Upon arrival into the southern Kurdistan town of Sulamainiyah, Anil and I also immediately found ourselves giddy with joy upon discovering two Chinese restaurants within the vicinity of our resort. The only food we’d eaten were chicken and falafel sandwiches, not because of an abnormal love for such food, but because that was all we could find in other parts of the region after all, up until that point.
In order quickly as night approached and our hunger grew, we eagerly wandered up to the bigger associated with the two Chinese restaurants we’d seen and prepared ourselves for the necessary feast of yummy Asian food.
Definitely, had we taken a few momemts to correctly think this plan of action through, we may have paused before making a decision to enter this floor restaurant that is second. Truthfully, the sign out front prohibiting us from going into the establishment with any weapons or knives need to have acted being a clear indicator that this is perhaps maybe not your typical “lo mein-fortune cookie-free green tea” types of Chinese eatery.
And I’m perhaps not yes regarding your friendly neighbor hood Chinese restaurants, however the people we frequented once I had been younger and surviving in the usa, failed to need me personally become completely frisked by a sizable, fabric man that is jacket-clad walking through the doorway. Fortunately, Anil and I also had both determined during the minute that is last keep our AK-47s and machetes inside our college accommodation and thus we both passed the protection check, after which it we wandered up to a dining dining table nearby the windows.
And even as we sat down, the very first thing we noticed, as though this wouldn’t have happened to us before, had been that the truly amazing Shang Hai Chinese Restaurant had been one seedy establishment. Not merely had been we the actual only real clients, nonetheless it had been inside that is eerily dark with just blinking fairy lights in the walls, which created an environment that more closely resembled a brothel when you look at the backstreets of Mumbai (from exactly exactly what I’ve noticed in movies needless to say).
Irrespective of our findings, we had been happy to place this sketchiness apart and focus on satisfying some Chinese food to our hunger.
Nevertheless when the waitress, a new Chinese girl, approached our dining dining dining table, we had been quite amazed to find ourselves in the midst of a discussion that went something similar to this:
Waitress: She states one thing in Kurdish Us: We stare blankly at her
Waitress: “Kurdish? ” Us: “English? ”
Waitress: “You reside right right here? ” Us: “No. We travel right right 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) Us: “Yes, food. ”
Waitress: “Chinese meals? ” Us: “Um…yes, Chinese food. ”
Waitress: “Kurdish meals? ” Us: “Chinese meals? ”
Waitress: “Chinese meals? ” Us: “Yes, Chinese food. ”
She then stepped away and returned with a menu, although offered her reaction above in addition to dusty state for the menu, it had been quite clear that this Chinese restaurant wasn’t precisely accustomed to serving food that is chinese. In reality, we would perfectly have now been the people that are first ever request a menu.
So when we did go through the menu, the costly rates listed close to each product finally forced us to alter our minds about sampling your local Chinese food.
Nevertheless, only at that point, we had been quite fascinated with our environments and wished to find out about the thing that was happening in this joint and thus we handed the menu returning to the waitress and ordered products rather. We figured one beverage could be reasonable before you take off again in search of some meals.
Minimal did we all know that the alcohol Anil ordered could be associated with “abnormally big can” variety nor that after I asked for a “whiskey”, I became purchasing a bottle that is actualalbeit a tiny one) of this material and not one cup. Because of this, one drink that is quick right into a 2.5 hour session even as we sat here within the Great Shang Hai viewing the area fill up along with other males who additionally ordered absolutely absolutely nothing but beverages. Together with whole time, Anil and I also debated to and fro once we attempted to sound right of the thing that was actually taking place in this place that is peculiar.
It might have quite well simply been a club, but after viewing a number of the patrons slip wads of Iraqi Dinars in to the fingers of just one of this waitresses then go to beg the bartender to permit the waitress to stay at their dining table using them (such needs were always refused), We started initially to think otherwise.
Here’s a video that is short provide you with a significantly better concept of the fascinating restaurant that’s the Great Shang Hai:
Significantly reluctantly, after finishing our products (yes, we completed the container of whiskey and Anil finished down two beers that are large, we chose to keep because of the fact that individuals had been now beyond hungry at this time.
So when our bill arrived, it absolutely was remarkably low priced, perhaps a sign that it wasn’t an underworld or brothel hangout most likely. Frequently at such places (again, therefore heard that is i’ve, you can’t take in the total amount we did for a simple 10,000 Iraqi Dinars ($8.50 USD).
PRESENT ME VARIOUS FOOD!
Ten full minutes after leaving the truly amazing Shang Hai, we stumbled as a restaurant called “Pizza Plus”, which we had been maybe perhaps maybe not amazed to learn 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 also.
But obviously, because this had been Iraq, not really a straightforward meal of sandwiches and salad could simply take destination without one thing interesting occurring. This time around it absolutely was the guy 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 had been fast also to the point, although notably confusing: “I return to Kurdistan for the money and sexy, sexy! ”
Adequate stated. We sat down at our dining dining table and shoveled our meals into our mouths in silence.
THE ULTIMATE AVOID ASSOCIATED WITH THE EVENING
With bellies complete, as well as the evening nevertheless young, Anil and I also chose to go to see just what appeared as if the most famous nighttime hangout in most of Sulaimainiyah – the Shawany Maliek Cafeteria.
We stumbled inside this crowded, two-level shisha cafe and grabbed two big, comfortable chairs when you look at the part. And eventually, there we sat, taking turns smoke that is blowing into the atmosphere even as we shook our minds in disbelief during the day’s events. (a single day started with our encounter using the United States Marine who was simply surprised by our presence in the area. )
Into the end, we sat in this cafe for more than three hours, way too content to go.
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. As well as perhaps that is hard to think, when I don’t understand, possibly it appears like an unexciting if not foolish 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,