In all the Middle East countries we’ve been to – from Israel to Jordan to the UAE to Iran to Oman – a main attraction is always the souk. Historically souks were open-air markets that sprang up on the outskirts towns on trade routes where merchants stopped their caravans, coming and going intermittently. Eventually, souks became more permanent and structures were built to house them. Like a pop-up shop gone permanent.
In the film Lawrence of Arabia, Mr Dryden, the man who first enlists Lawrence’s services, alleges that these are the only two creatures that have fun in the desert. Lawrence of course disagrees and thinks he is going to have loads of fun. We decided to see for ourselves.
Happy International Women’s Day!
I thought I would digress from the usual travel posts and write about the joys and the plight of being a woman in today’s world by sharing some facts that I have gleaned from my travels and from my research.
“First time in Iran?” the immigration officer asks.
“Yes”, I answer.
(After a few nervous seconds that seemed like hours) “Welcome to Iran!” he exclaimed.
We were through immigration, baggage claim and customs in 25 minutes. Delhi Airport has nothing on Tehran. Imam Khomeini trumps Indira Gandhi!!