23.07.1966 - 31.07.1966
Tehran by night
From a letter home, dated Sunday 31-7-1966
We are still in Tehran and are now staying with Farshid and his family. They all arrived back from the Caspian about 4 days after we reached here, so as soon as they returned we were able to move to their home and have been having a very restful time ever since. The university and the schools are on holiday at present, so most of the family is around most of the day. The meals are wonderful, and we are being stuffed with food. All we seem to do is eat, drink, lie about, watch television or go for the occasional drive. Farshid’s mother showed us the towels that you sent her after our last visit. She has not used them, as she says she wants to keep them as a souvenir. We also had some instant coffee, the last of the food parcel which you sent us here Christmas 64, but which we missed. It is really wonderful to be here with them all again; they are some of the nicest people we have met since leaving home and are so good to us. The eldest daughter in the family has had a little girl since we were here last and naturally everything seems to revolve around her. She is a delightful little kid, about 18months old.
The heat here in Tehran has been appalling. We have had century temperatures every day since we arrived and on several days we have had temperatures of 108 and 109 degrees in the shade. At night the temp. only drops to the 90’s and we take our beds up onto the roof to get a little cool breeze. This means getting up fairly early in the morning to avoid the first rays of the sun, but it is a lot better than spending the night inside in a hot stuffy room. At least there are not many flies and mosquitoes here, so that is one consolation.
We got our visas for Afghanistan the other day, but before they would grant them we had to get some anti-cholera pills from the Iranian Health Service. This, in spite of the fact that we had already received two injections in London. Apparently they have been very careful ever since they had a big cholera epidemic last year, and they don’t consider that the normal course of injections gives sufficient protection.
We are leaving Tehran, at the latest, next Saturday, and will go by bus to Mashad, so as to take a different route from last time, when we crossed the country by train. We have written to our friends in Bombay and Poona telling them to expect us in about 3 weeks to a month’s time. The position regarding the Indo-Pak border is still somewhat uncertain, and everyone tells us a different story, so we will just have to wait and see what we find. There are various options if it is closed.
We have been out from London almost a month now - the time is slipping by. In a few weeks I will have been away from Australia for two years. So far this journey has seemed nothing like the last one - everything has been going so smoothly. My pack is very light this time and that gives an enormous amount of comfort. Baggage is definitely the worst thing about travelling.
Our luggage sent from London should arrive in Sydney in a few weeks time, so please let me know when it gets there safely. When I get off the plane I will have virtually no baggage, as I expect to chuck most of my gear in Singapore.
Thanks for the letters, keep them coming. I’m fine, except for a slight case of the runs the last couple of days. Hope you are all well,
Love to all, John
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University Mosque Tehran - nearing completion in July 1966
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