ITT magyarul is elolvashatod.

Shortly after arriving in Shiraz, Zsolt has decided that it’s time to visit the barber.

The neighboring stores and customers, passers by gathered around, to have a look at the foreigner. During the process, we got a few irani music CDs from one of the shopkeepers, and the other one invited us for lunch and siesta.

He made a quick call to his wife to make sure it’s catered for the unexpected guests. By the time we got to their home, it looked like they’ve been expecting us for days.

During lunch, as always, we started talking about food. As it turned out, we haven’t tried the local dish, kalam polo, which is a sort of rice made with cabbage and small meatballs. The hosts wife offered immediately that she’ll cook it for us for the very next day.

Shortly after, they got to know that we’ve spent the previous night in the park. After a quick discussion, we got the offer for staying for the night. Anyways, it makes things easier, we don’t have to leave and come back again for tomorrow’s lunch!

In the afternoon, we went for sightseeing with the kids, they smuggled us in to one of the local parks called Eram. Tourists pay about ten times the amount of the local fees, so we walked in as naturally as possible, acting like Shirazians. Zsolt in his colourful shalwars, which is normally worn as pyjamas, at home.

For dinner, our host’s wife made a really special dish for us: it’s made only once, maybe twice a year, but she really wanted to taste this local delicacy. It’s called kofte sabzi, and we loved every single bite of it! It’s a vegetarian dish, spicy rice balls filled with raisins. YUMM!

In the meantime, an uncle turned up, who lives far-far away. He first came home after 16 years from England! You can imagine how much we enjoyed the conversation about his two home countries, his views on how Iran has changed and how much different the two countries are. Not only that, but you rarely hear thick Brummie accent in Shiraz from an Iranian man.

For the next day, our plan was to visit Persepolis, and, of course, they gave us a lift. They tried to cover our tourist ticket price, but Zsolt was quicker at the payment. This seemed to be a quite serious offence, our host was gravely disappointed by his own lack of hospitality – no matter how much we stated the opposite.

Of course, we’ve learned the lesson: this is Iran, everything is paid by the host!
In every single case, even if it’s not required, or even, pointless. You just need to go with the flow and let yourself being catered for on every front.

For lunch, as always, cheerful mood returned: we were enjoying the mighty kalam polo with delicious Shirazi salad
and enjoyed the fantastic Iranian custom, which is a mandatory two-hour nap on the nearest Persian rug.

We’ve spent amazing two days with the family, sightseeing, eating, learning new expressions, not paying for tickets and receiving amazing hospitality.

Clearly, the cherry on top was a birthday party we got invited to, to which originally we didn’t really have the motivation and the mood to go to..

Honestly, who in his or her right mind would go voluntarily to a birthday party of a one year old kid?!

That didn’t sound exciting at first… :)