This forum is awesome and, so I’d like to give back with a thread on an area where there seems to be scant information, and the information that I’ve seen thus far is ripe with mis-information. I spent some time on this and it’s as detailed as I could make it.
This information, unfortunately, is from 2005 which was my last time in the country. However, a few of my running-mates from that time are still in Iran, and I am in contact with them quite a bit. They inform me that the fundamentals are the same, whereas some of the specific locations and details have changed. Unfortunately some of the specific information of particular locations has faded from my memory. Where I believe the info may be oudated, I will state so explicitly. A lot of what I’m writing is generally dating information which is unlikely to change in 7 years, but I figured this sheet can be a good start until either I or another RVF member returns to Tehran.
I try to write solely from my experience as much as possible, but where my report is informed by my Iranian friends’ experiences, I try to state so, explicitly so you can weigh the quality of the information yourself.
The information below is more about how gaming works in Tehran, Iran as opposed to a data-sheet focussing on locations, hotels, bars, restaurants, etc. although there is some of that too (minus the bars).
Also, it’s a bit risky for me to write about all this stuff, so I will have to politely decline to answer questions that give too much information about my particular situation, or who I am. Any questions I can answer without doing that are all fair game.
First of all, Iran, generally is not physically dangerous (more than America, for example) and should not be mentioned in the same sentence with Iraq, Afghanistan, or Pakistan, as I have seen written on the forum. Despite what views one may have about the regime, the country is relatively safe, and the chances of being mugged, seriously assaulted, shot or blown up are slim to none. That said, petty theft and scams exist as with most other countries, but these concerns about physical safety are completely misguided. Anybody who actually takes the time to really read news articles by even the most biased sources will quickly note that these incidents are not terribly common in Iran.
Below, I will try to provide the info that will lead to an enjoyable, hassle-free, and safe trip for someone who has the both the curiosity and adventurousness to give Iran a shot.
I have written the data-sheet specifically for a non-iranian who is not well-versed in the language or culture. Some of the risks I advise not to take would be ok for someone who knows the ropes, but that is not the target audience of this data-sheet.
BASIC GEOGRAPHY OF TEHRAN FOR PLAYBOYS
Tehran is a huge sprawling metropolis with too many areas to detail. The most important thing to remember is North Tehran and South Tehran. The North, pressed up against the mountains is far richer, more modern, developed, and filled with Iranians with more secular attitudes, and therefore with the girls that are more down to have fun. The South is exactly the opposite, and should only be visited if you are interested in an anthropological expedition to see how the “other side” lives. If you decide to go to the South of the city, it can be quite depressing.
This data focuses on almost exclusively on the northern half of Tehran.
A BRIEF HISTORY & A SMALL POINT REGARDING POLITICS
Iran is an Islamic Republic as of 1980. The Islamic Revolution is the defining theme of government and political life. Before 1980, Iran was a monarchy ruled by a “Shah” (King, in Persian). Don’t ever talk shit about the revolution, or praise the Shah. Iranians will often ask you what you think of Iran, or the government. Most of these people are harmless and just curious, BUT as a foreigner, you wouldn’t be able to spot the unlikely regime informant, so it’s best to just steer clear. Just avoid political conversation and mention what you like about Iranian culture, people, or food. You’re probably not visiting to have political conversations anyway.
Also, Iranians are not Arabs. Iranians are indo-european Caucasians and tend to go off their rocker if you confuse them with Arabs.
Iranians do not speak Arabic and if you speak Arabic, you will not be able to understand Persian or vice-versa.
PERCEPTIONS OF FOREIGNERS IN IRAN
In our shrinking world, Iran is one of the few larger countries where being a foreigner (especially an American) still carries heavy novelty and is definitely going to get many people interested in you and wanting to talk to you. This includes, men, women, young, old, whatever. This even still applies in the capital, Tehran. This is a huge asset for you.
