Former NBA journeyman Jackson Vroman has begun writing a column for HoopsHype.com, and boy, does he have some stories to tell:
“I played in Iran 2009 and enjoyed my time in the country. Plus I was a pioneer of sorts there. As you probably know, alcohol is completely illegal in Iran and the fine for even one glass is 80 lashes with a whip and about $1,300 for first offense. They are much stricter on alcohol than drugs because alcohol is forbidden in the Koran and drugs aren’t mentioned. However, there is a flourishing underground party scene with beautiful women, DJ’s, full bars, drugs, etcetera. The alcohol selection is limited, though. They have arak, which is cheap and locally made, it tastes like strong, cheap vodka and cardboard mixed. Then there are Sky, Absolut and Smirnoff vodkas and occasionally Grey Goose for $100 a bottle. They have a few whiskys – Jack Daniels and Johnnie Walker – and two very cheap tequilas. Alcohol purchasing in Iran is similar to purchasing drugs in the States. You have a dealer that you meet or he might deliver to your house. Well, I am a big Patron drinker and decided it would be nice to have my favorite drink in Iran. It took me a long time, but finally with the help of a teammate I was able to find a dealer willing to try and bring Patron if we did a big order. He woud charge $130 a bottle, which is 100 more than it costs. We ordered 50! It was a big hit in the party scene. We could have sold all 50 and made money, but we didn’t. Patron is now offered more frequently in Tehran and the price has dropped to around 100, but I am known there for being the first person to ever bring it to Iran.