Being anywhere together, particularly after dark, could get us into a shit-ton of trouble. It is illegal for an unmarried couple in Iran to stay in a room together which meant, given the large quantities of police on the streets, we were kind of screwed.Most of the time foreigners can get around this by simply saying they are married, but because Esme was Persian, and therefore a Muslim, the rules were much stricter.
Have you tried all the traditional ways to find someone special in Iran?
I had accepted that backpacking Iran was going to be a very different experience to traveling in any other country I had visited before.
I had yet to see anybody drinking or smoking and, so far, the only girls I had seen had been hidden deep within the endless black folds of heavy chadors. I messaged her with the best chat up line I could think of. We sat in a cafe, her blue hair peeking out from beneath her green hijab; a compulsory garment for all women in Iran.
Minutes slipped into hours and, before I knew it, the sun had set and it was getting late.
I lingered, unsure what to do, aware of the many people around us and the police just across the street, before thinking ‘fuck it’ and pulling her into an alleyway for a cheeky kiss.