Greetings from IRAQ!!! I got here on Friday and it's been crazy if for no other reason then the jetlag that is beating me DOWN. I can't chat for long but I will tell you that this is by far the hottest country I've ever touched foot on in my life. I literally felt under attack by the heat when I got off the plane. To give you a sample of what I'm dealing with...it's currently past midnight as I write this and it's a "nice" 97 degrees, so you can only imagine what it's like at midday!
A few highlights of my trip so far:
- Actually walking around the neighborhood I'm in to grab meals - very contrary to the "don't leave your bedroom with 100 guards and body armor" vibe that is often portrayed.
- Dinner at a German restaurant with a jumbo scene playing live karaoke and a few Asian women belling out 1980s Madonna...."La Isla Bonita" anyone?
- Over the top Magnum ice-cream bars from one of the gazillion local vendors. In this heat, an ice-cream bar may as well be cocaine!
- Trying to exit a pizza parlor and not grasping the idea that I have to pull the door instead of push with group of local guys trying to help me with directions....IN KURDISH!
- Consuming more bottles of water and orange juice (trying to fight off a cold) than I have every consumed in a short space of time (oh and the recycle or die movement hasn't made it to Iraq yet so those water bottles go straight to the trash :( )
- Going for a 2 mile hike at British embassy on the outskirts of town on extremely hilly terrain and watching my colleagues, who work here, sprinting ahead of me...IN THIS HEAT!
I head to the mountains soon so I'll be out of contact for a bit BUT I have a posts lined up here throughout the week so make sure to stop by.
I'll give you more highlights and photos of my trip as soon as I can!