A Tehran hole.

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"Iran is not blessed with the best of capitals", I read from the book my Turkish tourist friend had left before me as he dashed off to the toilet, "concrete, cars, traffic, pollution, bits of road and pavement absent", this was the Lonely Planet's comedy endorsement – read travel guide – of a place I now call home. I read on fixated, maybe a survival guide would better describe it as warning after warning explaining the uniquely bizarre and unsafe environment organically inflicted on the nation. I was in open laughter a pages kept referring back to the cars drivers and roads, "Tehran's taxi drivers are exceptionally good drivers", they reassured us as anecdote after anecdote found its way on the page. I can't say I've read many Lonely Planet guides but I'm sure they all aren't consumed with stark warnings and frustrating tales.

I have gradually become numb to these oddities yet occasionally a fresh pair of eyes arrive to remind me of this daily chaos. "There was a hole in the path – just path and then a great big hole, no warning...", they tell me as I am brought to tears of laughter. I laugh because I've said the same and because the person I told laughed at me for finding it strange. There is more, they too have pages of anecdotes as a whole spectrum of absurdity folds me over in laughter. I laugh at them, at myself, at the Iranian people, what is this place Tehran, a clash of 15,000,000 ideas simultaneously manifesting themselves in some attempt of a capital.

I recently wrote of my lack of enthusiasm for returning back here but I fear I failed to qualify my analogy. I believe I wasn't naive in coming to live here in Iran, having visited the place a couple of times before I was aware that the culture can be abrasive and that it would likely toughen me, bringing calluses to my soft English manner. I embraced this as character building, but hard skinned is not how I would describe myself. I've learned to rival cuntish behavior with cuntish behavior but I might more correctly describe this as being sore skinned: I am sensitive to the trampling and clamor to not be kicked down. I'm gradually learning to be a city arsehole and now leave the house armed and trigger happy.

There are two things new to me here, city life and Tehran city life. I have lived for 3-years a piece in probably England's smallest cities, other than that I'm of the small town, and a dainty one at that. London could have made me that city arsehole or cunt if you please, but Tehran's 15,000,000... I look to nature for analogies, ant hills? Far too organised and clearly all inhabitants are of the same species - they do walk all over one another though.

It's tiring – holes and arsholes, all 15,000,000 of us. I'm not part of the solution and gradually becoming part of the problem

I might single out just one daily moment, one I've not numbed to and have still yet to learn how to snap at. It happened once again today just minutes before I began writing. I was being served in my local corner shop, actually in verbal intercourse when some cunt walks in shouting, "razor blades, give me three razor blades!". I don't think he'd even entered the door when his demand was placed but he'd managed to barge in front of me as the shop keeper respected the law of the jungle, serving him first. I didn't respond like the other times today, yesterday, everyday as I was not sure which person's throat I should take those razor blades to.

It's tiring – holes and arsholes, all 15,000,000 of us. I'm not part of the solution and gradually becoming part of the problem, this might not be character building but rather character destroying. And what was it I was saying about holding my breath?

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