Our ride from JFK to Shiraz and here’s how it went down:
Airbus from Manhattan to JFK (1 hour)
JFK to Istanbul (10 hours + 6 hour layover + 7 hour time shift)
Istanbul to Shiraz (3.5 hours + 2 hour delay + 1.5 hour time shift)
Shiraz Airport to hotel (longer than normal half an hour) ahh…are we there yet Papa smurf?
Total Travel Hours: 31.5
Our flight took off two hours later than scheduled. We got on the plane, took off and enjoyed our last taste of the west. The guy next to me literally enjoyed his last taste. He was busy getting hammered on Wild Turkey compliments of Turkish Airlines. A could use a drink at that point but thought it wouldn’t be wise, so I kicked back and enjoyed the in-flight entertainment “Jump the Broom” starring Angela Bassett and Loretta Divine. Nice choice Turkish Airlines…where’s my drink?. I didn’t bother bringing bans most Western reading materials so at that point I just kicked back, enjoyed ride and the movie of course.
Where Cash is King and what do they do with our finger prints anyways?
After that trip I was just grateful that Mahmoud was still there to meet us outside. Getting through immigration took even longer since Tehran gets most of the overseas guests. We needed to get the respiratory finger stamp and the guys at the desk fumbled around with the machine and quickly figured out how to use the thing. While we waited the locals had a chance to give us the curious look over. They were just curious since it was a crazy hour and we were two weary looking unescorted Americans looking for “It’s Okay to come into our country” stamp in our passports. The guys at immigration were very nice and welcomed us to Iran.
The airport terminal was tiny and finding a place to get some Rials, Dinars, Toman or Khomeini’s – wasn’t difficult. The only problem was that the largest Rial note Iran has is the 100,000 which is equal to $9.20. We needed a lot of those bills since cash is king in Iran. Our credit cards don’t work here.
We landed in the early hours of the day and I had a feeling that this information wouldn’t get to him in before he took off for the airport. So it’s now 4am and we are heading to the hotel in our white Iranian Saipa 4-door as the sun comes up. We’re in and the adventure begins.