Riding Tehran's Metro

Riding Tehran Metro

Tehran has a modern, elaborate metro system on par with places like Berlin, Moscow, Prague or any other major city in the world.
The metro is very clean, bright and the trains look and feel new.
The fare for riding is very inexpensive. The fare is stored on metro cards which are generally straight forward, but each time I tried to put it in the slot and pass through the barrier it peeped at me and red lights went off, causing the guard to come to me each time. 

Meanwhile my friends have long gone through and were looking for me. This happened so many times that they automatically waited for me until I past the barriers successfully.
I intentionally snapped a blurred photo of the escalators as it shows so many people, I didn't want to have any problems if I were stopped by anyone. It is illegal to take photographs in the metro so I had to be quick and more clandestine in my approach. I will have to say that the blurred looks of these photos give an artsy look to them!
This long escalator reminded me of Prague or Moscow's metro.

Given the fact we didn't put much time in studying our route as to where we were going at first, we found the metro system truly more confusing than usual, albeit my poor Farsi skills, but we did manage to get around after a few tries and some assistance from the metro security who kindly took us to the right areas in the big maze and up the right escalators. I suppose they had pity for us Westerners maneuvering their system. Do you suppose the security would be so kind in Berlin, London or Moscow's metro system to lost and bewildered travellers? LOL!

On this map at least we know we were in the centre of Tehran!

When we got in the tube station there was no music, no buskers playing any instruments and also no bits of paper or cigarette butts anywhere. Once we got into the train, it felt like we were riding in a roving market. Guys were walking up and down the isles selling everything from toothpaste, toothbrushes, coin collections, hair cremes, Korans, and the interesting thing was that people were actually paying for those items and took a real interest in what they were peddling!
The mood while sitting in the male section of the train was like a real male bonding club. Guys bumping each other, I got flirty stares from a few closeted gays, smiles from hunky ones, but for the most part the fashion among the men was who could put on the most fiercest scowl on their face, folding their arms and look as if wounded. 
Another time when we had to stand, and it was crowded, we now understood why there was a separation of genders on the train system as the guards outside would push and cram people on the trains like how it is done in Tokyo. I can't count how many guy's body parts I rubbed against as arms and torsos rubbed and mingled, this was ultimate interacting with Persian guys very close up!

We had a Western female among us who was elderly (dressed in the appropriate Islamic attire) and she managed to get a seat among us in the male section, where females could also sit. She sat near  the gate separating the two genders' sections.

There was a divider which marked the spot where the female only door would line up to and where only the females could alight or enter the train. Males could enter from the remaining doors.

I believe that if I lived in Tehran I would be a frequent patron of the metro, not only because of it's modern and efficient mode of transport but also to have a better opportunity for interaction with Iranian guys!


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