We are having lunch in a restaurant in Teheran when a stranger walks up to us. The man introduces himself and says, "I'd like to pay your lunch." We laugh, look at each other puzzled, and politely decline the proposal. But the man, clearly offended, responds saying, "It's just been new year, I'd like to welcome you." Surprised we accept his offer and the man walks back to his table, where he and his wife are eating. Not long after they leave the restaurant.
Welcome to Iran, one of the most hospitable countries I have ever travelled to.
A road trip through central Iran was a long dream. I traveled to Teheran, Isfahan, Shiraz, Yazd, Kashan and Qom. I wanted to examine daily life in this often misunderstood and overly stereotyped part of the world, full of contradictions.