" means "Nice to meet you"

"Cheli Chub" means "Very good" or "very nice" and they use it for absolutely everything

"Chande?" means "How much?"

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#Behavior

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Behavior is complex in Iran, because you never know how the person in front of you really thinks. The Islamic government forces anyone to follow some rules which are ignored by the majority of Iranians in private life. Still there are some rules you shouldn't break to avoid any complications. Some of the most obvious ones I am gonna list here:

Shaking hands with women or between women is taken a general sign of someone is emancipated or not. So as a women it is probably the easiest to wait for a hand then to offer one, if you feel save you also can offer hands. It's kind of nice to show some men that women are the same as men where you come from...you will earn a lot of proud looks from other Iranians around you.

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Everyone in Iran is careful with people from the government. So if you go to tourist police or if you are in a car control ect., react peaceful, respectful and friendly. It seems as the government is afraid of people and people are afraid of the government, so don't mess it up in that situation. Girls should cover their hair entirely when they enter a governmental institution, otherwise there will be people who tell you to do so.

Never enter a house with shoes. Iranians are very clean people and shoes generally never enter a household. That also counts for the bathrooms. Normally every Iranian bathroom has toilet slippers which are worn by everyone on the toilet but they never supposed to leave the bathroom.

 

#Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is very easy in Iran because people are very hospitable. 

Although very different from Turkey, you should plan more time for each person. Iranians are not that spontaneously as the Turkish and like to know some days in advance before a visitor appears.

Most of the time you will stay with an entire family. Also they take their entire time for you, show you around and care for you. So it is not nice -as never- when you use Couchsurfing only for a quick stop and a night for free. 

When it comes to sleeping arrangements it is very normal to sleep on one of those Persian carpets with the entire family together. It's super comfortable. And something you can look forward to ;) 

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