Greetings from IRAQ....

Hi Everyone!!

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!


Dasha said...

This "La Isla Bonita" observation makes me think of Bridget Jones in the Thai prison. :) I believe her ticket to stardom was "Like a Virgin."

Brandie said...

Other classics included "crazy for you." it was super hilarious!

Dana said...

Please be SAFE!!!! It doesn't sound like you are heading my warnings by staying INSIDE. Bring my Brandie back to me in one piece please.

Fly Brother said...

OMG, IRAQ! I had no idea (which is what happens when one slips on one's blog reading - I'd been stupid busy with the move, but still...). I was hoping to see you in DC next week, but I guess it'll have to be somewhere else in the world.

I'll go back and read through past posts to find out all the background info about your newest location, and I hope that everything runs as smoothly as it can and you remain safe.

-Fly Bro

Brandie said...

@Fly Bro: I didn't really write about it before I left.

I'll be in Belgium next week if you are around the area :)

Uzo said...

I am totally telling Mommy you were out bike riding in Iraq! That does not sound like armoured car she's envisioning! I know images on the ground are different from those on the pages of newspapers but please do stay safe.

Gem said...

Oh, wow! I noticed you said Belgium. Are you just on vacation, going to different areas? This sounds memorable, have you been able to get any pictures? Do you feel any different attention being black there?


OMG, Brandie, what are you doing there? You must fill us in on everything as soon as you can. Have a safe trip!