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YAZD AND THE DESERT

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On top of Yazd, Iran

In Yazd, I was pretty exhausted, and my nerves lay bare. If I could have beamed myself out of Iran, I would have done it then and there. But since I still had the hope of travelling to India through Pakistan at the time, I clenched my teeth and ventured on. I planned to write and somehow forget that last night in Tehran.

Paraglider, Yazd, Iran

My stay in Yazd began with a string of happy circumstances. I met lovely travellers, stayed in a small but nice hostel with a young, female receptionist who I didn't need to explain anything to. She knew pretty well what I had been through in the last few weeks and without any ado gave me a small twin niche at the top end of the stairs, right at the unused exit to the roof. A little niche I could crawl into. A room without a door and only a curtain for privacy, but with a socket. Here I could close my eyes without having to listen to my roommate's half-muted rustling.

Desertscape, Yazd, Iran

The hostel filled up with Iranians on the second day. Normally they are not allowed to sleep in hostels, but for some unknown reason, they were there. Most likely friends of the owner or similar. One of them, a scammer and thief well known on Couchsurfing. From one day to the next the relaxation was gone.

Sunset tea, Yazd, Iran

We drove out into the desert to watch the paragliders and enjoy the sunset. I walked beside our little crowd, stuck my toes in the sand and listened to some of my favourite singer's new album. For the first time in a long while music was blasting in full volume into my ear. Dancing normally unimaginable in Iran, as it is forbidden, is also always a demonstration of my charms even in the few moments when it's possible for a woman to shake her body. It's practically a wedding promotion. In Iran, it's quite natural to gather in a circle and clap while one or two people in the middle are rhythmically entangled. Continually demonstrating and promoting one's abilities awakens my disgust. I love to dance, but I don't do it for other people, only for myself. That illusion is destroyed when a group of people yell, clap and scream at me. Those calls and whistles anger me the same way they do on the street, although the intentions behind them are arguably different. It doesn't seem to be me alone. Many of the other western foreigners also withdraw into the background during the short but vociferous festivities.

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