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Video: Rick Steves After Travelling to Iran: “Why Death To America?!”

In this video which is part of the TEDxRainier talk, Rick Steves sharing lessons learned from Iran and tells why spending all that time and money away from home has broadened his perspective, enriched his life, and made it clear to him, as he says in his talk, “Fear is for people who don’t get out very much.” 

Rick Steves: Why am I going to Iran?”

Rick Stives Why Death To America
Rick Steves in Iran, Photo from Rick Steves’ Travel Blog

He added “In few years ago i had a great opportunity to go to Iran… People asked my “Why you are going to Iran?”  and I thought about it, “Why am I going to Iran?…and it occurred to me I’m going there because I think it’s good character to know people before you…bomb them.”)

‘Death to America’ doesn’t actually mean death to America

When he was in a cab in a traffic jam and suddenly the cab driver, who mainly only spoke Farsi yelled out, “Death to traffic!”

Rick was surprised and asked the driver, “Death to traffic? Is it not ‘Death to Israelis’ or ‘Death to the Americas’?” And the driver responded, “No, right now, death to traffic.”

The driver goes on to explain that “Here in Iran, when anything is frustrating or out of our control, we say ‘death to that’.”

Rick Steves After Travelling To Iran Why Iranian Say Death America
A taxi driver in Tehran – Photo from Rick Steves’ Travel Blog

And Rick realized that this was equivalent to him saying “Damn those teenagers!” when he’s back in the states, although he doesn’t wish that the teenagers burn and rot in hell for eternity.

He also added in his blog:

I try to make sense of the fearmongering and billboard hate, which mixes with huge smiles and welcomes. People greet me with a smile. Invariably, they ask where I’m from. I often say, “You tell me.” They guess and guess, running through 9–10 countries before giving up. Finally I say “America” and they are momentarily shocked, thinking, “I thought Americans hate us. Why would one be here like this?” Their smile leaves their face. Then a bigger smile comes back as they say “Welcome!” or “I love America.”

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SURFIRAN Editorial Team

SURFIRAN is an Iranian tour operator and travel agency offering tour packages to those interested in Iran. It provides the tourists with services needed to travel to Iran, offers tours across the country, and assists the tourists in obtaining Iranian visas.

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