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Lighting out for the territory nce more in the Middle East. The more I travel the more I want to travel and the longer that I am out of England the happier I am. At present in Iraq and having a wonderful time. really fallen in love with the country and the people. Very glad I came and

Wed 15th Oct - Esfahan

IRAN | Wednesday, 15 October 2008 | Views [870]

Saw so much today. At the Imam Mosque a man is standing singing in an empty room. His friend asked if I understood what he was singing about. I said yes, everyone understands beauty. I did not photograph him. Sometimes you don't. 2 small Afghani refugee girls selling Hafez poems in the square.

I picnic under a tree. Meet Zoreh and her friend, students. Zoreh asks me if I have been to Mecca; she was there 2 months ago. Do I believe in God. No, I believe in people and trees and babies and grass. She surprises me by laughing and says that as Allah made all those things, if I love them then Allah loves me.

In the mosque a box of mysterious tiles. Resist urge to pocket one. Another student explains that you rest yr forehead on one when praying and demonstrates. I ask if can have a go. Of course. So I do, facing Mecca and short heartfelt prayer that I get thru Balochistan safely.

Visited Chehilsotoun. Entered after paying fee and burst into tears at the beauty. Blubbed for about 5 mins. Then composed myself and went inside the palace or pavilion. frescoes all over the walls. Sobbed all the way round. met Alex again in the garden and we had tea, scandalised by scantily headscarved Italian tourists.

That evening dinner at brother H's. Proper Iranian dinner and I forgot all about refusing 3 times and being forced to eat. H laughed and said that was all nonsense anyway. Dancing, singing, children, flatscreen MTV and great collection of dvds. Later we went up the mountain but thankfully lost the way much to my relief as not feeling very mountainy.

It is now 1.30 am and I am a dead woman, exhausted from getting lost and walking miles and stunned by all the affection and care I am getting from my adopting family.

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