“Move towards me Bahar, farther back please,” Mom kept telling me with a glare. It was my first time riding a bus in Tehran. Until then, I had only peered through the buses from the street, while trying to capture a photo of how men and women sit in separate sections. I chuckled the first time I saw this–perhaps because of the blatant display of segregation in broad daylight. Most women I know say they feel more comfortable being separated from men who occasionally are tempted to overstep boundaries. “Yes, but still,” I’d object. “It doesn’t make it acceptable.”
In large buses ladies occupy the rear section, in small buses, the front. A metal bar separates the two sections. On rare occasions women, Mom and I included, have been known to move to the men’s section if seats are available but in general men do not. Once you get on the bus–and over your fascination–you’ll know which section to go to. Tickets can be purchased at the station. Otherwise, pay the bus driver on the way out. If you ride a bus where women sit in the back, you would get off the bus first, then walk to the driver and pay . . . . Read more.
This quote by Iranian Bahar Anooshahr is from the Pink Pangea blog. This post describes her experience as a woman riding a public bus in Iran for the first time.
Very interesting reading giving us a glimpse into another aspect of Iranian culture. Click here to read the entire article.
Photo from Pink Pangea