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Monday, 11 July 2016

#hitzEscape: Iran with Farhan!


Farhan of the hitz Drive Thru spent a few days in Iran during Ramadan, so I asked him (aka forced) to take me on the adventure through the hitz Escape!


Getting There 
Imam Khomeini International Airport
It's an 8 hour flight from KL to Tehran, the capital of Iran, with a 5 hour time difference (GMT+4.30). You're gonna wanna catch some sleep - so don't forget to bring a pillow!

Transport
The distance from Imam Khomeini International Airport to the city centre is similar to KLIA into town - a pretty long journey. A taxi costs around RM90 for a one way trip.

They have an underground train (the metro) which connects most parts of Tehran, and buses are available too. Alternatively, you can also use an Uber-like app called Snap; but it's mainly in Farsi!

Dress Code
Typical Iranian women's garb
There is a strict dress code in Iran - all females must be covered up, but normal clothes are fine (aka long skirts, jeans, long sleeved tops etc). Headscarves are also mandatory, but many styles are acceptable. Before leaving the plane, the stewardesses will ensure everyone is covered before allowing them to disembark.

Currency

10000 Iranian rials = RM1.29, but Persians usually shorten the name of the currency from rials to Tomans, where they take away a 0; meaning they will say 1000 Tomans instead of 10000 Rials.
Iranian cards are accepted everywhere though - even in kedai runcit!
International ATM cards, debit/credit cards do NOT work anywhere in Iran, so make sure you bring enough cash!

Weather
Tochal: This is in summer! 
The temperature can change drastically:
It can be hot in the afternoon, but cold in the evening;
It can be sunny in the city, but snowing in the outskirts - all year round!

Places to Visit
Azadi Tower - Yes, that's Farhan
Grand Bazaar Tehran
Ramadan
Fruit Market, Grand Bazaar - look at those peaches!
The puasa hours are longer in Iran; sahur at 4am, sungkai at 8.30pm. Restaurants mostly remain closed even after dark, so you will have to eat at home. Supermarkets are open. Farhan's Iranian friend actually made kebabs and rice; kebabs are  one of the main dishes there, and Farhan, well Farhan requested the rice haha.. Surprisingly though, a vast majority of the people didn't fast at all.

Eid aka Hari Raya
Eid is celebrated on a small scale in Iran, even though it is still one of the biggest celebrations there. Family get-togethers and feasts are still the norm, but they don't have kuih! Oh no, how to live without makmur, kuih gulung, onde-onde......

Tehran skyline from Tochan base
Useful Persian / Farsi Phrases

Hello: Salam

Hi my name is Calista, nice to meet you: Salam, Man Calista-am, azdidanet koshbakhtam

How are you: Salam, Haleshoma chetori

Thank you: Merci (same as French!)

Just look at those eyes! No not Farhan's...
Overall, Persians/Iranians are very hospitable, and super good-looking! Sadly though, they only have a one-day weekend, which is on Fridays.

So is Iran on your bucket list now? It's definitely on mine! Special thanks to Farhan for the info!
Don't forget to follow me on Instagram @CalistaLeahLiew & Snapchat @CalistaLeah;
And join me on the hitz Playlist every weekday 10am - 1pm on 
hitz fm Sabah 100.8 in Kota Kinabalu & 99.8 in Sandakan! 
*Daily #hitzEscape tips at 12pm
Persian Cat
Love always,
Calista xx

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