Friday, October 27, 2006

WE WERE CALLED FOR

Bandar Abbas, Friday 27th October

Nothing. That is what happened. No investigation, no detention, no return to sender, no “first encounter with the Islamic regime” on the axis of evil. But absolutely nothing. No, even less: They didn’t take, question or just notice the comprehensive mass of medias (Handycams, videotapes, computers, digital camera, dictafone or the mp3-players), that we, like every other “tourist” of our time, have to bring with us on our way through the world in order to be able to document and prove that we are (here), that we have been (somewhere), that we have done or at least seen, experienced (something or somebody else). They didn’t even pose the questions that we ask ourselves every day and all along the way: Why are you here? What is the purpose of your arrival to Iran? What is it you want to do here? Not even the fact that we are Danish has caused any particular reaction. On the contrary: They picked us out of the hourlong line of local Iranian passengers waiting for the passports control as if two save the two only foreigners, the two “English”, from having to wait. And when we had finally gotten our box, suitcase and sack from the ferry (that wasn’t a ferry, but – from Valfarje shipping – literally a ship made for shipping, and worse) and were preparing ourselves for the judgement hour, where our box and suitcase and sack – like every other box, suitcase or sack would have to pass through the oversize scanner reciding like a black mausoleum in the middle of the hall, they once again just picked us out of the line or rather chaotic moving mob (the women had started to fight, the men patiently and a little nervous tried to separate them and calm them down) of locals waiting with each his or her overloaded trolley (cardboard boxes with food or living doves (French, Belgian and Brazilian), fifty kilo sacks of UN-rice brought in from Iraq(!), bicycles, ghettoblasters, barrels filled with what-do-know and off course: televisions) and took us aside and asked us to show our passports and then just, as the act of absolute surprise, let us go.

If it was a trick, a tactical first move of surprise, a counter-counter-revolutionary manoeuvre in the midday heat from side of the Islamic Regime, then it was an absolute success! They really got us: We were so taken by surprise that we weren’t able to decide to move any further into Iran. For another half hour we just stood there, alive in Iran! in the middle of a large, vast, echoing arrival hall, until finally the single bordeaux plastic-telephone residing on the single table in the middle of the echoing hall suddenly rang. A police officer answered it and then:

We were called for:

Mr. Nielsen!

the police officers voice echoed out in the vast hall, - is Mr. Nielsen is here?! And so, being the string puppet I obviously am, I immediately went to answer it: - Yes?!
It was our interpreter, Jaleh Parvin, calling “Mr. Nielsen” from Tehran.

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