Apr 9, 2013

Sleepless in Erbil

The view out my window
Now, where else would you find a sleepless blogger on his business trip discussing the reasons on why he's not asleep and getting ready to the next day's busy schedule?

It must be the sudden weather change. I'm sneezing and coughing like crazy ever since I got here. That first moment I stepped foot on Erbil's ground, it kinda took me back to my time in KSA: heavily hot weather, direct burning sunlight and a very dusty atmosphere. A great catalyst for a serious health breakdown, exactly what I'm going through right now. Oh yeah, and the air conditioner is so great I woke up breathless.

On the other hand, that fish we had for dinner? Well, um, here's the story. The fish is called "Maskouf" (مسكوف), a traditional, very famous Kurdish dish that is only found in Erbil, where the fish is cooked for over an hour and a half. I wasn't even surprised to find out that, just like in Mina, Tripoli (my hometown), you get to pick your own fish for the grill.

Maskouf Fish lined up on the grill
You also get to pick your fish out of the muddy pool
Of course, with the help of my colleague Waleed, we managed to finish that medium rare fish we ordered, and between us? I was the reason behind not cooking that fish well. I kept on pushing and nagging on the chef (chef in terms of cook, a fat sweaty old iraqi man with a cigarette in hand) to finish it quickly. How on earth was I expected to wait 90 minutes for my dinner? :-( I told myself I'd rather eat it raw than waiting all that time. Reminder to self: next time, leave it to the cook to decide..

Before
After
How do I end up spending such nights then? Browsing expensive cameras that I cannot afford, and counting the towels my expensive hotel room has. 

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