It’s crazy, hilarious at some times and very emancipating. (for Iranians at least) There are like 150 men walking around us all day. And then there’s Janneke and me.
For European standards is already a bit strange that two women take charge of a men’s team. So you might be able to imagine how we look in between all the grumpy old teammanagers from Turkey, Uzbekistan, Kazachstan, Iran and Azerbaijan with our colorfull headscarves around our heads. But let’s be hounest, if you want to make your first appearance as a women’s teammanagers team, you better do it in Iran.
At first they just thought us being the wifes of the riders, then we sort of were on these lists, and we kept asking all this information about the race. So one of the organisors just politely asked Janneke while standing in the elevetor: ”so you are the team manager?” The answer was yes, so he turned to me, what my job in the whole event was; “she’s the mechanic”, Janneke replied.
I tried to hide my disbelief. Mechanic? Me? The Iranian guy was also a bit overwhelmed: “ In Iran we don;t have women mechanics”.
To be hounest, I think there is a lot of things women don’t do very regularly over here, unfortunately.
Because what’s better than to hang out of your window, with your headscarf flying through the air while fixing the back wheel of one of the riders. Or to be able to shout at our personal (imported from Tabriz) taxidriver who was (unfortunatly for him) assigned to guide us through the regions of Western Iran during this tour, without having a clue what a cycling race is and how things work (just like me, but I’m not behind the wheel, and I do speak English).
I hope our driver will survive. He seems like a strong man. But being used to the Iranian way to communicate with people in general, and especially women…
he’s gonna have a hell of a ride.