Upon arrival into the southern Kurdistan town of Sulamainiyah, Anil and I also immediately found ourselves giddy with joy upon discovering two Chinese restaurants into the vicinity of our resort. Most likely, up to the period, the actual only real food we’d eaten were chicken and falafel sandwiches, perhaps not as a result of an irregular love for such meals, but because that ended up being all we’re able to get in other areas associated with area.
In order quickly as night approached and our hunger expanded, we eagerly wandered up to the bigger of this two Chinese restaurants we’d seen and prepared ourselves for the essential feast of yummy cuisine that is asian.
Definitely, had we taken a few momemts to correctly think this course of action through, we would have paused before making a decision to enter this floor restaurant that is second. Truthfully, the indication out front side prohibiting us from going into the establishment with any firearms or knives must have acted as an indication that is clear this is perhaps perhaps not your typical “lo mein-fortune cookie-free green tea” sort of Chinese eatery.
And I’m perhaps perhaps not yes regarding the friendly neighbor hood Chinese restaurants, nevertheless the people we frequented once I had been more youthful and staying in america, failed to need me personally become completely frisked by a sizable, leather-based jacket-clad man upon walking through the doorway. Fortunately, Anil and I also had both determined during the eleventh hour to keep our AK-47s and machetes inside our accommodation so we both passed the protection check, after which it we wandered up to a dining table close to the windows.
And before, was that the Great Shang Hai Chinese Restaurant was one seedy establishment as we sat down, the first thing that we noticed, as if this shouldn’t have occurred to us. Not merely had been we truly the only clients, nonetheless it had been inside that is eerily dark with just blinking fairy lights regarding the walls, which created an environment that more closely resembled a brothel into the backstreets of Mumbai (from exactly exactly what I’ve noticed in movies needless to say).
No matter our findings, we had been ready to place this sketchiness apart and focus on satisfying our hunger with a few Chinese meals.
But when the waitress, a new woman that is chinese approached our dining dining table, we were quite astonished to get ourselves in the middle of a discussion that went something such as this:
Waitress: She states one thing in Kurdish Us: We stare blankly at her
Waitress: “Kurdish? ” Us: “English? ”
Waitress: “You reside right right right here? ” Us: “No. We travel right here. ”
Waitress: “What would you like? ” Us: “Food. Can we come across a menu? ”
Waitress: “Food? ” ( having a look that is incredulous her face) my latest blog post Us: “Yes, food. ”
Waitress: “Chinese meals? ” Us: “Um…yes, Chinese food. ”
Waitress: “Kurdish food? ” Us: “Chinese food? ”
Waitress: “Chinese meals? ” Us: “Yes, Chinese food. ”
She then wandered away and came back with a menu, although provided her effect above together with dusty state regarding the menu, it absolutely was quite clear that this Chinese restaurant had not been precisely used to serving Chinese meals. In reality, we possibly may well have already been the people that are first ever request a menu.
As soon as we did go through the menu, the costly rates detailed close to each product finally forced us to improve our minds about sampling the neighborhood cuisine that is chinese.
But, as of this true point, we had been quite interested in our environments and wished to find out about the thing that was happening in this joint and thus we handed the menu back into the waitress and ordered products alternatively. We figured one beverage could be reasonable prior to taking down once more in search of some meals.
Minimal did we understand that the alcohol Anil ordered could be of this “abnormally big can” variety nor that whenever I asked for the “whiskey”, I became buying a bottle that is actualalbeit a tiny one) of this material and not one cup. Because of this, one fast beverage switched into a 2.5 hour session even as we sat there into the Great Shang Hai viewing the area fill up along with other males whom additionally ordered absolutely nothing but products. Therefore the whole time, Anil and I also debated to and fro once we attempted to seem sensible of that which was actually taking place in this strange spot.
It might have quite well simply been a club, but after viewing a number of the patrons slip wads of Iraqi Dinars to the fingers of just one associated with waitresses then go to beg the bartender to permit the waitress to stay at their dining table I began to think otherwise with them(such requests were always refused.
Here’s a brief movie to offer you a far better concept of the fascinating restaurant this is the Great Shang Hai:
Significantly reluctantly, after completing our beverages (yes, we completed the container of whiskey and Anil finished down two large beers), we made a decision to keep simply because that people had been now beyond hungry at this time.
As soon as our bill arrived, it had been remarkably inexpensive, possibly an illustration that it wasn’t an underworld or brothel hangout in the end. Frequently at such places (again, so I’ve heard), you can’t take in the total amount we did for a simple 10,000 Iraqi Dinars ($8.50 USD).
PRESENT ME VARIOUS FOOD!
10 minutes after leaving the Great Shang Hai, we stumbled as a restaurant called “Pizza Plus”, which we had been maybe not amazed to find really specialized in sandwiches. Although, my eyes did almost bulge from their sockets and drool did commence to drip from my lips upon observing an assortment of fresh salads aswell.
But obviously, because this had been Iraq, not really a easy dinner of sandwiches and salad might take spot without something interesting occurring. This time around it absolutely was the man behind the countertop whom served us the foodstuff, A kurdish that is young fellow informed us which he now lives in Norway. And upon hearing that this young chap everyday lives in Norway, we then asked him why he had been back Kurdistan.
Their response ended up being fast and also to the true point, although notably confusing: “I return to Kurdistan for the money and sexy, sexy! ”
Adequate stated. We sat down at our dining table and shoveled our meals into our mouths in silence.
THE ULTIMATE STOP FOR THE EVENING
The Shawany Maliek Cafeteria with bellies full, and the night still young, Anil and I decided to pay a visit to what appeared to be the most popular night time hangout in all of Sulaimainiyah.
We stumbled inside this crowded, two-level shisha cafe and grabbed two large, comfortable chairs within the part. And before long, there we sat, using turns blowing smoke high into the atmosphere once we shook our heads in disbelief in the day’s events. (the afternoon started with the US Marine to our encounter who had been surprised by our existence in your community. )
When you look at the end, we sat in this cafe for more than three hours, too content to maneuver.
I were in agreement that this day ranked quite high in terms of memorable travel days we’d each experienced when we finally walked back to the hotel just before midnight, both Anil and. And maybe that is hard to think, when I don’t know, possibly it appears like an unexciting and sometimes even stupid tale when look over here.
So then i guess next time you’ll just have to join me and experience it for yourself, which you’ll actually have an opportunity to do once I announce, within the next few weeks, the new project I’m working on ?? if that’s the case,