In less anxious times, the streets are clogged with honking cars and cranky commuters. But on Saturday, drives that normally last 45 minutes took just a third of the time, and shops were mainly empty. Even Tehran’s beauty salons, normally hives of activity, had few customers; at one, bored workers fussed over one another’s hair.
People who did venture out said they were dispirited by the upheaval that has shaken this country over the two weeks since the contested presidential election, and worried they would get caught up in the brutal government crackdown of dissent that has followed.
Even in areas of the city not known for liberal politics, the sense of frustration, and despair, was palpable. Those who accuse the government of stealing the election said they had lost the hope for change they had during the protests that drew tens of thousands of people into Tehran’s streets. But others also confessed to feeling depressed.
ME: JUST A HUNCH, BUT I FEEL IT'S THE QUIET BEFORE THE STORM...
- ONE REASON I FEEL THIS WAY: THE NYTIMES IS ALWAYS WRONG.
- YES: THE REGIME'S CRACKDOWN IS HAVING AN EFFECT.
- BUT THE YOUTH HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE.
- THEY NEED ENCOURAGEMENT.
- IF ONLY OBAMA WOULD DO SOMETHING POSITIVE!
WHICH MEANS I AM GONNA BE RIGHT!
HERE'S ANOTHER REASON: BIG MONEY FROM IRAN IS LEAVING - AND THAT MEANS PEOPLE IN THE KNOW FEAR MORE TROUBLE.