Saturday, June 19, 2010
Breakfast: 14,000 rials (~$1.40)
Taxi to bus terminal: 20,000 (~$2.00)
Bus tickets from Tabriz to Zanjan: 90,000 (~$9.00), about a 4-hour ride
Hotel in Zanjan: 450,000 (~$45.00) Dinner: 33,000 (~$3.30)
Chris exchanged $300 US at a shop located in what appeared to be a gold souk. The exchange rate was $1 = 10,034 rials.
The bus from Tabriz to Zanjan doesn’t actually pull off the highway into Zanjan. Instead, it pulls over on the side of the highway where a bunch of taxi drivers are waiting to shuttle you off the highway into town. The taxi from the highway took us to another designated taxi area where it was apparent we had to cross the street and find another taxi, a city taxi, to continue.
As we crossed the street somewhat confused, due to the order of things, a lady in her late 20’s recognized our confussion and gestered for us to share a taxi with her. Shrugging our shoulders, “Why not?”, Chris and I got in. In her beginner English she asked us where we were from. After that, conversation pretty much seized for the remainder of our 5-minute ride. She ordered us to get out and insisted on paying for the taxi ride. She then proceeded to walk us to a hotel. When I hesitated to cross the street she smiled and looked at me lovingly like I was a young, innocent child. She grabbed my hand and lead me across the weaving traffic. When we came to the next big intersection she instantly did the same thing. I felt silly being guided by this petite lady who was a foot and half shorter than me, but who’s bravery/experience with road crossing was four feet taller than I. Her name was Meana.