Some wear make up.
Most meticulously manicure their eyebrows and finger nails.
The mode of dress seems to involve a smock like jacket (reminiscent of a lab coat), head scarf and some sort of trouser-like affair which ranges from super skinny jeans to floppy formless trousers.
Shoes range from Converse basketball shoes to closed toed sandals.
The full burkha is rare.
Why have I noticed this stuff?
Well, I think I came to Iran with a preconception of a country of oppressed women.
It's different from the west and Dubai.
There's no cleavage or flesh on display.
I'm sure there's an underlying hardness to it all, but I've been pleasantly surprised by the wit, smiles and assertiveness of the women I've come into contact on a professional level here.
It clearly isn't Saudi Arabia but it's not freedom either. Expecting the worst, I think I've started to be lulled into the "it's not so bad" school of thought.
Couples walk arm in arm down the street and the religious police I've heard so much about aren't in evidence though this little tidbit from today's "Iran News" (one of two English dailies) is worth pondering:
Police to face "badly dressed" Women in Cafes and Offices
Moral police will confront women deemed inappropriately dressed not only in streets, but also in private offices, cafes, restaurants and internet cafes, Tehran's police chief said on Thursday, Raja News reported.
'The police will deal strictly with those who do not respect the law' Comander Ahmad Reza Radan said describing the aim of the campaign as increasing security in society.
Vans of moral police have been a common scene in main squares and streets of the capital for about two years, with officers monitoring women passer byes.
'The police will also face West-planted groups such as Satan Worshipers" Radan added...........
I guess I spoke too soon.
More on all this later after I've thought about it over the next couple of days .
The picture below is not what I'd expected to see in Iran:The queues outside of petrol stations stretch down the block day and night.
The second largest oil producer in the world has a shortage of gasoline.
Despite this shortage its only 1400 Rials per liter.
8700 Rials = $1
So that's 16 cents a liter or 80 cents a gallon.
Though Iran exports oil, it imports gasoline. The embargo has left refineries in short supply of spare parts. The present President has also made some silly decisions making the situation worse. I've heard some conflicting stories regarding this but the fact remains people wait in line to fill up their car and roads have another lane choked off further aggravating a terrible traffic problem.Motor bikes are abundant and helmets are almost unknown. The weaving in and out of traffic is suicidal given the lane straddling and optional traffic lights that cars indulge in. I've been to many cities where drivers are bad.
Tehran is the most terrifying I have ever had the misfortune to endure.
Tomorrow I will be in a car for 2 hours to a city north of here.They're not regulating traffic. Perhaps they're on the look out for an errant headscarf.
The 8 year Iran-Iraq war still has a resounding resonance here. Every night the TV ends with a montage of the martyrs fighting against the "Saddam hordes". Murals of the fallen adorn most apartment buildings. .....Remember this was some time ago. The newspapers here are full of talk of "war-mongers" and "Zionist Aggressors", but the people I've met have been very low key and soft spoken. I may be simple minded and naive but a society still so obviously in trauma from the last war it was in doesn't strike me as itching to start another one. Perhaps we can learn from this and not embark on another ill-considered adventure.
Check back for more as and when.