Meeting Hossein at the border

I am Andrzej Sochacki,Polish American, I have travelled around the world six times by:

1-Car from New York 1977-79
2-Airplane from Los Angeles 1978
3-Sailboat from Las Palmas 1992-94
4-Train from Warsaw 1994-95
5-6-Bike from Phonix Tokyo 1998-2000

Total:133 countries ,350000 km. in 10 years!

You may imagine how many people I have visited in
those 133 countries. Hossein is the one I will never forget. For those who want enter Iran with their bikes or vehicles Carnet DE Passage is a must , and I didn't have any, and didn't know the language to explain the problem to customs officers!

I found Hossein after waiting for whole seven hours, indeed he did find me. He had been visiting his family in Tabriz 280 Km far from the Bazargan border. He used to live away from his family. It may appear strange but he was the only soul who could speak English in customs! He introduced himself as tourist manager, and, asked what he could do for me!
By taking me to several customs authorities, I could understand by his gestures, he was trying to convince them I am a very famous tourist, and they must find a  way to let me into the country, despite the fact I didn't have the bloody documents! I was really frustrated and worrying what will happen if they didn't give me the permission to enter Iran!

Hopefully all Hossein's efforts after a couple of hours solved the problem, and I was in Iran with my beloved Bike! I want to tell the world without his kind help, it was impossible to cross the country, and it was very important for me. It was late in night, he told me I can share his small room for I couldn't find any place to spend the night. He not only didn't charge anything but called his son in Tabriz to help me there. His son Rouzbeh was my guide for a couple of days in Tabriz, and I was invited to the family for a couple of lunch, and dinners! I am pretty sure he will succeed in his new job, because he is experienced, and loves his job!

Andrzej Sochacki
Polish American
April 2003

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