26 November 2010

Tehran, Iran, Timezone UTC +3,5

For the first time, I just had a work trip to Tehran. Before getting off the plane, all the women, including all female crew members, put on scarves and coats. We also have to wear them as soon as we leave our hotel room. At least it was not summer and superhot, but just around 10 degrees. Sunny in the morning and the view from our hotel was spectacular - a mountain range with peaks up to 4000m, a bit further up to 5600m before descending rapidly to the Caspian Sea... and yes there are some take offs not too far from the hotel, but I learnt that I have to contact the local school/club before and get a permission to go flying with them. In

coat and scarf, I will consider that for next time.
The day started clear and beautiful, but soon a thick smog fogged up the mountains and they turned invisible. Must have been a thick inversion that kept the fumes from the big city down. Instead of flying, I went to see the Golestan Palace in the city. Great painted tiles and millions of mirror tiles in all the grand rooms, Baroque looks modest in comparison ;) unfortunately it was a public holiday, so I could not venture the big bazaar.
Going back to the plane, we also had to wear scarf and long coat again - I had quite a fight to keep the scarf on my hair, as it kept slipping down. Sometimes to the front so I coulnd´t see properly, also the hearing isn´t as good if there is something on my ears. I usually never wear scarves, so it was an interesting experience. It was a strange feeling of somebody else controlling personal matters. I was never treated disrespectful, and I also respect the Persian law and culture, yet I remembered a great old song about the freedom of the thoughts, of the internal life regardless of the external conditions:
1. Die Gedanken sind frei
wer kann sie erraten?
Sie fliehen vorbei
wie nächtliche Schatten.
Kein Mensch kann sie wissen,
kein Jäger erschießen
mit Pulver und Blei:
Die Gedanken sind frei!
2. Ich denke, was ich will
und was mich beglücket,
doch alles in der Still’
und wie es sich schicket.
Mein Wunsch und Begehren
kann niemand verwehren,
es bleibet dabei:
Die Gedanken sind frei!

3. Und sperrt man mich ein
im finsteren Kerker,
das alles sind rein
vergebliche Werke.
Denn meine Gedanken
zerreißen die Schranken
und Mauern entzwei:
Die Gedanken sind frei!
And for sure, next time I will find a way to fly those beautiful mountains of Tehran!

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