Neil's Wheelless 8

Steve – please say “no” to camel heads. And tell the 7-year-old when he’s old enough AND if (and only if) he has enough money, I’ll marry him. But he has to come here.


Neil Watchers;

Wednesday he had a long day in Shiraz with lots of walking – which often happens when you are on a tour. Many motorcycles in Shiraz.

Neil has made friends with the bus driver. The guy has twins and wears a shirt with epaulettes on the shoulders. (Where else would epaulettes be?) Neil is unclear on what they mean.

The Tour had lunch at the house of a friend of Fatima (the guide) in the countryside. There, Neil met a 7-year old boy who wanted Neil to get him an American wife. Neil is now accepting applications from candidates. The ability to run centrifuges is a plus.

Neil saw his first camel on Wednesday. I suspect that it was a dromedary – but that’s not important. One more animal to check off on his life-list.

Each time he calls from the hotel, a prerecorded voice comes on and says, in English, “You can’t use this phone.” After that, the conversation begins. The prior call, of some 20 minutes duration, cost $12 – a bargain.

They passed a butcher shop with camel and sheep heads on display. He wants to bring one home. A camel’s head would be the perfect Christmas gift for several people that I know!

Neil was wearing a T shirt with a picture of a Japanese guy on it. (Who knows why?) The shirt caused a guy to stop him and ask if he was in the Viet Nam war. The guy was impressed that Neil is 85 years old. I doubt is Neil mentioned that he was in Japan at the end of WW II.

Neil is sleeping OK, his voice is husky, the roads are good, and the country is beautiful.

In Shiraz, because of a local religious festival, they were unable to get reservations at the famous 5-star hotel as promised. Instead, they got some flea-bag joint with squat-pots for toilets. For those elders who can’t squat, they have some type of portable device. Like most Americans, obsessed with toilets as we are, I’m waiting for better descriptions.

Some of you cynics in the crowd may wonder why a Tour, that was planned two years in advance, couldn’t get hotel reservations. You probably are the type of person who figures it is a way to increase the profit margin for the local tour director. You should be ashamed of yourselves for thinking this way!

On another note:

I suppose that I should have expected it. After all, I’m still waiting for the dowry that I was promised 41 years ago. If Neil is a cheapskate, probably most of his friends are too.

Only three people volunteered to pitch in, if required, on the ransom. One guy promised 3 euros and half of a Swiss Frank. A second person anonymously sent 7 Mexican pesos.

However, the real hero of the story promised 1,100,000 Iranian Rial! This guy clearly belongs in a medical institution. No one, even in Neil’s family, thinks that a ransom over a million should be paid to get Neil back.

I had hopes for lots of pictures of dead presidents. Instead I’ve got 7 pesos and two promises. I will fall back on my mother’s advice: “Say ‘thank you’ for what you receive.”

Thank you.

Do not tell anyone about these vast (or, half-vast) financial resources. It could hurt our bargaining position if the Ransomers knew.


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