A fellow passenger in the shared taxi to Shushtar has taken it upon himself to help me find a good hotel, I’ve already found a cheap place online however and after some effort I convince him that that’s the place for me. I go for a walk after checking in but it’s so hot my eyeballs hurt from the heat so I retreat to my hotel room. The air conditioning struggles against the heat but at least there’s a bit of relief.
The next day I walk around the city a bit, and hang out by the ancient water works purportedly built by a captured legion of Roman soldiers. While walking around town a few random people come up to me and state that they speak English and are ready to help. It’s Ramadan and I’m too hungry to wait for sundown so I head out to a fancy hotel where I am greeted by a fluent German speaker a former engineering student who invites takes me to the only working take away place, and then to his home where I can eat in peace while his relatives are arriving for iftar.
The next day my GPS on my phone finally stops working, it’s been spotty for days but now it’s gone completely. Luckily an English speaking guy in a car stops and offers to take me to the right crossing. The next ride takes me all the way to the ziggurat and he’s friendly overall, but something feels slightly off. So I insist that I walk back which initially goes well until it gets so hot that I hide under an overpass. Two passersby offer me a lift and I leave them puzzled when I set out on foot further. When I have to take a detour to a museum I can luckily leave my bags at a police post and once back there it doesn’t take too much effort to find another ride to Shush my last destination of the day.
I get dropped off by a shrine dedicated to the Daniel, the minor Jewish prophet. The inside of the shrine reminds me a bit of a garish nightclub with plenty of tiny mirrors but dozens of women in chadors are lounging around the the female half of the shrine. When I go outside the town’s dead. It’s still Ramadan and it’s still scorching. And once I get to the hotel it turns out to be closed. Luckily a man tells me that it will open at 5 so I drag my bags over to the museum to kill some time there until I can seek shelter from the heat in a hotel room.