the brothers near the shrine

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I left Quchan in the sunshine, and everything was swell.

Passed a big fat truck:

truck in Quchan

Passed a monument that looked like… me:

cart puller

Somewhere along the way this gentleman stopped his tractor and asked me to take his picture, so I did:

tractorist in Quchan

There was laughter in the air and much singing of birds, and my forearms were soon red from the sun. It almost felt like a vacation.

I had noticed a rather large shrine on the map just a dozen kilometers from Quchan, so I went there first:

outside of the shrine

It was a shrine to Soltan Ebrahim, who was apparently a relative of the original Imams (though I’m not quite sure, and an internet search didn’t yield any results).

Anyway, people came there to pray and touch and kiss the shrine:

shrine of Soltan Ebrahim

Others sat quietly, while yet others took selfies or peaked at the inside:

inside the shrine

There was an old gentleman with a feather duster who seemed to be in charge of the place:

shrine guard

I was getting ready to leave and walk towards the next village when I ran into Vahid and Omid, two brothers who lived near the shrine:

Vahid & Omid

“Lunch?” they asked, and I said yes.

They were super nice, and Omid, who was a talented landscape photographer, later took me through the fields behind the village:

Omid

Remember how there was a certain green lemonade back in Central Asia that I really liked? It was called Tarhun, and I had never figured out what it was made from. That was until today, when Omid’s mom prepared dinner and showed me an herb that she called tarhun:

estragon

I am pretty sure it was estragon.

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