‘Hello miss!’ – I hear from the distance. A couple of them get serious when they see me and watch me with interest. The others are a little bit more brave. They slow down.
‘Hello miss. Where from?’ – They ask. ‘From Lahestan’ – I answer. ‘Welcome to Iran’ – They reply.
I then meet 2 of them. One leans against a colourful wall, the other takes photos with a phone. The lady who is posing takes off her scarf. Underneath she has no hair. She smiles at me shyly. I think that maybe she shaved off her hair to express rebellion or anger. The gesture to take her scarf off is also a small protest. ‘That’s amazing. Keep it up’ – I think to myself.
I stop and ask them to take a photo of me at the same wall. The woman who was taking photos earlier, takes my camera and tells me to lean against the wall. She takes one photo, so I thank her and want to take the camera, but she doesn’t allow me. She takes my hand and pulls me towards a different wall. There she tells me to pose. She takes photos from up close, from far out, from below, from the right and then the left. She tells me to take the scarf off. I must say that the photos turned out to be pretty good.
At the end she points at her friend, who is standing under a tree. She calls her over and we take a selfie. Her friend says something to me in Farsi, she points at her bald head and then her right breast. I don’t need a dictionary to understand that.
They say something to me and they pull out their phones. They try to find me on Instagram. The internet is not good enough and we can’t find each other, but they promise me they will keep looking for my profile.
They walk away sending me kisses.
And this might not be a story that pulls your heart out. It might be a bit boring and not so surprising, but it was a moment that I will remember forever and I hope I will have more encounters like that in the future.
Sending love from Iran,
Your Auntie Jo.