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Iran

3,078 bytes added, 09:33, 16 April 2013
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When hitchhiking in the north of the country, it might occur that people stop just to ask if you need assistance unrelated to transportation. In fact, you don't stand longer than 10 minutes without some car stopping for you. It can be even a police/army vehicle (they are in every corner of Iran): they will pick you up and even stop a car for you and convince a driver to take you further.
In Farsi language (official language in Iran spoken as a first or second language by most citizens) the word "hitchhiking" doesn't exist. The translation of this word found in English-Farsi dictionaries seem to have a confusing effect on locals of Iran since they hear it for the first time in their lives. Though some people (especially couchsurfers or young Tehranians) know about it, call it "autostop" or English "hitchhiking". The Farsi ''majani savar shodan'' seems to be the closest. (means driving for free)and it is the literal translation of the dictionary though doesn't seem very widely understood also because "savar shodan" means take a lift and most often refer to shared taxis (savari) so that it may sound as "taking a shared taxi for free" (fact that can actually happen kind of often though is not very fair and respectful for the other passengers who however most probably will smile and welcome you).You A very easy way to hitch a lift and make cheater run away is clarify since the beginning that you are not going to pay anything asking before entering the car "bee doona pool?" (without money?) asking for confirm several times in case the driver doesn't seem nice "mutmaeen? sad dar sad?" (are you sure? 100%?) otherwise you can also use the magic word ''salavaati'' which works quite good. (this word has originally a religious background from the war time between Iran and Iraq. some people would do some favours for soldiers and asking them for ''salavaat'' which is kind of good pray instead of money.) as soon as you say this word, everyone understand what exactly you mean. (and nobody expect you to really pray.)
Useful phrases are:
== Getting in ==
[[File:Iranian_panels_fede.JPG|thumb|left|300px| [[User: Fedecicco| Fede]] with one of his driver holding the panel "No taxis, no shared taxis, no buses"]]
[[File:Iranianroadsignboard.jpg|thumb|250px|[[User:Halt, Stop! Reudnitz kommt.|Craig]] & Dario at the [[Persian_Gulf-Highway]] near [[Qom]].]]
[[File:Shiraz.jpg|thumb|250px|Hitchhiker [[User:Fran|Fran]] waiting for a ride in Iran.]]
== Sleeping ==
Finding a place to sleep in Iran is generally as easy as knocking the first door you come across. If you get tired of the unrelenting hospitality however, the city parks offer an excellent alternative. Many parks, even in big cities, are designated as camping zones, with toilets open all night. Camp fires are tolerated, but it's best to ask before. Though in some cities (e.g. [[Hamedan]]) there are clear panels showing "forbidden camping" and policedo come to unset tents (often used as nest by couples young or not); arriving late at night and setting off the tent early in the morning you will avoid any annoyance for sure.Sleeping in mosques is also possible, even though you should ask for permission beforehand. In this case, make sure you respect the segregation of sexes when travelling as a couple. [[User:Harveypekar|Harveypekar]] slept in a mosque close to Mesr, only to overhear the Iman Imam the next morning, explaining other travellers that it's impossible to sleep in the mosque. The iman imam was friendly enough though to show the other group the other side, as to leave him sleep his fill.
It is possible to camp in the deserts as well, but be sure you cannot be seen from the road to prevent attention from the authorities. They can send you to jail for being on some site you're not allowed to be on.
Note from a traveler: weekends in Iran are Thursdays and Fridays!!
 
===Hitchhiker [[User:Fedecicco|Fede]]===
[[File:PB100104.JPG|thumb|left|250px| [[User: Fedecicco| Fede]] hitchhiking between Tabriz and Hamedan, panel says "No taxi, no money, no problems"]]
 
Iran is definitely the best country I ever visited for hitchhiking as for travel in general. Though the concept itself of hitchin doesn't exist at all people are always extremely kind, friendly and try to help you as much as they can. Very few people speak English, though learn a bit of Farsi is not very difficult and the language of body, smiles and kindness supply any other misunderstanding.
Holding a panel with clear sings ("No taxi") and being always strict in refusing offers (though keeping calm and kind) I avoided cheaters all the times and I've had the best encounters of my whole life, in every kind of place, from the most remote rural area to the suburbs of Tehran. You can hitch extremely easily wherever, from the motorways pay tolls for long distances, to the sidewalk of a desolate road, every time having in mind that you have to talk with the driver and explain him what hitchhiking means as why you are doing it (more than almost the whole story of your life..) it reveals itself really supereasy.
The only bad experiences I had (hitchhiking at night and being hosted by a couchsurfer with empty profile) were not enough at all to give me either the smallest negative impression of this amazing country though made me acknowledge it was still part of the Earth and not of the paradise, still remaining the closest reality to my idea of it..!
Even if the cost of transportation is extremely cheap (my host in Tabriz told me, "why don't you take the bus? it costs less than 2E!") this is not a reason at all not to hitch, as most of times, it is not matter of money..!
===Hitchhiker [[User:Damaniacle|Dominic]]===
== Hitchhiking as a girl as experienced by [[User talk:Mariegab‎|Mariegab‎]] ==
[[File:PC070561.JPG|thumb|left|300px| [[User: Fedecicco| Fede]] hitchhiking together with four girls (fourth taking picture)]]
'''Problem 1: not being able to hitchhike'''
==> I met some Iranian girls who use to hitchhike and they said it was a great experience. I had also really good experiences as a girl alone hitchhiking in Iran. You should be aware that the custom is really different from Europe and even Turkey and that the law protects men better than women.
 
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