i am now in tehran, visiting my home country after about 32 years. there are many cousins i am now meeting for the first time. my aunts and uncles look much older now. everyone is so kind and i am so proud of the good people they are.
the trip through customs was uneventful and easy. the immigration officers were very professional to everyone. i was wearing conservative clothing (versus my usual music type of a guy dude stuff) but i soon realized my concern was a bit unfounded. you see all kinds of people, albeit it still makes sense to be on the conservative side to avoid the fashion police.
i have only had a two hour walk outside home. i passed by many men who appear to be gay. so yes, forget what you heard at columbia university! women cover their head with a scarf but it is often pretty fashionable and does not cover the head fully. in fact, some of their fashion and scarves draw attention to them more. e.g. a young woman covering half of her head with a scarf and her hair closer to the front was blue.
access to facebook and twitter is very difficult. i am taking a lot of pictures that i will be posting here. so far there have been two trips in my life i have been most excited about. this trip to visit iran, and my 1977 trip out of iran when i moved to switzerland.