So although we saw signs to Baghdad, Mosul, Kirkuk, etc. well we never entered any of those dangerous areas. Shit even the Kurds didn't want to go to those areas. But some Kurds go to those cities cus they have family there! So when we travelled in Iraqi Kurdistan all the taxis and mini buses detoured around any possible treks in regular Iraq.
Hell it seemed even the Iraqi's didn't want to go to those cities never mind the Kurds or foreigners! We met a few Iraqi's who were vacationing in Iraqi Kurdistan. We they they probably found it a lot more peaceful and safe (hell we know they did with out them telling us) in Iraqi Kurdistan rather than in regular Iraq. We found the Iraqis we met to be friendly and curious about where we came from, etc. A lot of Kurds and Iraqis asked us why did we come to Iraqi Kurdistan. Our answer to their question was "We came to Iraqi Kurdistan because we could!!".
Saw all these American army equipment hanging there by the Iraq - Turkish border. Don't know if they are being ready to be used or left over from a previous time. Shit there was a lot but luckily didn't see any in action. Hell in South East Turkey we were closer to seeing military equipment being used as the Turkish army ere chasing a bunch of PKK militant or terriorist guerillas who killed a Turkish soldier so we heard.
Roland sends a postcard from every country he visits but he couldn't find any post cards in Iraq. So even tho I don't send postcards well decided to send a couple as we made a couple of home made postcards. We had to get a picture printed and put a backing on it. Then we wrote the postcard and had to find the post office to post our home made post cards. So the pic below is of the people working in the post card. As u may notice not all girls or women wear the head scarves as they are Kurdish not Iraqi Muslims.
We also bought a couple of Kurdishstan flags as Roland likes souvenirs from each country while I can't be bothered as it takes a lot of space. But did buy a small flag so decided to wear it rather than carry. I later gave it to this Kurdish man in eastern Turkey who had us stay at his home overnight.
I don't mean to knock Roland cus we got along super but he sure liked to shop in bazaars, souks or markets. I found myself waiting for him a lot of times. He wanted to buy a small water heater for a cup to make tea or coffee. So he must have checked all electrical type stores in iraqi Kurdistan I think. I kept wondering why doesn't he just look for it when he gets back to Germany cus sure they have everything there! The only thing I bought was a cell or mobile phone in Iraq cus the battery in my old phone was dead & I couldn't get another battery for it cus the phone is so old. I use my phone as a clock & alarm cus need it catch buses, etc. So I paid $25 for this Nokia phone cus for some reason thought it would cheaper in Iraq but think I guess wrong but oh well I always guess wrong!
These pics don't do it justice but there are some very scenic beautiful sights in the Kurdishstan mountains, so check out my shitty pics and try to use ur imagination.
But it got to the point that it was starting to get to be a pain in the ass for me but I think Roland kind of fed off it! Hell he'd stand and chat with these people using a word or 2 of Kurd and the rest of the time he'd talk in German! Hell neither the Kurds or he knew what the hell they were talking about! But most of it was like What's your name?, Where are u from? It was the same old small talk shit over and over & I'm not big on small talk especially when I can't understand them or them me! It was just hard work which I didn't need cus dislike work, ha ha!
One night there was the final game of the European Championship football match. Roland wanted to go and watch it cus Munich was playing Milan. Plus there was this German guy who has a German restuarant in Erbil. Guess the guy likes to open restuarants in off beat places. Roland told me the guy had owned a restuarant in Afghanistan a few years before. So we went to this restuarant and watched on big screen TV drinking German beer. There were a lot of German business men there so the resturant prices were geared to them as it was dam expensive. I enjoyed watching the game even if I know very little about soccer/football. But was really getting into the game and started to know the players as watched a semi final game played by Munich in Syria before that time. But unfortunately the outcome wasn't what we wanted but u can't have everything. Wil probably end up watching some World Cup Games too in June as most people are soccer/football crazy in this part of the world - hell in most parts of the world but US and Canada I guess!