Approaching a new big city is always confusing. Tehran has 14 million inhabitants and like other cities in developing countries it lacks a main shopping road where it is easy to start exploring the city.
Arrived Sunday morning at around 5 am - twelve hours after schedule. After even more waiting (voluntary) at the train station me and two others from the train decides to leave for the hostel. Morgutz from Austria and Gork from Japan were heading to Imam Khomeini square to find a cheap hostel. Gork is 39 and has travelled extensively in Asia, south Europe and north Africa the last twenty years. He did not want to comment on how he financed his travels but frequent trips to Afghanistan seems to be the source of income. Our first mission is to haggle down to an acceptable price for the short taxi ride. 70 000 rials they wanted. About 7 dollars. An unheard of amount for three backpackers on a budget. Especially for Gork who already was marching down towards the bus station. And it turned out to be a significant cheaper alternative. We payed 2 000 rials for ten bus tickets.
The hostel resided in a particularly uncharming street. For a guy from west-bamble (redneck) it would probably be heaven as Volvo-Allah himself had designed the street. Hundreds of little shops selling tyres, batteries, engines and everything else a car requires to get from A to B. Stinking diesel-oil. Women are almost totally absent. The first impressions of the hostels were OK though and one night in a dorm room (three beds) had the price of 40 000 rials (4 dollars). For breakfast a little bakery 50 m down the street served fresh naan. The only non car-related shop around for about 500 m. The naan is fantastic. Costing 1500 rials for a long brad about the same thickness of a indian naan that you get in restaurants, but the taste is sweeter and sesame seeds is sprinkled on the top. Incredible taste when fresh but not so nice after an hour or so. Naan with strawberry jam became me breakfast of choice the first few days. Not that there were much choice though.