Many people may think poorly of the American government, and foreign policy (as much of the world does) but this will most likely not be directed at you, whatsoever, if you are American. I would even go so far as to say, it’s almost mini-celebrity status to be an American among young people in Iran.
If you are visiting Tehran from elsewhere, as with almost everywhere else in the world, maintain a humble attitude and generally people will be just fine.
Iran is an Islamic country. There are no bars or clubs and alcohol is illegal. What this means is that day-game and private-party game rule. Both will be discussed later in their respective areas. Bootleg alcohol can be found all over the country as well. This includes both home-made “aragh” which is some sort of super-high percentage alcohol that will make you choke as well as our regulars such as skyy vodka, Bacardi, etc.
In Iran, prime day-game and date locations take the place that prime bars/nightclubs would in other cities.
Iranian girls come in every variety, with respect to attitudes towards sex. The important point is that in Tehran, there are more than enough that are down to “date” casually, especially foreigners. Anybody who complains about girls who are not down in Tehran simply was not skilled enough to find them or skilled enough to inspire them to action, if they found them. I don’t say that flippantly, as I don’t necessarily believe it is an easy feat because of the logistical obstacles, governmental restraints and language barrier (for those who don’t speak Persian).
Physically, Iranian girls have their highs and lows like everywhere else. The paradigm is a great contrast of lighter skin with dark features, big eyes. Thankfully a high percentage have junk in the trunk. I’m sometimes asked how they are distinguished from arab girls. Here it is in a nutshell: Iranian girls are generally lighter skinned (but still with dark features), less curly hair, less thick hair with slightly larger eyes, and more fine facial features (more similar to a doll, kind of). Contrary to popular belief, Iran is quite hetereogenous, with only around 50% being of Persian ancestry, and the rest being Turkish, azari, arab, Armenian, Turkmen, afghan, etc. You probably won’t be able to tell the difference.
Young, north Tehran girls really take care of themselves physically and they have got swagger. You can see it when they walk. They have attitude and a sort of toughness that is honed by experiencing thousands of cat-calls from Iranian guys since the time they hit puberty and attempts to get at them. Generally, they are very sharp socially. It’s not uncommon for an above average girl who is out and about in the city to be hit on blatantly at least 20 times in a day.
Unlike perhaps in Thailand, Brazil or other places, in Iran, you want to target rich girls. Not to get their money, but because as a general rule, rich girls=liberal attitudes. Don’t mess with poor girls as they often come from religious families and are excited to get married ASAP, especially to a foreigner who can rescue her and her family from their miserable lives.
Iran is dominated by the young generation, which is sexually repressed by the govt. Many are looking for an outlet and express that by looking for dates or casual sex online, in parties, or on the street. The keys are: 1) to know which of the girls fall into this category and 2) to distinguish yourself from the barrage of come-ons that they get daily. I will write about this below.
In my opinion, day-game in Tehran will make a man out of anyone. It requires a sharp eye, persistence, some serious guts, and awareness of your surroundings. However, it makes for a hell of a thrill. Despite what I have written about the novelty of being a foreigner, you must break through the outer-shell of a female stranger first, before that “exotic capital” can even be tapped. Attractive Tehran girls are absolutely barraged daily, and they are experts at ignoring. In addition, you must keep an eye out for moral-police who will stop you and/or possibly arrest you, as well as nosy strangers who may not like what you’re doing.
For my friends and I, the key was to just keep talking, keep engaging, even if it is a one-sided conversation, until they cracked and gave a response back. Furthermore, if we are on foot, we wouldn’t stay in one place for too long, as you can wear your welcome out there quickly. Funny phenomenon: if you get to the point where an Iranian girl gives you a response back, it is almost a lock that you will get/give the number, and at most likely a first date. Of course, at that point, it’s up to you for the rest.
I have seen in many threads on the forum, joking about how all one must do is “talk English loudly” and the girls will jump all over you (I think it was in Colombia threads?). Anyway, I can tell you that in Iran, if you are speaking English loudly, you will be approached by people (girls or guys) asking you where you are from, why you are in Iran, etc. Personally, I speak Persian but it is apparent from my accent that I have spent quite some time outside of Iran, and I STILL got approached asking where I am from and what I’m doing in Iran.
