A Baluchi tribal family, and freebies in Kerman
A ride to Kerman was uneventful, excepting a very large, very dead camel that we saw on the way, which someone had graffitied on. I wondered if it was one of the drug-smuggling ones you hear about.
Apparently, 80% of Europe’s heroin comes through Iran from Afghanistan, and one of the key ways to smuggle it through is in camel’s humps. Camels have handy natural homing instincts, like pigeons (though presumably they aren’t as likely to crap on your head from a tree.) Anyway, this one was very dead.
I got bored on the road. To keep myself amused I sang at the top of my voice. Mostly Phil Collins, to my shame. (Sometimes I fall asleep. This is particularly dangerous on motorways, which is irritating, because that’s exactly when it happens.)
Somewhere en route to Kerman I saw a strange and inexplicable sight- there was a pick-up truck whizzing along, with sacks in the back, with what looked like feet poking out here and there, in a manner which very much suggested a pile of bodies shoved under giant flour sacks. It freaked me out, I decided I hadn’t seen what I thought I had, and thought no more of it. Until we stopped for a drink and Adam mentioned he had seen it… Either we are both independently going insane, or it was something totally harmless, or it was a load of dead people in a truck….
Kerman was a fairly non-descript desert town, though our hotel was interesting.
We stayed in a strange courtyard building that gave absolutely no indication of being a hotel. It housed an enormous Baluchi tribal family- lots of colourful, exotic-looking, dark-skinned tribal ladies with enormous nose piercings who called me over to sit with them and share a waterpipe, which they then forgot to share with me. We had a good half-hour conversation made up of Farsi and mime, about children and our route. Mainly we all just smiled lots.
The hotel had seen better days. I really hope it had, that was no way for a hotel to live. There was no bathroom. I don’t mean in the room, I mean in the hotel. It was filthy, and the fan kicked dust across the room.
We ventured out. I wore full-on Iranian regalia. This was properly conservative Muslim territory. Plus a Japanese tourist had been kidnapped from there a while back, I didn’t want to incite anything of that sort.
We got free tea from a man at a corner shop, who said he didn’t like turbans, or possibly didn’t like Imams, or maybe didn’t like Baluchis…it was hard to establish from the mime.
We got free bread from the bakers. They gave us the one straight from the oven, threw it into our hands and wouldn’t take any money.
We got free sweets from a happy little woodcutter type man outside his workshop, he beamed at us and came running out with melted chocolates in his hand. We passed them on to the Baluchi family’s little boys, who smeared them everywhere instantly.
Kerman was good to us. And no one tried to kidnap us either.