Dear Father and Mother,
Isfahan, May 2, 1973
Since I have several hours to fill in before catching a bus at 2300 to Persepolis, and since I am too tired and too full of yoghurt, hot dogs and fizzy drinks to go walking round town, I have decided to start writing an unheard-of third letter in two days. What extravagance! I find that this country is running away with my money at an alarming rate. But then I do eat a lot of snacks. We've indulged several times in beautiful shish kebab - lamb (I think) cooked on a skewer - with rice, a large slab of butter, Persian bread, leeks, onions, radishes and mint. But that set us back Rl. 70 a time, so we've given up the bad habit. Things are so bad that I'm getting round in rags and tatters - all my clothes have started to rot at once. Perhaps it's the Pakistani sandsoap I bought.
We spent about 3 hours yesterday afternoon determinedly looking for the Jordanian Embassy in Tehran, asked about 5000 unhelpful people and eventually found it (closed) on the very edge of the city. As though that were not frustrating enough, we then had a run-in with two bone-headed myrmidons of the Law who, I suppose, were guarding it from attacks by nasty Jews. Without any sort of provocation they wanted to inspect our passports, cameras etc. and one simpleton even clipped a magazine in his rifle and chased us up the street when we figured we'd had enough of them. No wonder Hamlet wanted to commit suicide when he thought of the "insolence of office".
The bus left on time at 2200 and arrived here on time at 0600. It was more comfortable than most buses we have travelled in, so we were able to get a few hours' sleep. After being turned away from many a door with gesticulations of "fullness", we finally checked into a hotel and agreed to pay 60 rls each. After tramping round the city (allegedly the most beautiful in the country) and inspecting sundry excellent mosques etc., we decided we ought to be on the move again and booked bus-seats for tonight (forfeiting 25 Rls each at the hotel). We should reach Pasargadae (Cyrus's original Persian capital) at about 0500 tomorrow. Hope to see Persepolis also and get to Shiraz for the night as there is no accommodation at the other places.