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Mohammed Mohammed

Arbil, Iraq

Wow... what a day. I wake up in Dohuk without electricity. There's extreme power shortage in Iraq so this is normal. I do some sightseeing and try to look for an ATM but people I ask just look at my visa card as if they've never seen one before. I have euro but not a lot so I would have preferred to save it, but now I have to change it on the street. I get 76000 Iraqi dinars for 50 euro.

I meet a guy on the street called Steve. He describes himself as a warrior from Mosul. He has two scars across his face and speaks with authentic American accent, although he's a Christian Iraqi and never left the country. He shows me pictures of him and American soldiers. He's like 8 years old. Or 11 at most. He shows me around for a while and helps me arrange a shared taxi to Erbil. I stick him a 1000 dinar banknote for his help. He hugs me and says "keep it real man".

The taxi to Erbil is 2.5 hours and 20000 dinars. There are no buses in Iraq. Bivar told me to stay away from Mosul if I wish to leave Iraq alive. The taxi basically circles Mosul, 20 kms from the city. We leave Kurdish area for a while, but everything feels safe.

In Erbil I'm staying with Mohammed Mohammed. Mohammed provides Kurdistan with satellite Internet. He is doing fairly well. He picks me up with his BMW and we go to his house where he lives with his mother and brother. On the way he needs to change engine oil, but has trouble paying because he only carries 100 USD bills. His mother makes me lunch and later we head out to meet Mohammed's friend David, a British architect working for UNESCO. We go to a top end Lebanese restaurant and are taken to the VIP table. The food is good and the raki (Turkish liquor) is strong. The power goes out 4 times during dinner. Mohammed and I continue to Ankawa Palace to meet up with his other friends who all belong to the elite in Erbil. Richest of all is Zatan, good for 20 million USD. We drink only chivas regal 18 year old and smoke nargileah (water pipe). There are no Iraqi dinars around the table, everyone carries 100 USD bills. I'm not allowed to pay for anything during the evening.

permalink written by  bennedich on December 12, 2008 from Arbil, Iraq
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wow i love your blog. Keep it real man.

That was great the way you described that guy steve. To think that he is that young!

permalink written by  Jerry or naady.com on December 14, 2008

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bennedich bennedich
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My name is Max. I like to travel.

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