From the center of Istanbul a scenic ferry ride over to Haydarpasa takes me to the train station. The building is old and reside by the ocean. The boat costs 1,30 lira ($1) and goes across the Bosporus strait to the asian side of Istanbul. Being a very sensible person I arrive early. Very early. The train is scheduled to depart at 11 pm and my watch tells me I have three hours to kill. The waiting room is full and for a short period I have the pleasure of occupying a seat next to an old fat man who looks like a beggar. Even the locals reacts badly to the man and the train officials approach him after a while. Turns out he has a valid ticket, three teeth's and apparently a good mood.
The train ride makes the slow Porsgrunn - Larvik journey with NSB to seem like a Japanese super train. The distance is vast but is far from the only reason for the train to spend over three days on the journey from Istanbul to Tehran.
Seems I have experienced a taste of the Iranian hospitality. A cute and social Iranian girl was curious why I wanted to travel to Iran. She was quick to criticize the government and told me she has immigrated to Turkey. Rozieh gave me her phone number promised to show me around in Tehran.