The long road to Cullaville

Stories from my travels to every country in the world

Chapter 3
Tricky training
[Iran, 2001]

While four strong hands hold me in a tight grip, I swiftly look back. I see a soldier closing the huge metal gate through which I just walked. It’s impossible to escape. The hands pull me further and push me onto a bench. Once I sit down, I see about twenty soldiers in solid, pale green uniforms towering over me. They stare at me, poke each other in the stomach, point their fingers at me and smirk. Behind their heads I see the barrels of their guns sticking into the cloudless sky. Here I am in my tight, shiny, Lycra running clothes. The soldiers are talking to me, but they are speaking Farsi and I don't speak their language. A cursory glance at my sports watch tells me it’s 7:44 am. I have no idea how I'll ever get out through that gate again, let alone catch my flight home that night.