Iran is not an expensive country to travel in. We didn’t do the math but we figure that petrol there is probably cheaper than Coca-cola. As such you can ride the 2000km of the country by bus for almost nothing and even flights are likely to be within your budgets.
Students hang around the tourist areas in the hopes of striking up a conversation and improving their English. Most of them will be happy to show you the best their town has to offer.
You’ll probably receive many offers of hospitality and it’s really nice to spend a few days with an Iranian family to get an idea of how the rhythm of life is here.
If you’re a man then only inside a family house will you get the chance to talk to any women. In any case be tactful. If you’re a women you’ll be allowed in the kitchen and feel the pulse of the house.
When faced with an enormous Iranian banquet do your best to eat far more than is good for you else the mother may start to cry. Cite health problems when you can’t finish more than five plates.
The carpet shops are good for a drink of tea and a chat. The dealers are pretty relaxed and welcoming. Even if you have no intention of buying anything yourself you’re still welcome – there’s always the chance that next time you’ll bring a friend who will buy.
If you play any instruments or juggle or anything like that you can have a crowd of fifty in about five minutes if you stop to make a show. Iranians will love you if you entertain them – passing time isn’t easy in an Islamic regime.
People will press food upon you all the time but it’s polite to refuse at least once. Iranians will usually only accept on the third offering.
Women should cover their arms and legs and will be respected if they just wear a head-scarf. You don’t have to be like the coach loads of Americana who equip themselves from head to toe with heavy-duty chadors everywhere they go.