Jogging in Tehran

The lobby of the Homa Hotel in Tehran is a busy thoroughfare and meeting place. In Iran you often have time on your hands, and this is a good place to sit, take tea with friends, do business, and watch the world go by.

One morning an American businessman appeared from a lift in running gear – sweatshirt, shorts and trainers. You don’t see bare arms and legs in Iran, so this was as unusual as a man walking into a London hotel naked.

Clearly this was his first visit to Iran, but if he was nervous he did not show it. He was carrying a street map, and strode confidently past the main entrance over to reception. I assume he intended to ask for advice on his route, and whether there were areas of the city he should avoid.

The receptionists began to shout at him, and one of the lobby staff began to tap and then strike his legs with a stick. He got angry and raised a clenched fist at his assailant. This was a mistake.

More staff arrived, all with sticks, and soon six or more of them were raining blows on his bare arms and legs.

His composure broke and he literally ran back to the lifts. Fortunately, one was waiting with the door open, and he disappeared into it.

It was the same lift he had stepped out of, with such self-assurance, thirty seconds earlier.


See also:  Saudi Logic / The Norwegians Go Sightseeing

Chris Thorpe

Chris Thorpe is a respected independent lawyer in the upstream oil and gas industry, and an established lecturer and author. Chris has a LLB in law from Magdalene College, Cambridge and trained as a barrister in London. He worked for eight years' as an in-house lawyer for BP and Marathon. Since 1991, Chris has run his own upstream legal practice, CPTL, which has acted for many upstream clients. He has extensive experience of international upstream transactions, principally in the North Sea, the FSU, Africa and the Middle East. Chris has spoken at many UK and International Conferences and Seminars, both public and in-house. His most popular current lecture is Fundamental of Upstream Petroleum Agreements, a two-day course with accompanying book.