Here’s the breakdown per specific scenario, of the pick up-scene, as informed by my experience:
In my experience, this was the most effective and the way we spent most of our day-game, followed closely by Mall game. We holler at girls from cars. We holler at other girls driving, passengers, or pedestrians. As I wrote in another thread, at any given time there will be a few pick-up hot spots which are usually streets in the city. They become known as the place to pick up or be picked up, until they get too popular at which point the authorities learn of it and crack down. Then a new spot pops up elsewhere, and the cycle repeats. I do not know currently where the hot spot is.
I would estimate that 60% of our girls came from car-gaming and 40% from all other avenues combined, including parties.
My friend who was at the wheel was a ballsy, experienced driver which was necessary (driving is very dangerous in Iran). We would pull up next to girls driving, (targeting them according to my criteria listed above) and pop the head out the window and just start talking. Talk about anything, say hi, talk English, Persian, make funny faces, whatever. Sounds crazy, but it was effective and it was fun. At some point, we would have our numbers ready to go on pieces of paper and either throw them in their window, or they would have theirs ready and throw them to ours (as was mentioned in another thread).
If the car game was somewhere other than the designated pick-up spots, usually we would try to get them to pull over to have a conversation. If they pulled over, we almost always walked away with a number and a date. That said, the key threshold in talking from the car is getting them to do something other than ignore you and it can be a challenge, for sure until you do 20-30 approaches and a feel for what works.
During my time there, the hot street was “iran zamin” (which I have since heard is dead). Prior to that, my friends told me it was “fereshteh.” I’m sure these are all dead now, and you would have to find out where the new spots are. Any guy in Tehran who’s a player whatsoever would probably be able to tell you immediately off the top of his head. As always, stick to the north side of the city.
The Mall/Shopping Center
Malls in the north part of the city are a great way to meet chicks. They are a great natural filter because if a girl is at a mall, it means: 1) she has enough money to buy name brand stuff, 2) they’re fashionable, and 3) she is more likely to be liberal because if a girl was covering with the hejab, why would she waste time on fashions that nobody sees?
We went to many many malls during our time in Tehran but I don’t remember most of them. Our two go-to malls were both in the area of Tehran called Shahrak e Gharb. The malls were Golestan and Milad e Nour shopping center. In addition, vali-asr walking street was a go-to for us. This is a huge street that has dozens of stores and malls on both sides.
Two story shopping center that is nice and well lit with natural light. Not much else to say except it has plenty of fine, liberal girls walking around, and places to take a break to eat.
Milad e noor
The coffee shops and the top floor food court (at Milad e Nour) are great places to strike up conversations. The food court is supposed to be “international” with foods from all over the world, but their cheeseburgers and Chinese food were terrible. If you go here, I would stick with what they know best, Persian food.
We also approached directly while walking in between the stores. Unfortunately its not as aesthetically pleasing as Golestan, probably because of the dearth of natural light. If I had to give an edge in girls though, I would probably say Milad e Noor over Golestan.
Very very trendy stores and malls here. This is a great place as well. It is so long with so many stores that one can come back here day after day to pick-up and get coffees.
With all these places, one key is to move around so that you do not get overly noticed by nosy shopkeepers who can call the authorities on you. If you are making approach after approach, move to a different area after 15 minutes maximum.
They are all over the city. Walking into a coffee shop, trying to order, and sitting down with your coffee as a foreigner is sometimes all that is necessary to get the cashier or others trying to talk to you about where you are from. Engage people, both girls and guys. The more attention that is around you (even if you are talking to other guys) in this regard, the more likely that other girls will be sucked into the conversation. Some of them cannot hold back their curiosity and approach directly.
Remember, because of American, UN and Western sanctions as well as vilification in Western media, Iran is not looked upon as a desirable vacation destination, therefore they do not see many Westerners. This doesn’t mean they never see them, it just that the occurrences are low enough so as to still pique people’s curiosities.
