How we got started

I was born in the historical village of Toudeshk, a camel trading post on the old Silk Road in the deserts of Central Iran.
When I was a child, I didn't know about any other world, I thought that everywhere was the same, that everywhere was Toudeshk. I would go to the highway to see people passing by. While the other children played, I was always at the highway, watching.
Sometimes, especially in the winter, I would see cyclists, loaded with luggage and speaking different languages, arriving before nightfall.
Sometimes they would stop and ask me something.They would always say 'Hello' but I didn't understand 'Hello'! I didn't know who these people were or what they were doing.
I would see them go to the store to buy food and water and then they would retreat to the middle of nowhere to sleep in tents and sleeping bags. I saw so many of them!

When I got to secondary school, the first time my English teacher said 'Hello' I jumped up like a spring and told him I'd heard this word but didn't know the meaning. He asked me where I'd heard it and I answered from the highway, from the mysterious cyclists.
I told him that I didn't know where any of these people came from. My teacher told me they were foreigners, that they came from other countries.
I asked him why they were sleeping in tents and he told me that it was because they didn't have a place to stay. Then my teacher started to talk about them and other countries and cultures.

I was tired of seeing the same faces everyday - small town syndrome! So I told my teacher that I wanted to host foreigners in my home but I needed a key. Language was the key. He taught me conversational English. I wrote a few sentences on a piece of paper and went and waited by the highway. People changed my name to 'Crazy Mohammad' because I would wait there for a long time, watching the road.
Even during bad weather, I was there, trying to 'fish' cyclists and invite them to my house. I would ask truck and bus drivers if they'd seen any cyclists that day and when they answered 'yes', I was happy and would wait for them to arrive. When they arrived I took my piece of paper and said 'Hello' and they all answered 'Hello'. Finally, I had the opportunity to host one of them and he taught me about cyclists and what they needed. I learnt much from him and others after him.
In 2012 I bought a ruined house and spent the next three years renovating. I now run the business with my mother and father and we welcome guests into our family. And so I finally fulfilled my dream to offer a place I could meet and talk to new people. It has also given Toudeshk a place on the map - providing valuable income for the village. Since starting Tak-Taku Homestay, I have hosted thousands of people from all over the world in my home. Now all the people of Toudeshk know more about foreigners and all of them can say 'Hello'! In the village I am no longer known as 'Crazy Mohammad', I am now ‘Mohammad Tourist'.