The Taromsari Selfie

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;

From Taromsar’.


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:



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:



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 🙂

WBG xxx

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.

20 Replies to “The Taromsari Selfie”

    1. I am always ready people’s body language, facial expressions, eye movements and breathing. Being a girl on my own I must be aware at all times of the people around me to know if I trust their intentions or not.

  1. Basically in north iran every body know every body! So even if sombody in your family was living in north iran 3 generation befror you, You can still find your relatives by only saying your last name to the local super market 🙂 You actually look like people from north iran, I believe iranian Gene is strong & it won’t let go of you untill it shows you every thing you need too know about Persia, Don’t look at this country as the way it is now! this land has a lot to say. Listen to it. Your archetype will find some thing theurgic if you really ask for it 🙂
    Have a nice trip

  2. What a wonderful mind-blowing experience to be exploring you roots and connecting with distant family members and their community. I’m sure they are very honoured and pleased that you came all that way to find and see them. Enjoy. xx

  3. What an exciting and memorable day in your travels! To experience meeting relatives you were not aware of having.
    May life continue to be exciting in your worldly adventures!

    1. Thank you! It’s certainly drummed into me that life goes on after my grieving in Turkey when Lucy my dog passed away.

  4. Haha this is brilliant!!! A great mental image of you beating your chest shouting “I AM TAROMSARI”. I’m surprised they didn’t run for the hills!!!! 🙂

  5. That made me well up when you unexpectedly get to meet a family member, how wonderful when you didn’t think that you would be able to see any.!

    1. I know Gareth. It’s quite unbelievable to me and I was the one experiencing it! Another magical moment on this trip. See you soon 🙂

    1. Thank you – glad to hear you enjoyed it! 🙂 It’s difficult in a country such as Iran get work done online due to the countries censorship, lack of wifi and snail like internet connection. But more to come … 🙂

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