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.

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