The next day we were served a delicious breakfast with Sharack by his mother and we presented some Iranian sweets that we had picked up in Esfahan in thanks for their hospitality. We then headed over to Aziz's to do the same. I wanted to leave presents for all of them, especially the children but a box of sweets would have to do instead. Sharack helped us get away- I think they would have gladly had us to stay for a week or more but there was lots of Iran still to see and we had offfered Sharack a lift to Shiraz. On ther way there I felt like such a tourist gaping at the beautiful scenery around us. For Sharack is was normal so he barely noticed it but Alex did make a photo stop at one point all the same.
Shiraz was bigger than I expected- a really large and bustling city. It took a while to get into the historic centre. I think Sharack would have loved to have all day to show us around, as would we but our origional intention was to drop him off where he needed to go and go on to Persepolis- the largest acheologial site in Iran, just up the road. It didn't work out like that in the end but that was fine! We were shown the attracive Quoran gate and surrounding attractive infrastructure on the outskirts of town first. We then went into the centre and had a look around the bazar and attached the mosque. This bazar had a much nicer and more intersting feel than the one at Esfahan but we had less than an hour in town so didn't really do it justice. We did however try some ******, weird rice noodle and rose water flavoured icecream- it was delicious and refreshing at first but none of us could manage a whole bowl. We then headed out to a suburb or satillite town where Sharack's brother and sister in law live, for have lunch and to drop him off. What a contrast. We were greeted at the door of the apparentment in the smart modern block by a casually dressed, smiling twenty something Iranian woman with no head scalf!!!! A;ex said later he didn't know where to look! She invited us in and gestured for me to take off mine as well as the shapeless overshirt I had taken to waring. I looked a mess, unprepared for this freedom but it was great to not be too hot and swamped by fabric. It was a very nice and comfy flat just like a similar couple in the UK may have- flat screen TV, sofas, photos, ornaments, magazines, MTV playing in the backround. It was great. We still ate around a cloth on the floor Iranian style but she had very sweetly prepared us some pasta, chips and even jelly as she knew we'd not have had these more western foods in some time.
Her husband came home for lunch too and it was great to see the nteraction betwen the brothers- there's nothig like the bond between close siblings. After lunch we exchanged some music which led to looking at photos on the laptop and I looked at their glamerous wedding photo folders- done like Mazier's but with a more funky, modern twist. As well as having a degree in computer programming, Sharack's sister in law works as a hairdressser and specialises in preparing brides for their weddding photos, unuaually for Iran, children are on the back burner for now, They are considering emagrating to the UK and asked wheat sort of living she would earn with the same profession there. The whole atmopsphere was so much more laid back than we'd experiemced in a long time, it wasn't until later that I realied it wasn't just the headscaves but they sat on each other's lap to see the photos and were relaxed infront of us and their brother- showing any ontward sign of couply affection on the steets in Iran is a no no, even holding hands. It was refreshing to see some affection between others.