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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Day 2 in Esfahan: Incredible hospitality in Art City

Day 2 in Esfahan. Once again, I am showered with additional evidence that Iran is the most hospitable country on Earth. I spent the day visiting the city's amazing art monuments and as usual, was invited to endless cups of tea by Iranians on the spectacular Imam Khomeini Square.
In the afternoon, I walked into a 5-star hotel to check out a bookshop, only to be invited by the banquet manager for snacks, tea and desserts even though he knew I wasn't a guest and am staying at a US$16 place. He showed me around the hotel's panoramic rooftop and the garden tea house, and we chatted for a good hour and half.
Minutes after I left the hotel, on a historic bridge across the river, I bumped into, by remarkable coincidence, an Iranian girl who is coming to Singapore soon for an interview with A-Star for a PhD scholarship. What was even more coincidental was that she was the same person Raj, the British lawyer traveller I met in Yazd, told me about a few days ago. He had met her in the main square and she told him about coming to Singapore for an interview. He had told me how intelligent and hospitable she was. We had a long chat about all sorts of issues about Iran and she walked me around half of Esfahan city. As I will not be in Singapore during the period she is coming (8-10 June), I will be asking if my friends can meet her after work.
Tomorrow in Esfahan too…

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