“All of the foreigners who ride in my taxi – French, German, Spanish – they all love Iran. I am curious, so I ask them.”
“They love Iran because they expect something much worse.”
“What do you mean?”
“They expect to be frightened and see people living in fear.” (Forgive me if I am not nuanced in my conversations… I am not a fluent Persian speaker. I do the best I can with my limited abilities.) “We are afraid of you.”
The driver laughs. He thinks I’m joking. I must be joking. Us afraid of them?
“Why is it that foreigners have such a bad impression of Iran?” the taxi driver asked me.
“The only images of Iran that we see in the west are of thousands of people shouting, Down with America, Down with Israel, and then burning flags. This scares us.”
“Yeah, but that does not mean that we dislike Americans. We like Americans. It’s the government we don’t like.”
“Americans do not understand that difference.”
“Don’t they ask why we burn their flag? Don’t they want to know?”
“We do not want to know why. It just makes us angry.” [Our 'friends' dislike us the most, it seems.]
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