Friday, 26 August 2011

Crossing the Tukmen / Iran border two days ago

I put on the hijab in Turkmenistan and immediately felt hot and stabbity. I was cross about everything. The border gaurds were officious and threatening. They whistled at us when we did something wrong and random army guys checked our passports oer and again after they had been officially cleared. I looked over the border at the pale grey uniforms of the Iranian guards and felt irritable.

We walked across the border and, I swear, the temperature dropped ten degrees, making the head scarves comfortable. We met our guide who is enthusiastic and called Mustafa. We were cleared in record time and were allowed to sit on the seats in the waiting area while they thoroughly and efficiently processed us. Asima, the truck was also cleared in record time and there was a a whole lot of jolly going around. Especially as there are so few of us that everyone gets a seat on their own.

The mountains were vast and pale gold and grey and beautiful. They had some sort of conifer thing going on and a purple flowered bush low to the ground.

We just passed through our first town and the women were billowng black sails in the wind and the men were staring at us in astonishment. There were hundreds of little shops selling all manner of things and it was exotic and romantic and I love that in overlanding like this your first chance at a country is not the airport and a big city. I feel like we are in A Room With A View or a 19th century travel memoir.

And now it is pissing down with rain. I am harbouring in my heart the delicious hope that Iran will have unseasonably cold weather over he next two weeks.

1 comment:

Jayne said...

don't forget to buy somethings while you're there. it's nice to have some reminders when you get home. Can we have a photo of you in the hijab?