Josephine and I were camping at a beautiful dam, where the crocodiles were chilling on the rocks in and the leopards were hiding in the shade on the hills around us. Flamingos were gathering in the water, some farmers were working at their land and some animal lovers came by to take photos of this spectacular wildlife. One of them was Dr. Dilip Arora.
Traffic in India is crazy. Roads in Pakistan are terrible. In Iran we can not read the road signs. The toll is way too expensive everywhere we go. Everyone is honking at us, continuously, since we have left Europe. We can never find a service station anywhere we go. We are totally lost and it is hard these days, driving a car all the way to another continent.
“What about the Taliban”, I asked. “Are they still active in this area?”. The Levies officer, holding an AK-47, gave me a big smile: “No Taliban here. No Taliban. Taliban is in Afghanistan. Maybe northern Pakistan. Not here. It is safe here.” I looked puzzled at him, although at the same time relieved, while he kept on talking: “Even the prince of United Arab Emirates comes here to hunt special birds. Russian birds! It is very safe!” Well, if even the prince of UAE comes here to hunt…
Josephine and I sat in our hotel room in Cappadocia, doing some research about Iran. We were about to go there in a few days. Josephine sent me a link about Taarof. Supposedly it is a big thing in Iran to offer something to someone without really meaning it. I vagusely read the article, not paying real attention to it. I still hear myself thinking that is probably all exaggerated. This might happen in some places, but not really, right?
This story is also available in 🇳🇱 | It is going to be a long day. We wake up early and quickly we prepare some coffee to-go. A truck driver, not the first one, walks towards us to greet us. He doesn’t speak English, we don’t speak Turkish. He walks back to his truck and gestures with his hands to say we have to wait. Actually, we are kind of in a rush because we want to arrive early at the border, but we do not want to be rude.