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January 14, 2003

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We've seen some things in Iran we thought we'd never see; maybe we were too naive in thinking that Sharia'a law has stamped out all alcohol, drugs, and gambling. Two drunk teenagers accosted us as we walked around the streets. We know undercover drinking happens yet these kids had thrown away all caution. Sharia'a law imposes harsh prison terms for public drunkeness. Our guides told us heroine addiction also plagues Iranian kids. They get the drugs from neighboring Afghanistan. We've driven through many opium checkpoints on the highway. Finally, we watched men gambling on dice rolls in the park, which we thought looked like a good time, but we didn't feel experienced enough to risk a few rials on a toss.
From Kerman we head west to Shiraz, driving all day through arid country punctuated by rocky hills or low mountains.
Fig tree orchards stand outside Shiraz. The fig sellers sit on the sidewalk.
Shiraz in a pickle. People in Shiraz pickle all types of food, including walnuts.
The Arg-e Karim Khani citadel leans over the city center of Shiraz. Built in the mid-1700's, the tower's leaning tendency has thwarted all attempts to correct it, even those efforts made by off kilter engineers from Pisa, Italy.