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Old 11-24-2008, 04:26 AM   #59
meto OP
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Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Izmir, Turkey
Oddometer: 56
07 - 08 October, Tuesday - Wednesday
Downtime in Tehran (0 km)

We woke up at 08:30. After a quick breakfast we walk to the Embassy which was 5 minutes away. Waited outside till 09:30. I always keep the photocopies of the documents on the bike in a water-tight bag. This time they came in handy for Mete. We couldn't have gotten any room for him to begin with, if he didn't have his passport's copy. Also it accelarated the procedures in the Embassy.
We told yesterday's story to the guys in the Embassy. They explained that if eveything goes well, at the end we will have 3 to 5 days to leave the country. This was a showstopper. I couldn't describe how dissapointed i felt at that moment. Turning back from Tehran...all that preparation and most important the time we spared from eveything to arrange this.
They told that we should get the police report from a station in Tehran claiming that we lost the passport in the city somewhere. Because of the language barrier we requested assistance. Taking Murat along, we went to the Baharestan precinct. Asking 10 people Murat found the room but the guy was not there. After waiting 1 hour they told that we should go to the Security Department. Like always our guy there was not in his room again. Waited another hour then they told us to go to Baharestan precinct. We told that we were coming from there. Everybody was throwing us somwhere. Nobody wanted to deal with the issue. Lunch break was close so it was obvious that we are not getting the report. After lunch it's impossible to find anybody. We also had to check out from Ferdosi Hotel because there was room for only one night. On the way back we booked the rooms from Hotel Hafez and moved there.

While i hung around in the room, Mete went to the Embassy again. They said that they will give the travel documents first thing in the morning tomorrow. So, there's nothing to do but wait. We wandered around the bazaar, ate sandwiches and discovered the fruit juice. What a treat. Melon juice is my favorite. We constantly thought about the time that they will give us to leave the country. Whole trip depends on this.
We returned to the hotel and just lied down for a quick nap about 16:30. When we opened our eyes it was 07:30 the next day. Mete' s sunglasses was still hanging from his t-shirt's collar. We totally fainted out.

It was wednesday morning and first thing in our agenda was the embassy again. We got the travel document and the instructions for proceedings.
Then we walked to the Ministry of External Affairs with the documents given by our embassy. They computed the documents and told us to go to Foreign Aliens Department. We hopped on a taxi and gave the adress to him written in Farsi.
Everything was going very fast until they asked the fucking police report again. It had become our nemesis. No matter what we do, we couldn't get the report.
Mert, who's a friend of Mete texted me that his client Ibrahim will help us in any way he can and also gave his cell number.
We called Ibrahim and met him in front of the Security Department which we went the previous day. The guards at the entrance was greeting us "Hi Turk !" We were famous.
Lunch break time came and Ibrahim said we could wait in his shop in the Bazaar.
We made fun of the people who ride with 3 people on small motorbikes and told each other to take photos of these. Unfortunately, Ibrahim came with a motorbike too and we were in the same position now.

After 1,5 hours we went to the Security Department again and the guy that was going to handle the issue is not in his place again. They told us to come tomorrow. Another day was wasted. I was hoping maybe we could finish the procedures today and hot the road tomorrow. No, No, Noooo !!!
After lying down in the hotel a bit, we went outside to walk around. At on a bench for a while in Park Shahr.

We left the bikes on the street with disc and chain locks on.

After that we went to the hotel again. There wasn't any motivation to do anything. About 30 minutes later my cell phone rang and it was Aydin. He told me that he has been calling all day. The phone lines in Tehran are terrible. The signal was breaking. So, he called from the hotel 2 minutes later and gave the good news.

He came and picked us up from the hotel at 20:30 and we rode to Karaj (40 km) where the guy who found the bag was living. It' s really an incredible story how he reached Aydin. The night we stayed at Aydin's, Aydin wrote his contact information on a piece of paper. Mete didn't want to write it again so he took a photo of the paper with his cell phone. The guy who found the bag looked to the photos and saw that photo. He called the number and reached Aydin. The guy told Aydin that they are a poor family but they couldn't touch that money and should return it to it's owner. We were undescribably happy. We asked Aydin how much money to give to the guy. He said that he would say when he sees them.
When we arrived to the house Hadi Muradi and his father Kurban Muradi greeted us and invited us in their home. Another striking example of Iranian hospitality. They bring tea and offered us watermelon. After a brief chat Hadi bring the bag and nothing was missing in it. (Of course we didn't open it there not to be rude.) Aydin told us that 50 EUR will be ok. We insisted to pay more. We really didn't care about the money, all that matters was the passport. He said that 50 EUR is a lot of money for them, and persueded us that it's enough.

Hadi is the one between us.

Look at the gas line attached to the lamp. Natural gas is cheaper than electricity.

Nothing was enough for us to show our gratitude, so we asked for permission and left with wonderful memories.
Thank you again so much !!

Aydin dropped us to our hotel and we were drunk because of happiness.
After two days of captivity we were free to go, free to ride again.

Also another huge thank you to Aydin, who has been the saviour of this trip.
Metin "meto" Saruhanli
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