No booze for a week - will I survive?

May 14th, 2009, 08:06 AM
  #1  
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No booze for a week - will I survive?

I just received my passport back with the Iranian visa affixed, so there is no turning back now. I will be leaving Chicago for Istanbul on Turkish Airlines in late June. Connecting through IST then on to Tehran. I am going solo and doing the standard Isfahan, Shiraz and Tehran trip. Short, I know. To be honest, the thought of not drinking (on vacation none-the-less) is as stressful as the thought of going to Iran.

As a seasoned traveler, I have been to all the places so many people are afraid to go. However, I have I to say that I am apprehensive about going to this country, as it has been a "no-go destination" for most of my life. My parents want to kill me for going! I do appreciate the feedback from everyone here on their own trips to Iran. That has made me feel a little better about my decision.

Just hope that I can get through customs into Tehran and back into the US with no issues or hassles due to my choice of a travel destination. We'll see.

I will say I am sick and tired of people telling me I'm crazy.
nimbus is offline  
May 14th, 2009, 09:46 AM
  #2  
 
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If you haven't seen it, Rick Steves (travel guide writer and public television personality who usually does only Europe) has an extensive travel journal and slide show on his travels to Iran. http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/desti...eyond/iran.htm And I also recommend a great book I read "Searching for Hassan: A Journey to the Heart of Iran" by Terence Ward, a true story of the adult children and their parents of an American family who go back to Iran in the late 1990s or early 2000s to try to find their beloved houseman Hassan from the 1960s when they lived there while the father was with one of the oil companies. It's both the "current" story of their trip and the "historic" story of Iran.
laurie_ann is offline  
May 14th, 2009, 09:55 AM
  #3  
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Thank you for your suggestions. I did read Rick's book about his Iran trip and saw his show. I will say that when I found out he was going there, it gave me the courage to make the trip.
nimbus is offline  
May 14th, 2009, 12:42 PM
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I was in Iran for almost 3 weeks last October. I also flew Turkish Air from Istanbul to Tehran. Iran was a wonderful experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat. A most beautiful and interesting country with friendly, kind, helpful, welcoming people.

It's entirely possible to get alcohol in Iran, though I wouldn't recommend it unless you're looking for trouble. Non-alcoholic beer is widely available, in all kinds of 'interesting' flavors, but of course that's not the same.

Here's a link to my photos, if you're interested: http://jmstudio.fotopic.net/c1606257.html

Here's a link to my trip report: http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...ome-photos.cfm

Here is a link to listing of some of my favorite experiences: http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...omment-5373678

I'm curious about why you're visiting Iran, since you express feeling apprehensive, stressed, worried and hassled. Is someone forcing you to go? Just because you have the visa, it doesn't mean you have to go. Maybe people are telling you you're crazy because they also question why you're going if you have feelings of apprehension, stress, worry, etc. For me, visiting Iran was a privilege and pleasure I treasure, and I can say I never had second thoughts about going.
julia1 is offline  
May 14th, 2009, 12:53 PM
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No booze, it's going to be rough.
Once in the legendary dark forests of Orbangota there were three of us scouts and three native porters carrying supplies. The porter with our gin slipped, fell, every bottle of gin breaking. I beat him repeatedly with my cane until he ran off terrified. We had to live the next four days on nothing but water and food. A nightmare.

regards - tom
ps - with thanks to the great W.C. Fields
cary999 is offline  
May 14th, 2009, 01:04 PM
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When I worked for Unocal 76 (oil company on west coast USA) we had visiting Saudi Arabia petroleum engineers who worked with Unocal for a year. Saudi Arabia is Muslim, no alcohol. The engineers told a story about one of the Saudi Royal Princes having a food delivery truck coming to his palace. There was an accident. You guessed it, inside the delivery truck in addition to food were cases of booze. Royalty, rulers, kings, politicians are the same everywhere - do as I say, not as I do.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
May 14th, 2009, 04:00 PM
  #7  
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Cary999,

Your story reminds me of when I was in Dubai last winter and the locals told us stories of how rich Saudi and Kuwaiti businessmen would go to Dubai to buy their new vehicles. As you may know, you can purchase alcohol in Dubai in limited areas. They would buy cars with 2 gas tanks. One tank would be filled with gas and the other with alcohol.

Julia, thank you for the links. I read your posting a while back and it confirmed for me that I wanted to go to Iran. My apprehension rests with the years of being told that this place is the forbidden fruit, a place where one never dare venture. My whole life I have been fed that information. So yes, the barrage of media stories and 99% of the people telling me I'm crazy, does tend to play on the mind after a while. I mean Iran for my whole life was simply a place that one should never go to - at least, that's what I was always told.

Reading the trip reports from people like you helps to "repaint" a much more positive picture of Iran. I have heard from everyone that visits Iran that they are the nicest, most hospitable people in the world. I am very excited to go and hope my experiences are as positive as yours were.

By the way, I am forcing myself to go. I have always wanted to go to Iran.
nimbus is offline  
May 15th, 2009, 07:16 AM
  #8  
 
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Nimbus –
Glad to hear you are definitely going! Perhaps you will make some local friends like me who will (hiccup) keep you well hydrated one evening! In any event, I know you’ll have a wonderful trip.
maxwell is offline  
May 16th, 2009, 09:08 AM
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Nimbus- I doubt you will have any issues or hassles going through immigration/customs into Tehran or back into U.S. I found immigration officials curious but that's all. Once you get to Iran you'll relax and have a wonderful visit. Iranians are indeed "the nicest, most hospitable people."
julia1 is offline  
May 19th, 2009, 12:56 PM
  #10  
 
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Ditto to everything that's been said - you are going to love Iran! I posted a trip report to this forum a few weeks ago - it's listed in the Iran section right underneath your post - and the first story describes the experience of arriving at the Tehran airport. Nothing to be worried about, but if you're feeling unsettled about what it's going to be like it might help ease the jitters. The lack of alcohol will be more than made up for by all the amazing experiences you're going to have. Enjoy!
jsmerkle is offline  
Jun 16th, 2009, 06:27 PM
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You have posted many times about being nervous about this trip here and on other boards...given the turn of events now in Tehran (and probably due to spread to other parts of the country) I would not think anyone with any choice would go now. Hopefully when this is all over and things settle down it will be a good place to visit and maybe even more available to tourists. It just makes no sense now. Just my personal opinion.
turaj is offline  
Jun 17th, 2009, 01:00 AM
  #12  
 
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Agreed turaj. Until this election problem is sorted out and the capital has settled down a lot, I wouldn't go anywhere near Iran at this time.
Lifeman is offline  
Jun 17th, 2009, 12:14 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Today the few bits of news that you can get via cable TV indicates that the regime is now blaming the Americans for intruding in this and sure would not be walking around under those circumstances...also many other tourist focused towns are having the same demonstrations...I personally do not think this is just a passing unrest...reminds me of the revolution...these people have just had enough...I hope they can effect some serious change but clearly not the time to go.
turaj is offline  
Jun 17th, 2009, 12:47 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Nimbus, Keep us posted on what you decide to do. I did pull up one travel blog from western tourists in Iran right now and they were still out sightseeing in Tehran (avoiding the demonstrations), but I'd think your tour operator would have a good idea.

The demented traveler in me would love to be over there right now, but I can completely understand not wanting to go at the moment.
maxwell is offline  

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