Here, you should be more subtle, as there is not the usual hustle and bustle of the street and/or mall and therefore people will catch-on to what you are doing quickly if you are approaching blatantly. We didn’t typically go here specifically to game, but rather to get a drink and chat, and very often, something would come out of it accidentally.
Probably the most challenging of all venues in Tehran. Girls walking in Tehran are assailed constantly if they are attractive both by guys on foot, and guys in the cars. Adding to the shield, is the fact that (in my opinion), they feel more vulnerable than when driving. Nevertheless, we still hollered on the street regularly, and with some decent success.
Our best results came from girls that were: 1) waiting for a taxi or bus, 2) waiting outside of a mall, or 3) walking between stores on a big thoroughfare. Outside of these classifications, girls will largely have their guards up and/or trying to actually get somewhere which tends to lessen their tolerance for a stranger speaking to them.
During late spring and whole summer, fruit-juice stands are busy in Iran. They sell freshly made drinks that are a combination between a smoothie and a fruit drink. As you can imagine, many young people frequent them, which by default makes them another place to meet girls. These stands are all over the city, and pretty easily visible from the street. We probably stopped an average of twice per day to rehydrate and try our hands at the local talent. I met one of my main girls at a fruit-juice stand while she was waiting in her car for her friends to come back with the drinks.
We encountered some spectacular failures also while day-gaming which was great because some were unique, creative and downright hilarious and we could get a good laugh out of them. Some of these girls have a sharp tongue and can cut you down good, which is fine as long as you brush it off and keep moving.
Worst case scenario for us was a polite or unexciting rejection because it meant no date, and also no laughs.
****HOW TO SPOT A GIRL THAT IS GAMABLE ON THE STREET****
There are five main criteria that you can consider to determine very quickly whether a girl should (probably) be approached on the street or not:
1) Rough area of Tehran that you are in,
2) Amount and style of clothing the girl is wearing,
3) Tightness of the clothing, and
4) Amount of make-up the girl is wearing, and
5) How far back the scarf that is covering her hair is placed (i.e. how much of the front of her hair, bangs area, is showing).
I think for a non-Iranian, the make-up factor is most easy to spot, and pretty reliable.
I consider this section of the data-sheet to be the most critical because you may not be able to get to any private parties and therefore if you cannot distinguish who is approachable on the street and who is not, a) you may not even get off the ground with a single date, and b) you could run into unwanted trouble with the authorities if you target the wrong girls who subsequently make a stink about it.
1) Area of Tehran you are in
Roughly, the richer the area you are in, the better the chances are that this girl is interested in having casual fun. This can be used as a general rule. As I mentioned, Northern Tehran is the area to be, and a few of the well known areas that are ripe for this are: Zafranieh, Tajrish, Shahrak e gharb, and Vanak. There are also many others. Basically, if you hear someone talk about an area as being rich or well-off, make a mental note.
Southern Tehran has got its own style of game, but is much more perilous, and not worth the hassle. Plus the women down there are much less likely to have the resources to take care of themselves in the way you like. This is where you see the “sigehs” or temporary marriages that some of you guys were talking about in the other thread. I don’t believe any Iranian girl that’s at least even middle-class would ever tolerate the stigma of a sigeh.
2) Amount and Style of Clothing
Women in Iran dress in different ways. Contrary to common belief, Iranian women do not have to cover their face, and almost none of them do. They must cover their legs, arms and hair (in addition to torso, of course) although as I will explain later, this is variable and can be a great source in determining a girl’s social attitudes. An entire book could easily be written on the intricacies of this, but I will try to give you the important basics so as to not make your head spin.
Religious/conservative women will wear what Iranians call “hejab” or “burkas” as referred to sometimes. This is basically a big, usually black, type of blanket looking thing that covers the whole body and completely disguises the shape of a woman’s body. If you see a woman with this on, forget about it. Not even close to being worth the effort/reward. Sometimes we jokingly refer to them as “ninjas.”
