20 Mayıs 2015 Çarşamba


One of things that I could easily manage in Iran was the money. The official currency is Iranian rial.1 TL is about 10,000 rials (you didn’t read wrong). Just like before our devaluation, they are generous about zeros. The harder part is that there aren’t credit cards in Iran.

Because of the economic sanctions towards Iran, any of the cards in our pockets are valid here. Neither Visa nor Master Card systems are valid in local banks. Iranian banks are under the strict preservation of the government and they are against applications like this as they are bearing interest.

However do not get it wrong. Even though we cannot see the branches of acquainted international banks, there are many bank offices in the streets. Of course they are all local. Almost all of them has debit card (what we call Cash card-Bank card) application. So it is possible to live without carrying around tones of cash. Although, I have seen a couple of men who had fat purses bursting out their back pockets. I have got over the first shock after realizing that it was probably just equal to 200-300 TL’s in my purse.   

If you need an international bank (to transfer your money), I only know Halkbank (Turkish) and Bank Mellat (Iranian). But these transfers are liable to strict controls and obstacles.  It is possible to send money to an individual account. I heard that some of the small enterprises may effecting their transfers this way too. Please learn how from someone else ;)
Let’s look at the purchasing value of this money;

For 90,000,000 rials (almost 3,000 USD/9,000 TL); you may rent a fully furnished beautiful apartment in a beautiful neighborhood. For 400,000-500,000 rials (15-20 USD/40-50 TL) you may eat well at a beautiful place. Or at a more modest place you may get something to eat for ½ to ¼ of that price. I will give more detailed information about purchasing power as I get more experience.

ATTENTION: Locals use “Toman” instead of Riyal which is confusing. You should especially ask if the price is Toman or Rial when you buy something. Toman is simply; the one-zero deleted version of Rial. Even though they tried to make the life easier via this application, they couldn’t keep step with the speed of inflation. I also heard that some zeros are about to get deleted from Rial. We’ll see.

8 Mayıs 2015 Cuma



As of April 2015, I have completed my first visit to Teheran, so to Iran. I think some of my entries from now on, will be about my impressions from this journey.   
In the era of communication and internet, Iran doesn’t have much sources and the existing ones include completely contradictory information. One side, there are the propaganda materials of the government, on the other hand there are sites and photos showing Iran as if it’s a boogeyman etc. My most important source was the photos which my husband took during his former visits.

The subject of "What should I wear?" entirely occupied my headlines. I knew that nowadays they weren’t hanging around in black chadors like in Saudi Arabia. Unfortunately, even I, the casualwear & leggings person, could barely find two pieces in my wardrobe. So I drove to the mall to spend some money.
Luckily, the brands I like, have kimono-like creations this season that I could easily find comfy shirts and tops to wear with leggings and shorts. The delicate colorful scarfs I like to wear around my neck all along the winter/summer in Turkey, the long shirts, t-shirts, kimonos, topcoats and skinny pants made perfect combinations. I made my ballet pumps too. Just before getting off the plane the scarf which was around my neck went up to my head and Voila! I was adapted quickly.  

Was I a bit eccentric with those clothes in Teheran? Especially, the more than jealous, envying look on some of the ladies eyes (in black chadors) hurt me a bit. My outfit wasn’t revealing but I guess it was the colors that attracted them. As far as I saw, even though all of them doesn’t put on chador, they usually wear black. I asked to our host if it was traditional and he explained “They prefer to be invisible by wearing black”.

Sharia patrols don’t wander around in their black uniforms anymore but it is told that they may suddenly appear by your side and take you to the police station just because you were dressed colorful and attractive. There isn’t any violence etc. They just release you after signing a paper claiming "I will not be dressed up like that again".
European women or a bit higher status Iranian women manage it by putting a fine scarf on their hair and a top covering their hips. However Asian (Korean, Philippine etc.) women don’t cover any thing in the offices. I don’t know why. I don’t know if they have ever had a situation with Sharia patrols.

I will share all the information as soon as I learn the details. Keep following me curious ones! ;)

1 Mayıs 2015 Cuma


Our plane landed at İmam Humeyni Airport outside the city. The sun was about to rise. Just like every other highway in the world, the huge lined up billboards attracted my attention. As a matter of fact, there was almost nothing to see besides them. The interesting thing about the billboards was that no matter what was the advertisement about, there wasn’t any human visual in it, or there was just a hand or something…

With the effect of my loginess from sleep and the confusion, I thought that it was about the negative point of view of Islamic world on the usage of face figures.

My thought was demolished fast.

The sun was rising while we were entering the city and the beautiful graffitis were the first things who made me already love Teheran.  

Some of them had traditional motifs, some of them were made to honor the martyrs of the revolution, and the others just represented pastoral views.

Most of them covered the entire wall freely just like it was dedicated to the artist. I guess they gave a less restricted space to youth this way. As I was writing this entry, I have just learned that they have also a graffiti festival.

Unfortunately the car was going fast and there wasn’t enough light to take the photo of these beautiful graffittis but I have prepared a little compilation of the Walls of Teheran.

Hope to see these kind of beauties in my city...  

21 Nisan 2015 Salı


My husband didn’t estimate he would rise such high positions in his career and change our lives effectively when he got a job in a Danish company 15 years ago. At the beginning, we thought that working in a well-coordinated,employee-cherishing, corporate company would be more than enough to be happy (typical Turkish logic greeding for less).

Years gone by and the opportunities of the company showed us that we could build up dreams independent from the country limits, for ourselves and our children. We could work and live a bit above the average life at any corner of the World.  

As parents of two professional swimmers, we were thinking about, of course, Europe and USA though, it was more than impossible to catch a suitable position at those countries in such a large scale firm as an Asian native citizen.

At the exact moment we were ready to let go of our dreams, one of my husband’s ex-managers asked him if he would accept an occasional position in Iran office where they needed his expertise. We put our heads together and decided that we could handle 4 or 5 months of separation and this experience would be valuable in the future. So last summer, we send him to Iran.

Four months whizz by between arrivals&departures, the intense rhythm of my and children’s lives and the summer energy. He lived in Tooba Apart Hotel near the office and made a Persian entourage for himself. When he came to İstanbul, he shared his experiences and all the things he had seen.

There was a surprise waiting for us at the end of that phase; the management wanted his position to be permanent and send him there as an expat.

This time we put our heads much more together and thought;
* Yes, he could go but we couldn’t because the children were at 7th grade and we had a tough exam marathon ahead.
* Besides, they were semi-professional swimmers and neither our club nor their athlete career kept this prospect warm. We had years of efforts!

When we shared our situation with the company, we realized that they didn’t have a positive look for an expat without his/her family. So we said kismetand let it go (once again the typical Turkish logic greeding for less) but both Iran’s position in international politics and the importance of the position for the company, they accepted our situation and Iran became our destination.

After long, looooooonnnnnnnng hours of discussions, we put our triple plan into action (with the support of our dear family); my husband is going to live in a rental apartment, children are going to stay at İstanbul, I am going to shuttle back & forth between two cities.

I would like to wish good luck to all of us and share my impressions about Iran.Continue following me if you are curious about it ;)