Since visiting Egypt I have traveled to a few other countries where the art of laziness has been celebrated and practiced heavily - there might be nobody in the world who moves slower than a middle-aged Kurdish woman, or a vehicle that travels slower than a clunky Ethiopian bus- but it seems that where I have found myself now, in Shiraz, Iran, I am actually absorbing the slow-paced relaxed culture to the point I feel I may actually be morphing into some sort of sloth-like animal. Days often begin for me at 3pm, and dinners are often eaten after midnight. I fall asleep with the birds like a true nocturnal hobo; lazing on the sofa sipping rose sharbat like some orientalist's fantasy or aimlessly joyriding around the city like a wayward dervish in slow motion, stopping only to puff on a sheesha pipe or wander the Hafez tomb by the light of a waxing crescent moon.
It is April 16th. I have been on the road now for 3 months, and admittedly it is sort of nice to have this lull - where I lose count of how many days I have been in Shiraz, or what I have actually been doing with my time. It is strange in some way - sometimes I forget that I am in Iran at all, except when I have to leave the lovely house I am staying at, put on my headscarf, and go hangout with a group of people who speak little English. Or when I realize that the things I completely take for granted in Canada -like holding hands in the street, going for a casual pint of beer- are illegal here. Each city in Iran sort of has its own reputation - Isfahani's are known to be stingy and cheap, people from Abadan are considered to be slightly narcissistic beneath their Ray-Bans, while Shirazi's are - you guessed it-, known for their laziness. I think I picked the right city to drop anchor in for awhile; it seems I fit right in. There is an Iranian saying that goes something like "Why would a wise man do something that he might regret afterwards?" but in Shiraz it is more akin to "Why would a wise man do anything at all?".