Younger and more modern/liberal women will wear pants (usually jeans) with a type of jacket over it which looks like a modified, shortened trench coat. This is called a “manteau.” A manteau only comes up to the shoulders so these women also will put on a scarf called a “rusari” which means “on –the-head”, to cover their hair. As you can imagine, a woman can wear a short manteau, long manteau, long scarf, short scarf or anything in between so this is a big source of personal discretion for the woman.
Your objective is to get a feel for the type of girl that is liberal and down with foreigners/foreign culture. The profile would look like this: A girl wearing a manteau (preferably brightly colored) that goes down no further than slightly above the knee, and a brightly colored scarf draped loosely around her head. NO HIJABS/BURKAS.
3) Tightness of clothing
Iranian girls in Tehran are very talented and creative in finding ways to express their style and sexuality, despite the clothing restrictions placed on them by the government. To find girls that are down to have fun, you should target the girls who are wearing a manteau and jeans tight enough that you can still see what the shape of their body is, especially the rear-end. Obviously, the other benefit is that you know the quality of what you’re approaching.
Unfortunately, young, liberal women in Tehran wear way too much make up. It’s unlike anything I’ve seen anywhere else in the world. You can catch a glimpse of what I mean if you google “women in Tehran” but it really cannot be believed until you see it in the flesh.
If you are looking for girls to have fun with, this is what you should target. If a woman has lots of brightly colored make-up on, she will be more likely to be approachable and/or going to parties, etc. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, but this is about as close to a direct correlation as you can get. This principle can go to the point where if the make-up is just absurd, looking like a clown, the girl may be a whore. btw, in my opinion, whores are neither necessary, nor worth the risk.
5) How far the scarf falls back on her head
Scarf on her head should also be brightly colored, and pushed far back on her head, showing the bangs area of her hair. Girls who wear the scarf this far back on their head are defeating the purpose of wearing it to cover their hair, which is a message to the world (and you) about how they feel about imposed Islamic dress.
Girls who wear mono-color scarfs, especially if it is grey, black, or brown should generally be avoided.
In sum, the type of girl to approach: Lots of brightly colored make-up, wearing a manteau (not a hijab). Manteau is preferably brightly colored (not drab colors) and tight around her body so you can see her shape. Brightly colored scarf loosely around the head, almost to the point of even falling off.
There are a few types of police in Iran. The one that is important to you is the moral police and the type of moral-militia (from hereon out to be referred to as the basij). These two groups are the ones that can stop you from trying your game and even take you in to a station. They can be spotted by their colors. Both groups will be largely bearded. The moral police are usually wearing dark green outfits that look like very plain military-clothes. The basij will almost always wear all black, with a beard, and oftentimes a shaved head.
If you’re out on a date with a girl, most likely these types will not bother you unless you are doing some sort of PDA (obviously, do not do this in public). However, if they are within sight when you are trying to start a conversation with a girl, pause the gaming until they’re gone, or move to a different area, out of sight.
Technically, if you are caught in a party with alcohol, you can be lashed. However, this rarely is the case in practice, as there are usually multiple opportunities to talk your way out and/or bribe your way out. As for language, just the fact that you are speaking English, there is a good chance you will charitably be looked upon as a foreigner who didn’t know better and given a pass. I have run into trouble with the police a few times, but have never come close to being lashed. Both times, it was being a foreigner and speaking English exclusively which saved the day. Each time, I got berated, told to learn the customs, and then sent on my way. In fact, of all my friends in Iran (most of which are very experienced), most have been caught, or found themselves in a little trouble at least a few times, and only one ever got to the point where he was lashed. It was 20 lashes in private, in case you’re wondering.
Of course, THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES and the best strategy is to avoid any contact with these types in the first place.
As mentioned, alcohol is illegal, but as is usually the case, it can be found thru “dealers.” My recommendation is to not go out of your way to get it. If you’re at a young mixed-sex party in Tehran, most likely the hosts will have it and you can drink it there.
