We managed to regroup in Shiraz, Iran.

The first impression is that this country is much cleaner and better organized than India, and it’s inhabitants enjoy improved living standards. Not having seen Pakistan will leave some doubt regarding where is the big gap: at the India-Pakistan border, at the Pakistan-Iran border, or maybe there is a gradual change?

At the beginning we got very confused by the dual currency used in Iran. We visited another country with such system before (Cuba) but here it’s totally different. All actual currency (paper/metal) and all written prices are denominated in Iranian Rial. However, all spoken prices are in a fictional and unofficial currency named “Toman”, where 1 Toman = 10 Rials.

So when the taxi driver asks for “10,000” for a ride he will expect 10,000 Toman, which is 100,000 Rial. Even more confusing is when shopping. You ask for two bottles of water, and one bottle has a price of 20,000 affixed. But the seller asks you for 4,000 (Toman is implied), and you are expected to give 40,000 Rials (since Tomans don’t really exist).

Other than that, we learned the shippers from Bombay didn’t do a proper job and Palomina departed on the 4th of May instead of 20th of April, due to some unforeseen delays. Given the past experience with the Indian services, I wasn’t expecting a timely delivery, so I am not that surprised.