Espen's travel home photos

US sanctions on Iran - don't run out of money

With 240,000 rials ($24) in my pocket I was in Tehran and on my way to Dubai in three days. After going in a car that turned out not be a taxi but instead having an idiot for driver who kept smiling, shouting 'dollars, dollars' and driving the wrong way to the train station, I came too late for my train to Yazd. I was lucky to get a seat on the train to Bandar-e Abbas for the next day but it cost me 100,000 rials. So three days and 140,000 rials to live for. That is one night in the cheapest hotel in Tehran. Obviously I had to count on creativity and luck to survive until Dubai as international credit cards do not work in Iran due to international (US) banking sanctions. I slept at the train station until about 6am when a irritated Iranian women shook by legs trying to get my seat as the transit hall now have become full of waiting passengers. I was grumpy and sleepy so I just went back to sleep. Did the same when someone from the train station did the same about an hour later. I was probably the talk of the hall. Those rude foreigners. Probably American I guess their bet was. After waking up in a sleeping bag with two hundred people around me I had to wait about eight hours before my train left. I bought some bread (naan) and jam for the ride, which became not so very delicious after a 21 hour train-ride.

The next day around noon the train finally arrived in Bandar-e Abbas. I still had my rials and was ready to find a cheap hostel. I knew the town was quite expensive by Iranian standards but finding a hostel turned out to be harder than I feared. They were either full, too expensive or catering only for Iranians (oh, the discrimination). Finally me and Rene, a dutch guy I met on the train who was taking the same boat to Dubai, found some beds in a hostel run by a very nice Kurdish family. An added bonus was the cute daughter. For 20,000 rials (2 dollars) I got a bed on the roof with sheets that was last washed some time before the revolution.

I was so tired and was considering sleeping in a mosque so I really didn't care about anything except that the fact that I had a bed to sleep in. With a cheap dinner at the hostel I finally had 50,000 rials left when leaving Iran.