We then encountered a long queue of people holding their passports. At the head of the line was a large overweight gentleman in a grey tunic sitting on a wooden chair similar to the ones we had had at school twenty years previously. The customs official’s hair was thinning and combed backwards, though he had a fine walrus-like moustache. Mr One Dollar wheeled the trolley past the queue, which concerned me, so I indicated to him that we should join the queue at the back, rather than pushing in at the front. He shook his head and smiled. As we drew level with the official, Mr One Dollar said something to him in Farsi. The official looked at me over a distance of about 5 metres with an expression that reminded me of a languid bloodhound. In perfect English he said, with a rather fierce tone, “Where are you from?” “The UK,” I said, brandishing my passport and smiling. He glared at me, “Do you have a visa for Iran?” “Yes, I do,” I replied and started to leaf through my passport. He waved his hand imperiously and said, “OK, you can go, please.” He didn’t even look at my passport let alone the visa. I must have looked awfully confused because Mr One Dollar tugged at my sleeve and beckoned me to continue. He smiled and said, “One dollar, one dollar.”
Extract from Julian’s Journeys available on Amazon and all e-book sites.