Oh the hospitality!

Mashhad Travel Blog

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While in Mashhad, I also made some trips out of town.  I’m so worn out I’m having the day off today.  The food here is good but the shakes and juices even better.  My favourite, a banana shake with a soft dollop of ice-cream, half a banana, walnut pieces and ground pistachios.  Best of all, everything is super CHEAP!!! 

 

Iran, like the rest of the region is famous for its hospitality.  Let me tell you more ...

While I’ve often been asked in the Middle East whether I’m Muslim, only in Mashhad have I been asked (several times) whether I’m Sunni or Shiite!  Whatever answer I give in Iran, the hospitality is the same.  I’ve been offered free accommodation, have my bus fares paid for, offered (and accepted) rides on motorbikes (without helmet) and have been surrounded by people wanting to talk to me!

 

And if you’re wondering how I can give different answers to the Muslim question, try this!

 

·         Plain “No”.

·         “Not now, maybe later”.  Cheeky!  As if I’ve been asked to look at carpets.

·         No religion.

·         Christian (I think one says Nabi Isa (ie. Prophet Jesus (pbuh) to Muslims), Masihi (Messiah) or Nasrani (Nazarene)).

 

The only "less than hospitable" treatment I've had was from an old man (complete with walking stick).  He realized that I was using him as a human shield against oncoming traffic while crossing a busy street.  Obviously I wasn’t discreet enough.  He shouted abusively at me.  By the way, traffic and earthquake are the biggest hazards in my mind with Iran. 

 

I'm very sad to leave the city where every one of my moves seemed like a deodorant ad ... people wanting to talk to me or pay my bus fare etc!

 

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photo by: alexchan