“When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.” – Clifton Fadiman
Ok, time has come to handle my famous ‘Things You didn’t Know’ about Iran. I have felt in love with this country from the very first minute if not before!
If I would have to think of one word to describe Iran in would be ‘misconception’. You have no idea what kind of scary, horrifying and weird stories I have heard before my visit.
Even my Mom, who is quiet relaxed about my travels by now, freaked out a bit when I said that after Armenia I’m crossing a border to Iran for 5 weeks.
No wonder. When men such as Ahmadinejad represent your country in international media and interviews for CNN.
But this series is all about learning from my observations. Not about addressing serious problems of countries I travel in. Which I will definitely do in upcoming articles.
Interesting, funny and quirky facts about Iran.
1. Taarof Rules
I see understanding concept of taarof and its larger social context as essential to understand Persian culture.
It may cause misunderstandings between both parties. It can be a source for awkward situations in a social setting. That is why it is important for all travellers to quickly understand what taarof is.
You always have to insist on paying for services, in restaurants, in taxis. Because people will pretend they do not want to accept the payment.
A host is obliged to offer anything a guest might want, and a guest is equally obliged to refuse it.
If people invite you for dinner or to their house. When they offer you a ride or to help you with something do not be sure they really want to do it. You are obligated to refuse many many times before accepting anything, even a tea after dinner.
It does sounds complicated but you quickly should get an idea, at least I did and maybe that is why I had such a great time in Iran.
Read more here