Week 10

Days 68-72, 25.4-29.4

This week was as normal as the one before. Nothing happened during the school days. The only thing is, that I finally have internet, that is pretty fast. The second SIM card is from Irans most popular mobile company MTN-Irancell. My flatmates Frisco and Yang use it and have excellent speed when downloading – up to 1 Mbit/s (DSL 8000). 50 Gigabyte valid for 3 month cost around the same (~22EUR) as six months 9GB with 128kbit/s (DSL 1000) with my old company Rightel, so I bought this package.
On Wednesday (29.4) Frisco and me were invited for dinner at Joo Yang, our cool classmate from Korea. He’s in Iran for Samsung, but he only seem to have to learn Farsi and getting the normal salary plus bonus. So he has the most relaxed life. His apartment is twice as big as ours and situated in a very good good (but also boring) neighbourhood. In addition he rented a car as well, but it hasn’t been available yet.
However he made great food and later we drank together with one of his Korean friends and ate sweets. Since both of them wanted to go to Esfahan the next day, we went literally went back home at half past midnight. Since being a little drunk and not tired, I didn’t want to take a taxi. To our dorm the distance was about 11km and I wanted to see Tehran on a Friday – Iranian Friday, European Wednesday – night. Frisco was more drunk and not really into that idea, but didn’t want to take a taxi or bus alone.
But it was very sad. We walked along the longest street in the Middle East (Vali-e Asr) southbound, but apart from some families in a park at the beginning and people cleaning the pavement, we only met on other pedestrian: In conclusion Tehran went wild!
Welcome to Iran, where people needn’t party at their homes, but can happily enjoy life the night before weekend celebrating on the streets!
Otherwise the parks, even during the week, are well-filled until 1am with people, having a picnic or playing volleyball respectively badminton.

Day 73, 30.4, Thursday

On Thursday I was invited at an event at the German Residence which is home for the ambassador and some employees of the German embassy. It was an event of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), although this Service has nothing to do with my stay. Fortunately Tobias joined me, so I didn’t feel completely lost. I had been to other official events but they have been bigger; there the ambassador welcomed everyone in person by handshake.
After two short introduction speeches, snacks and drinks were served and then we talked in small groups (group photo). At 7pm the event was finished and we went home.
Since Saturday (2.5) was a national holiday, I thought about going to Esfahan. But I was tired and exhausted and I wanted to make my decision depending on Joo Yang. If he had a free place in the car when they went back on Friday, I would have taken the night bus. But they didn’t have a place, so I stayed in Tehran and enjoyed the evening on the roof top.

Day 74, 1.5, Friday

Because I didn’t go to Esfahan, I went to the western part of Tehran, to Ekbatan to Eram Park. There’s the zoo of Tehran and an amusement park. The entrance fee was 10.000 Rials and the park was full of families having barbecue. The amusement park on the other hand was kind of abandoned and empty. Every thing was out of service although the owners were around chatting with each other.
I didn’t spend much time in Eram Park. Basically I just walked around the fenced lake and then went back to the dorm again.

Week 7 – Homeless in Tehran – Part 2/2

Day 49, 6.4, Monday

It was the third day of school of the new term and I got up at 6am to avoid using the crowded metro.
Having arrived a school I was very friendly welcomed by the “secretary”, who didn’t gave me a room. But it was very nice to see the old classmates again.
After class I went to the secretary again to finally arrange a room. In the meantime Francesco and Tobias offered me to stay at their place until I a real place.
After I got an address somewhere in Enghelab from the secretary, I went there by metro with Tobias and Francesco, who also live in that area. But it soon turned out the place where I should stay was supposed to be the shabby place where Francesco had to live for one months: one room for 12 people in the basement without windows. I didn’t want to go to the secretary the next day and complain, without having seen that place so I decided to go there, but left all valuable stuff at Francesco’s apartment.
At the dormitory no-one in charge knew I was coming. A young student accompanied me the administration, but the lord of the keys wasn’t around any more and nobody knew if he come back the next day as well. So the student took me to a common room and a few hours later to a two bed room. But all to beds were already reserved, so I had to sleep on the ground again. Also I noticed that he belongs to these kind of people being in favour of the religious government, which was another reason for me to quickly find a different place. Instead of going out for dinner with him and his friends, I arranged a meeting with Zhihui to eat, who doesn’t live far and to make the evening at least a bit nice.
Before going to sleep I enjoyed the first shower since Berlin and tried to sleep well on the ground.

Day 50, 7.4, Tuesday

I left the room, saying to myself to not return. I could change my jogging trousers and the T-Shirt into a jeans and a shirt.
At school I went to the secretary again. She told me I should call the caretaker of the apartments of Tobias and Francesco at 9pm. I replied that I wouldn’t wait with all my stuff somewhere outside to maybe get a room at 9pm and told her that I’d stay at a friend’s (Tobias). There I could at least sleep in a proper bed after four nights on the more or less bare ground.
At 9pm I called the caretaker and as I assumed he didn’t know if there was a free room/bed and said he’d call the secretary the next day…

Day 51, 8.4, Wednesday

It was the last day of school of the first week and I was still home- or roomless. At 3pm the secretary gave me the adress of a pension where I should go, because the caretaker hadn’t called back.
But before I could even go there, she called me telling me there was a free bed in Francesco’s apartment, although he said, the all wanted single rooms.
His roommates were astonished as well, but I finally had a place.

Day 52, 10.4, Thursday

I slept long this day.
My new home is near Enghelab square (Meydan-e Enghelab), few minutes from the metro and even nearer to the big Laleh Park. We can even access the rooftop, where you have a great view and can see Damavand and an anti-aircraft gun. My apartment mates are Jack (an Englishman), Francesco and my roommate Yang from Taiwan. Each morning we take the taxi to school, paying 30’000 (0,80 EUR).
In the after-noon we met at a café with other people for talking and afterwards for a kebab.

Day 53, 10.4, Friday

At noon we met with two Iranians from Thursday to learn some swear words and then I met with Zhihui to make some homework and relax in the sun.