If you are an alcoholic that needs to drink every day, even while in non-social situations, Iran is a country best not visited for you
In my opinion, this is by far the most difficult obstacle to hurdle with trying to hook up in Iran.
Hotels are inaccessible with girls as the only females you can enter with are your spouse or a close-blood relative (even cousins are off limits). This is monitored very closely, so don’t try it. In addition, when I was last there, and as of my last information, apartments are not easy to get for short-term rentals (like with AirBnb). Have never heard of something akin to a hostel, although if they exist, I’m fairly certain they would be regulated like hotels.
If you are going to Iran to game, the lodging logistics situation must be thought of and well-organized in advance. It will very likely be a massive waste of your time and money if you think you are going to travel to Iran and figure out the lodging logistics later. In this case, you will most likely end up with a nice cultural experience during your trip, and not much else.
The best bet is to try to get friends who live on their own or are rich enough that their parents own a few apartments in the city, at least one of which is empty. I make no illusions that this is easy, but I do not see any other obvious way.
If the girl you are “dating” has a car, you can always try your luck in the car, but you do so at your own peril. I would not advise it.
MAKING GUY FRIENDS
This can be invaluable if they are the right kind of guys. If you can make friends with cool, fun guys who are non-religious and like to party and game they can be a fantastic resource. This is worth putting a little effort into and imo would yield much more benefit than in many other countries. Unfortunately, I don’t really have any recommendations on how to do this, as I doubt my situation is relevant to you guys. Beware, as there are many friendly dorks who will be falling over themselves to show you historical and touristic sights and make you their friend. These guys mean well, but are a waste of time, unless you’re coming to Iran for those purposes.
Here’s a basic (although somewhat vague) test for knowing what kind of guy you’re dealing with: Ask a guy about the hooking up/girl scene in Iran (in general terms, not as it applies to you personally) If he says something along the lines that girls and guys do not hook up or there is no pre-marital sex or something like that, then he’s bought into the bullshit and is probably under the poor delusion that he’s going to wait until marriage. Of course, do not make the mistake of believing him for one second. That’s just his depressing reality.
If he says “Oh yea, we have a party this Thursday and let’s go pick-up chicks” then he may be a guy who can show you the ropes. The guys who are on your wavelength will have no problem hollering at a girl, right then and there in front of you, and you can see what the deal is. Regardless, make no mistake: there are guys that are young, liberal and down to run through chicks in Iran. You just gotta find them.
Also, people in Iran use the term “party” loosely. If a guy invites you to a party, that could potentially mean 10 dudes sitting around listening to music and drinking tea. Be sure to specify that he means a mixed-sex party.
WHERE TO TAKE GIRLS FOR A “DATE”
The options are kind of limited variety-wise, but within the few categories there are nearly unlimited options. Basically, you are looking at:
1) Coffee shops (all over)
2) Parks (recommended as of 2005 Jamshidieh Park, Laleh park,
5) Fruit-juice stands (all over)
6) Malls (see above)
7) Museums/Former Shah’s palaces (easily findable)
8) Back to your apartment
9) To a party (not recommended due to bringing-food-to-buffet principle)
After meeting a girl and getting contact information, our most common action was to take them out to one of 1-6, and then back to the apartment on the same day. Surprisingly at that point, the resistance was largely minimal although of course a few girls weren’t down and we usually dropped them quickly. A few times, we met girls and invited them back directly to the apartment to listen to music and hang out. Of course, at that point, your own personality comes into play.
One important point: The vast majority of unmarried girls in their teens, 20’s and 30’s live at home. So what are the implications?
1) You cannot rely on her for a place to get intimate. Another reason why lodging logistics are absolutely crucial.
2) Many girls have curfews (10pm was not out of the question). This means that dates should be strategically scheduled in the early afternoon and intimacy usually in the late afternoon still during day-light. They are usually out by 8pm.
