Persian Gulf

Bushehr Travel Blog

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People I met here who contributed to, and improved my trip: Julia (Russia), Pedram, Zahra (Iran)

Couchsurfer Pedram was waiting for us when we got off the bus in Bushehr and even though it was 21.00 it was still hot and humid, both traits synonymous with the Persian Gulf. He helped us load our bags into his Peugeot 405 and then stopped off at a sandwich shop that his brother owned, to get us both a hot dog. His wife Zahra and hyperactive young son Parsa were on hand to greet us when we finally made it to his lovely apartment, which was kitted out with all the mod cons.

Pedram's English wasn't great and our Farsi is non existent, but we did our best to communicate with each other. To help break the ice Pedram took us out in his car again to show us the town and also to get our first glimpse of the sea.

All along the boardwalk, Iranian families sat together picnicking, even though it was 22.30. To finish our quick tour we drove past the air base where Pedram had grown up, as his father was in the military and then on to the navy base. Bushehr has a rich military History and to add to this the Russians are helping to construct a Nuclear reactor in the City. This probably makes it a prime target if Israel ever fulfill their promise of bombing the country before it gets its Nuclear program up and running, quite a daunting prospect for the citizens.

On Friday morning i had the rare treat of a bowl of cornflakes, which was my first in years. Its odd to think of all the food that i like, but I've not had the joy of sampling during my trip. To think how fat i will get when i return home and start pigging my face with all those tasty treats! After eating Pedram took us out for the day as he doesn't have a job, which seemed peculiar as he had a nice car and house, but no work to fund it.
I'm hardly one to talk and i also get constantly asked “how do you afford to travel”, to which i normally reply “selling crack to school kids can have its benefits ya know”. This will be met by nervous giggles as people look at my serious face, wondering if I'm telling the truth! With Pedram, I'm guessing he is a mob boss by his mannerisms, but i have no hard evidence other than the guns in the closet and dismembered corpse in the trunk of his car.

Our first objective was to see the Persian Gulf and watch how the Iranians behaved at a seaside resort. I must admit i found it amusing to watch women in their chadors and hejabs go wading into the sea. If you saw someone fully dressed walk into the sea at home, you could normally be sure that the individual had a mental illness or was completely wasted, but in Iran its just the norm - in fact a necessity by law.
This probably makes the people who made the law insane and no doubts drunk at the time!

Pedram then took us to look at some pretty little fishing boats that i started taking photos of. Within seconds a naval officer was on our case and incredibly the small harbour was supposedly a military base to boot! Ohhhh the Royal Navy better not kick up a fuss against this high tech outfit! We beat a hasty retreat back to Pedram's house, where Zahra had cooked up a wonderful lunch of chicken, chips, spaghetti, rice and salad. I must say that I'm very impressed with Iranian womens skills in the kitchen, as they seem to be able to create an absolute feast of delicious dishes.

Bushehr is simply too hot to go out in during the afternoon, so Pedram and I sat playing on the Playstation, which was another novel treat for me.
When it came to the evening we were taken out to a secluded part of the Persian Gulf for a barbecue with some of Pedram's friends called Ali, Sanaz and Reza. It was a lovely evening, sat eating grilled chicken, drinking vodka and watching the flames sputtering in the bonfire, whilst the waves crashed in to shore.

On Saturday Pedram took us to the Old Town and left us to walk around on our own for a few hours. Its hard to describe what is left of the Bandari Architecture, some of which looks like it could collapse at any given moment. The narrow streets had a certain battered charm, whilst the brass hand shaped door knockers were certainly novel. With some TLC I'm sure the place would be a tourist draw, but as it stands it looks like an Israeli bomb would probably improve the place!

We also saw our first black person in the country, an old Arab woman who greeted us with an inquisitive smile and chuckle, probably the first foreigners she'd seen in her neighbourhood.
A plain clothes cop then tried to question us, but he gave up when he realised that we spoke no Farsi, although I'm pretty sure he wasn't actually a cop and it was a scam. I always find that playing dumb is the best way to get out of any fix that you may find yourself in.

From the Old Town we walked to the new area of the City, but the heat made it thoroughly unpleasant and we were pleased when Pedram came to pick us up for lunch. Zahra had once again excelled in the kitchen and had produced a fantastic meal that included shrimps, chips, spaghetti soup, and salad. Ali, Sanaz and Reza joined us for the food and remained to chill out with us for much of the afternoon.

In the evening Pedram took us to buy some bus tickets for the following day and then we returned home for some tasty sausage and tomato sandwiches.
Julia and I showed Pedram and Zahra some photos from our trip, whilst Parsa ran riot around the house. He really was a little monkey, but he had the cutest little face that he just got away with whatever he wanted to do. Normally giving him a cell phone to play with was enough to keep him busy and out of mischief.

On Sunday Pedram had already left for Tehran by the time we got up, so we sat and had breakfast with Zahra. It was a real shame that she barely spoke any English, as she seemed a lovely woman and I'm sure we would have got on with her really well if we could have spoken to her. We gathered our bags and headed down to the bus station in a taxi and on to the next leg of our trip, which was Ahvaz.

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photo by: Deats