During my trips I met some very nice Iranians and saw some crazy pictures about life in Iran that I decided to go witness what happening in the country by my self and get my own view on it and challenge any received idea from mainstream media as I did in other countries.
Moreover, I had a Belgian friend living in Tehran and few Iranian friends in Shiraz and Isfahan, so my stay would have been great as they were offering to show me around and a proper local
Except my plans didn't happen as planned...
The moment I landed and got to the immigration office to get my visa on arrival as half of my plane,
Sorry for those who were asking me to send them pictures and
snaps from Iran, but this is the only photo I had time to take there.
So, if someone asks me what does Iran look like, I would answer: a hall with 3 extremely disrespectful guys (immigration officers), and a 4 corners room with 5 paranoiac psychopaths (airport police station).
Indeed, after my big fail trip to North Korea, I went to Georges Bush’s 2nd favorite country, that I was waiting for so long, with the idea of showing its beauty and highlighting the kindness of its people, but this one will remain a myth to me as the only Iranians with whom I interacted today in Iran were… crazy motherfuckers.
My crime, and I’m quoting them: “Having two passports, having the combination of two wrong passports, one North African and the other European, during a day of High Security (president's elections), you understand?”. Nothing more according to them, but this was enough for them to call me several times “a threat to Iran and to its security”.
So when they decided I needed to leave the country by my own means, the head of the immigration office stated that I have one hour or they will call the police “to deal with me”. Little details he may not have thought about: I didn’t have Internet or access to the travel agencies in the airport, so they took me directly to the police who urged me to give money to an agent who would bring me my flight ticket: the first one leaving Tehran, shouting in Farsi and threatening me (in English) with jail (handcuffs on the table) if I didn’t cooperate and didn’t leave ASAP, under the benediction of Imam Khomeini’s hanging picture.
Looking at the way I was treated and threatened while being “free”, I didn’t want to test the Iranian prisons with a title of “enemy of the State”… So I was forced to pay over 300€ to go to Istanbul (and of course losing my ticket planned for June 5th out of Iran).
So here I am, Hong Kong -> Kuala Lumpur -> Tehran -> Istanbul in 30 hours, but still enjoying this travel and all its experiences and I FINALLY have a bad story to tell all those who were telling me “after over 16 months of travels, it’s impossible not to have ONE REALLY BAD EXPERIENCE” :D :D
So what happened is that since I did't pass the airport police/customs, I couldn't even take my checked backpack and had to ask the 'Airasia' guy to bring it to the police station... then I had to take it through the security control inside the airport and... in the plane.
You can imagine how hard it was to get a 70L backpack in the overhead space, but eventually I managed, and I have to say that the feeling of the relief started exactly 10 seconds after taking this picture when I understood and realized this 6hours nightmare was finally over!