Picnics in Iran

Our first glimpse of the Iranian picnic was on the way in to our hotel from the airport, under a very straggly tree in the corner of a worked piece of land four grown men were picnicking.

There was the rug the plastic tablecloth in the middle and a meal in progress.

Everywhere we went we saw these picnics, on large traffic islands, under trees , between two cars in a car park, family groups, workgroups, a couple of friends watching their children.

Some families had little pup tents by the river and would probably be camping for a couple of days.

Walking down the footpath in Shiraz there was a picnic for the workmen right in the middle of the pavement under the shade of an overhanging tree.

I was lucky enough to be invited to one, stopping to take a photo of two women completely clad in black enjoying their picnic, they asked me to join them, it was in an empty foundation of a bazaar stall, so I know exactly what they eat as I am sure it was pretty typical of most Iranian breakfast food.

They were sitting on a rug with the plastic rose covered tablecloth in the middle and I was offered cucumbers cut up with the skin on, chunks of tomatoes, an unmolded softish white cheese, sheets of golden flat bread, homemade this morning I was told, a plastic bag of fresh herbs, mint, rocket type greens, tarragon I think.

I didn’t tear off enough bread to put all these goodies in so they showed me how, and then a cup of tea in small glass cups with a lump of sugar.

The tea was out of a thermos but I know a lot of families take their own samovars or water heating equipment for larger and longer picnics.

Its going to be my picnic food from now on a  “ go to summer breakfast ” ,  refreshing and delicious.

Everything was quickly folded up and put away in a carry bag and off my hosts went to do their shopping in the bazaar, they had part of their family on another rug sitting near them and the children were so friendly and engaging.

They love saying hello and goodbye in English and are allowed off school for family trips etc.

I asked our interpreter to thank my hostesses on the way back so she had a nice little chat with them and they said they loved New Zealanders because we were so friendly.

I hope we are so friendly in our own country to strangers.

 Peter and Gael

 Gael at table

 Street scene


 Hafiz's tomb