It does feel different. Walking through Vali-Asr square close to downtown Tehran, I had to pinch myself; "have we turned democratic and I missed it?" on the left side of the square there were dozens of Mousavi's supporters and on the right side dozens of Ahmadinejad's fans were shouting their slogans. Mousavi's supporters were waving green flags and holding posters, and so were Ahmadinejad's fans. On a corner people were arguing. A young kid was using his utmost energy to yell at someone: "how much was the price of an apartment when Khatami was the president? now it is so and so" the other guy, a bit shorter and with a beard was shaking his head and hands trying to say that Ahmadinejad was good to the economy.
Scores of young people, bikers and cars, marching and cruising through Tehran supporting this or that candidate. Green is Mousavi's color, White ribbons for Karroubi and blue for Rezaie, Ahmadinejad's fans are using national colors of green, red and white as their symbol and march to the song of Ey-Iran (Oh Iran) the unofficial national song, not very popular with the establishment. Debates are lively and sleeping is impossible, presidential candidates begin their debates 10:30 PM, after which people take to streets to dance and to blow their cars horns.
Girls are waving their hands and dance inside their cars, everything is loosened up, police officers and the elite squads standing by watching, but they do not interfere. A boy tells his worrisome girlfriend: "it is election time, they do not care if you are naked"
Well I have not seen anyone naked, but I have seen girls standing in streets to distribute leaflets, i have seen kids wearing green, white and tricolors ribbons running the streets, i have seen glimpse of hope and hope is such a rare thing, it is a good thing.
The election time is sure different and this one is very different than other ones.