general, Tehran, travel

Paris-Tehran, 5 hours, 35000 feet, …

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I am all packed, waiting for the shuttle to take me to the airport. Lately, I get very stressed when I have to travel somewhere. The shuttle arrives on time, I carry my 2 suitcases and the little carry-on to the car and I jump inside the nice mini-van. The driver, announces that we have to pick someone in the 19th arrondissement before going to Orly. Ok, not a problem, even though this means that we have to go all the way to the north of Paris and then come back to the south. Not too environmental friendly I guess and a big waste of time.

From the van, I watch all the happy tourists mingling together in the overcrowded streets. The sun in shinning through the beautiful green trees and the Seine is making the city look like a dreamland. I realize how much I have grown to like this place. Suddenly I come out of my deep thoughts and notice that we have ended up in Les Halles – the most crowded area of Paris, both for drivers and pedestrians. How did we end up here?! Oh, of course, we are following Madame la GPS!

We got stuck in the traffic for about an hour, picked up the other passenger and headed toward the airport full speed. We arrived to the airport 45 minutes over the schedule, I rushed to the check in, then to the police check, carry-on check, finger nail check and finally I arrived inside the lounge where a herd of people were waiting! Despite the sign which said: “on time”, we ended up having a 45 minutes delay. Not having a delay would be a surprise for Iran air.

In the plane I noticed how all the flight attendants spoke english well, you could actually understand what they were saying. Then once we reached our preferred height, our captain started giving us some crucial! information, like: “Now we are flying above Germany, then we’ll enter Switzerland, then Austria, Hungry, Bulgaria, Turkey- where we’ll be in their territory for one and a half hour- and then we’ll enter our beloved country from the north west”!! Then he said the same things in English keeping us busy for a good 20 minutes.

We actually arrived with less than 15 minutes of delay, thanks to the wind direction (another one of the informations the pilot gave us). I am always nervous passing through the police, regardless of where I am. Maybe that is because of the glacial looks of the officers. The guy whose facial muscles seemed paralyzed as if he has had a Botox recently, looked at my passport, typed something in his computer, waited for few seconds and then looked at my passport again, looked at me an smiled. I smiled back and then jokingly said: “Oh, I am wearing the same green scarf as in the picture”. He said nothing. Gave me back my passport.

Picked up my stuff and went to the custom guy. He took a glance at me and my pile of suitcases and said: “Are you alone?!”
me: “Yes” (with a small voice, as if I had stolen an apple)
him: “Have you brought gifts” (actually, this is the answer I should have given to him, when he would have asked “what have you brought?”, but he was probably tired and wanted me to leave asap).
me: “Of course”.

Came out of the customs and I saw my dad. Not changed much, just has become more emotional with aging. Now he cries whenever I arrive or leave. Then I saw my mum, with her big hairdo, 50s style, and my auntie. Compared to other families, our greetings were not too emotional, just few kisses and hugs. Usually people here come in 5-10 to welcome their passenger. Each person bring a big flower bouquet and whoever cries more (out of happiness of course) is considered more sentimental and sweet!

We arrived home and this was a big déjà vu. I entered my room and I was once again Home.