Day 248 | Thursday November 17
We headed back to Tehran and in the afternoon I had another interview. This time with the guys from Radio Budio, a podcast about tech-related stuff. The Iranians really like that there is a Westerling here who gives some positive attention to Iran. What you see mostly on the news is bad stuff and not really true. The guys also arranged that I could stay at one of their friends and we went there with the crew for dinner and watch some movies.
Day 249 | Friday November 18
Good internet is a rarity in Iran and as I had a decent connection at my host and time (which is a rarity too the last weeks) I spend some hours working.
For lunch I went with Nima to a cafe were the guys from Radio Budio joined us. Some of their friends came by and said I was a celebrity etc. Cool stuff.
Today I was actually supposed to leave to Qom early in the morning but I still had my luggage at Ali’s place and he had some delay. He was supposed to return in the afternoon but it became evening and I stayed another night in Tehran.
Day 250 | Saturday November 19
Now it was really time to leave. I said goodbye to my new dear friend Ali. Even since before entering Iran he had been taken care of me and he made my stay in Iran so far very pleasant. He set up meetings with sustainable related companies and organized the presentation at the University. He has a girlfriend in Holland so I’m sure I will see him again.
Time to leave to Qom. Aidin, who interviewed me last week had a friend there were I could stay. The road to Qom was pretty amazing, I suppose you can call this already the desert and I had never been in the desert before. Sand blew over the highway. Some people had warned me not to go to Qom. It’s the most religious city in Iran and until just 3 years ago it was forbidden for non-moslim people and some areas are still not safe.
My host Leilli was a cool woman who welcomed me with some pizza and french fries. Iranians really love fastfood. She showed me the city and the highlight was the holy shrine, or more like holy shit! From the inside the building was decorated with mirrors and silver, it shined so bright it almost hurt my eyes. In the middle of the mosque was the cemetery of some special person. People were crying while touching the grave, a special moment to witness.
Leilli got tired and went to her parents place to rest. I walked around through the small alleys and old neighborhoods, very interesting to visit. Funny moment: a kid saw me taking pictures and they approached me to take one of them. Exactly at the moment that I shot the picture he sneezed and I captured him at his not most prettiest moment. Watch the picture below.
When it started to get dark I walked back home, the whole day I didn’t feel unsafe for one moment.