Hi there; I have a number of trips to catch up on and a lot of photos to upload. Please be patient. Thanks, Ian.
PS Off to China later today too!
Location: Tehran, Iran
It was a warm spring 6am morning when my flight touched down at Tehran's International Airport. The normally long immigration procedure flew by but my bag took more than long enough for me to confirm that nothing at Mehrabad has changed in the five years I've been coming here. Reassuringly there's still the same drab decor and tired retail outlets full of stuff nobody wants. Through customs with a thorough X-Raying and into the chaos and anarchy of the arrivals hall and the friendly, enthusiastic smile of the stranger driver sent to collect me an instant reminder that this is Iran. Into Tehran traffic where progress is measured in inches and only the aggressive survive. Farsi hip-hop blares from the stereo which likely cost more than the car and time to drink in this citys visual assault. Thousands on the move men dressed in varying shades of brown, ok beige, and women head to toe in black; faces peak out - coiffured fringes above designer shades on some others nun-like but my eyes drawn to them all. It has to be the one thing thats so very different from home and so I stare.
So we inch our way to the Simorgh Hotel on Vali Assr Avenue where Im remembered with more smiles though its been three years. Changes there has been but one; free wireless internet connection in all rooms result! Four hours until my first appointment sack time.
Location: At Home in St Albans, UK
I'm off to Iran for a week on Friday May 5th. Look out for an update and some photos soon.