In Tehran

Arash Jalali

It has been raining in Tehran for a couple of days and for once the sky isn’t grey with pollution. My early morning ritual begins: I walk the short distance to the taxi rank, install myself in a cab, and wait while the driver finds three more passengers travelling my way. He finally hunts down his last fare and the car moves off into heavy traffic, as usual. Normally I listen to my MP3 player but today I’m preoccupied with work: I have a presentation to make to a potential foreign client. Luckily, the driver isn’t young, so there’s no loud music. There are three types of taxi driver in Tehran: those who listen to music, usually by ‘banned’ Los Angeles-based Iranian singers; those who follow the radio news; and those whose car is so old that a new audio system would cost as much as the car. Today’s cab driver is of the second type.

The full text of this essay is only available to subscribers of the London Review of Books.

You are not logged in