Pin2ShareTweetShare2 SharesThis post was originally published in my old travel blog, Erudite Traveller on 05 December 2017. Mashhad, Iran’s spiritual capital and second largest city is located more than 900 kilometers to the northeast and borders Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. This made Mashhad the perfect entry point to my next destination: the ancient Achaemenid satrapy and Seljuk Turk citadel of Merv (Margiana), Turkmenistan. Although not a usual tourist destination for foreigners and non-Muslims, Mashhad is actually a famous site for Shia Muslims worldwide. Devotees flock to Mashhad’s Imam Reza Shrine by the millions during Muharram, the first month of the Islamic
PinShare4TweetShare4 SharesThis post was first published in my old travel blog, Erudite Traveller on 22 November 2017. It was in Kang Village in Mashhad, Iran, that I learned how to say no five times before accepting offers of food and drinks. Taroof, the Persian custom of civility and deference, can be a landmine in local – foreigner relations. Persians make offers that they expect will be refused. Its basic component is politeness; by a complicated dance of offers and refusals, people show their respect and deference to one another. Accept offers too early and the offerer will be put on
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