"Waiting to board my flight from Shiraz to Tehran, with time on my hands, I approached the Tourist Information Desk and, speaking entirely in English, asked the young woman behind the desk if she sold post-cards. She was sorry, she said, but they had none to sell. She added quickly that there was a book she could share with me showing post-cards from all regions of Iran. Given that the wishes of a visitor are often taken very seriously by Iranians, it did not surprise me that her tone of voice and the open, cheerful quality in her eyes conveyed more than a superficial wish to help. She was fully veiled but her eyes were not, and they looked at me with depths of unspoiled innocence that we in the West see only in younger children. Encountering such a look in a twenty-year-old woman back home, a man might possibly interpret it as flirtatious. This being Iran, she only wished to help me."
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