My last day in Tehran consisted basically in gathering in sleep that I had lacked the previous night and would be lacking in the bus to Yerevan.
I had been lucky enough to get a ticket to Armenia at my arrival to one of the bus stations of Tehran. Because when I actually got to find the company that was selling international tickets, they told me they were all sold out and there was nothing until 4 days after! I insisted and used the solo traveller: it’s only me, only one ticket, surely you can allocate me somewhere! And then insisted on them calling to other bus stations for me to see if there was anything available for next day. They ended up selling me a ticket themselves for next day, somehow.
So, I was ready to leave and I bought some food for the long journey and made sure I was changing all my money and getting back a few euros to spend in Europe soon enough.
Everything was set and I was more ready than ever to get in a 24 hours bus. I wasn’t even sure how the bus was or the length of the journey. I never asked because I never really cared.
Next day, I got in a bus right after making a new friend that turned out to be in my bus. She was a woman travelling to Yerevan with her friend and her mum’s friend.
They were super nice and we were sharing fruits and tea during all the way. The bus was fantastic and they even got to play a movie. A Bollywood movie where the main male character was a handsome Iranian guy. The landscape was also beautiful and great to enjoy brown sights of lands and mountains with absolutely nothing in between.
That kept me entertained for a little way and unfocused on how much I needed to pee because the bus was stopping randomly in the road and men were doing their business in a side of the road but I don’t I can do the same in a country where I can’t even show my elbows!
After dinner I was ready for some sleep, unfortunately my sleep was too short because after an hour the bus reached the town where the crossing was and people started getting on and off the bus. I took the moment to go to the toilet and went back decided to sleep but no. I was kicked out the bus with all my things and also my backpack because…the border was open even though it was almost 2am!
By this time I have already given up on the scarf and was wearing it on my shoulders as if it had fallen off.
I was sleepy and didn’t realise that I was about to pass the police control to leave the country and by law I was still supposed to wear it. The police man that took my passport to stamp it was not happy with my defiance. He looked at me angrily at th beginning. Then he made signs over his own head that I didn’t get. And finally he had to mutter: ‘scarf!’
After a more than exhaustive look at my passport and looking at all my stamps several times, I got stamped out. I kept walking: I was in nobody’s land! No more laws! No more scarf! I put it off until someone came over to tell me: ‘scarf’. I gave up and resigned to wear it until new notice.
It was over 2am then and I was crossing a bridge in nobody’s land. With all my shit with me, a scarf covering my head, in the darkness and surrounded of ugly dogs. I felt like a fugitive, running away from Iran. Jodafes Iran, jodafes!
Jodafes has been my favourite word in Farsi and I have been taking every situation to say it in Iran. Also they use the word ‘vale’ a lot in a very similar sense than the Spanish!
After crossing the whole thing and arriving to immigration control, I got my passport thoroughly examined again. The police looked at all the pages up to four times! Then he stamped me in and didn’t even asked me to pay any visa. Thank you!
I was in and now I was not only putting off my scarf but keeping it in my backpack. The bus didn’t show up until 4am and then I got sleep, finally!
It was shocking to see not only how the scarfs flew away but also men drinking away whole bottles of Jack Daniel’s and stocking up in wine and beer for the rest of the journey.
The first stop in the morning surprised me with a huge change in the landscape: everything was green and it was even chilly! We were in between some beautiful green mountains with a bit of ice still at the top. It was breakfast time and I was out of Iran, still a few more hours away from Yerevan.