Having covered a 25 km distance at a total cost of 1.5 dollars it may have been a first for mankind; a Scottish person handing over taxi fair with a smile on their face. Shared taxis are an extremely economical and quick way to travel in Iran. There are no genetic exceptions to the fact that all taxi drivers in Iran are descendants of the Schumacher family.
The master plan was to take a selfie next to the village sign of Taromsar. To understand such selfie desire know that my surname is Taromsari which means;
The taxi driver stops in the middle of the rice fields declaring, ‘”Taromsar!”, as he drops me off at the side of the road. Within minutes I am sitting on the back of a motorbike being given a tour of the area, compliments of a passer by. I wonder if other female travelers use only their bum cheeks to balance on the back of motorbikes to avoid body contact with their drivers. Using bum cheeks only for balance whilst taking a video on the back of a motorbike is quite an achievement. Watch video below.
My passport is out and in full action, being flashed into the face of any villager who happens to cross my path. I am pointing at myself excitedly and declaring with great pride the words:
“I AM TAROMSARI! I AM TAROMSARI!”
Preparing my packed lunch at the side of the road looking out to the rice fields, a young man on a motorbike stops, word sure travels fast in Taromsar!
“Your name is Moseni Taromsari?”
“Yes”, I replied.
“You must get in this taxi”, he said pointing to one, which had at that very moment stopped on the other side of the road.
“No”, was my reply.
“You must”, he said, “it will take you to Moseni Taromsari”.
So there I was in the back of a taxi hungry and having absolutely no idea where I would end up.
After a 5 minute drive further into the rice fields the car pulls over. The taxi driver is making the universal sign for telephone call and pointing to large metal gates of a wall. I get out and step through the gates into what is the yard of a farm house. A half naked man on a wooden balcony is looking panicked and scrambling for his clothes whilst an old lady is hobbling towards me. Both half naked man and old lady are in shock. Who was this girl standing in their yard among the chickens and the cows with rucksack, hijab and Scottish accent?
I begin explaining in English that the driver told me to come in. I give up mid sentence and step back outside to fetch the taxi driver whom I assume is waiting for me. Taxi and driver are gone. I step back into the yard having no idea who these people are, what they are saying or what I am doing here. I take out my passport and hold it open pointing once more at my chest, exclaiming the words:
“I AM TAROMSARI! I AM TAROMSARI!”
They take the passport out of my hands and begin talking among themselves. A puppy catches my attention and I forget the present situation I am in. It’s chain is wrapped around itself and it can’t move. I go over to free it and am so much absorbed in playing with the puppy I don’t notice a small crowd of villagers gathering in the yard. They fetch me back and I am taken to a car in a neighboring yard. Big smiles accompany the words Moseni Taromsari as they drive me through the rice fields on a narrow dirt track, arriving finally to a small house. An old woman walks out onto the porch. She is the 70 year old wife of my late great uncle. Much is my surprise!
Next blog post – Life in Taromsar.
Thank you for sharing this journey 🙂
Ishbel, creator of World Bike Girl, has spent her life on bicycles, from road racing, to velodrome sprinting to cycling the world. She has pedalled across 20 countries solo and promotes commuting by bicycle. Much to the dismay of her friends, she is an avid wearer of socks and sandals.