In this realm, there are a few options:
1) Yahoo Persian chat.
Yahoo Persian chat attracts the type of girls who are down to meet up, but they are short in ratio, as for every one of them, there are 2 sex-bots and 4 horny Iranian guys trying to get in on them. I only got one meet-up from yahoo (which was a bust due to my own fault) but in fairness, I didn’t maintain my contacts when I got into the country as it was more fun and quicker to pick up on the streets.
Tagged seems like a good option, as I have been seeing quite a few Iranian girls on it, but I cannot speak from personal experience in saying that it delivers the meet-ups, as I was not on tagged.com the last time I came to Iran. So this is just an educated guess on my part as to what might work.
Also, internet connection in Iran absolutely suck and is unreliable. This was the case in 2005 and I can confirm through friends that it is still the case. Keep this in mind for your trip.
In Iran, if you got a little bit of game, getting noticed at parties is like shooting fish in a barrel (way easier than day-game but not as much thrill). Most of the external bitchiness which I have written that is exhibited during the day, largely melts away as they are in a familiar social atmosphere. The parties are private so the girls largely dress in nice, sexy dresses (meaning what I wrote about clothing above does not apply) and rap, house and Persian pop music (which is pretty good actually) will be the flavors on the stereo. Of course, fundamental game principles still apply as they do everywhere. Iranian guys are not subtle about who they are dating, so even with the language barrier, you will most likely very quickly notice which girls are taken and which ones are not.
You should have no shortage of girls (and guys) to talk to at a party, as you will be a novelty as a foreigner. Some may offer to show you something or another in Tehran, and you should have your cell phone number cocked and ready to give or input her number. The idea of a platonic opposite-sex friend is still largely foreign in Iran, so if a girl is finding a reason to be spending time alone with you for any reason, there almost certainly will be at least a subtext of romantic interest.
Persian/Farsi is the language of Iran. It’s probably a little harder german or french, but its really not that difficult, speaking wise (although the alphabet is Persian-arabic script and will take a little time).
English is not widely spoken in Iran at all. Tehran being the capital, you can expect the most number of people to speak English there, but by no means is it easy to get by with just English, as is the case for example in Germany. Almost all of the young generation knows how to read English because many are taught in school, but unless the person you are speaking to has made an express effort to learn English, or has spent time abroad, their speaking skills will usually be atrocious or non-existent.
Take the time to learn some phrases in Persian before you go, and try to learn as much as you can while you’re there. It will most likely have a high impact on the quality of your trip. Also, Iranians are highly enthusiastic for foreigners that learn their language, even if it is highly broken, poorly pronounced, and even the most basic of sentences. As always, best way to learn is with the girls you are dating.
When I was there, we drove around in our own car, or used street taxis. There is another service called “Agence” which is just a taxi service that you call to show up at your door. Taxi drivers will try to rip you off, so if you use the Agence, make sure to tell the operator your take-off point and destination and ask how much it costs roughly. Do the same for street-taxis. This way you’ll know if the taxi driver charges you over 10% of what you were quoted that he’s fishing to rip you off.
Since I have last been in Tehran, a metro-line has been constructed and expanded. I have not experienced this first-hand but I have heard it is efficient, extremely cheap and services many great areas. Probably worth checking out.
Do not mess with married women under any circumstances. It’s not worth it (and in my opinion, its just wrong). The penalty in Iran for adultery is stoning, and although I don’t think I’ve ever heard of this actually happening in the capital (its more common for backwards little towns), you do not want to be caught up in drama like this. Obviously, Iranians do not have the same casual attitude towards spousal infidelity that is practically institutionalized in Western countries. If you meet a woman that’s married, best to not even touch her in any way, including hand-shaking.
If you are approaching in the street, make a habit of looking at the left hand of the girl for a wedding ring. This is important and you should make it a habit that’s second nature.
Good luck to whoever is adventurous to give Tehran a shot!
(This post was last modified: 08-02-2012 05:59 PM by Technics.)