A Kurdish man by the name of Aly gave me some beads on the bus from Urfa to Silopi. We had a mime like conversation for a couple of hours. I ate a couple types of food. A pickle I think, and a flat piece of very think dough. Like a tortilla with a hot red sauce. It was called an Al Muhadarin or something close to that.
I have written down both the name for the bead in Kudish and in Arabic. Will probably put in the newsletter. I forgot to bring the paper notes with me to the internet cafe.
People place these beads in their hand, and sort of twirl them. I think they may be called prayer beads. I will slowly discover the correct answer.
I am in Sipoli. I was worried that it would be small city and have no services. Like a bank, internet, and ATM machines, but this place so far has everything a person could need. I only arrive about 1/2 hour ago. Checked into a room. All this went very easily. Everyone seems to pay a lot of attention.
The city is an oil town I believe. There is a tank truck every 2 minutes that passes on the road to Iraq. I remember on CNN they showed during the war that the trucks were crossing over a mountain and into Iraq. It may have been talking about an illegal entrance, but as best I can tell so far. This place is very modern.
Of course in the Western eyes it may appear very crude and rough. But I have been in hundreds of cities like this, and this one is very modern.
The have cement trucks and do not mix the concrete with shovels.
The size of the wheat fields and the numerous tractors is another sign.
A tractor can be rare in lots of countries.
This reminds me of northern Argentina. Maybe Kansas of the USA or possilby southern parts of Brazil. All the land outside the city is planted with Wheat, Pickles and what I think are potatoes.
I am going to walk around the town and see the people.
So far everthing seem outrageously safe.
Not just a little safe, but very safe.
The people or the at least the Kurdish people seem to love Americans.
I think most of the tourist areas have been hurt a lot by the war, and they are making their decisions on their desire to make money.
A vote with their pocketbook.
Chris has been reading my newsletters for a long time. It is easy to start to think too much. To second guess myself. To maybe think I do not know what I am doing. I got a reminder from Chris.
See you on the map now. Trust your instincts and live by your
wits...just like usual.
This is some information I received on the money situation in Iraq from
my Russian friend living there.
...unfortunately in Iraq there are no ATM or banks where you could cash TC. SO you better to have a cash with you. They prefer 100 USD bills. For example if you change 100 bill the rate will be 1650. If you change 20 bills the rate will be 1600. If you change 1 bills the rate will be 1550.
P.S. Despite all of this Iraq is a cheap country. Expect to spend here
USD per day (hotel extra).
This guy is good.
He has his finger on the pulse.
I need to get serious about money situation.
I just wrote my Russian friend in Baghdad.
I want to know if for... (HOPE)... some reason there are ATM or Bank Machines that work in the country.
I have no idea what is the money situation in a country after they lose a war.
I am sitting here sending photos to my webpage with an FTP program. (File Transfer Protocol)
The manager or owner of the internet cafe is asking lots of question.
There is some type of translater from Turkey to English on the computer I am using right now.
He ask what I do... I say, "Webpage" and I show him my page.
He then ask,
He types this into the translater.
Christian comes up as Hristiyan.
So in the Turkey language. This the word for Christian.
He than find the Turkey word for...
Puts his hand together like a prayer, and bows to me.
I must be dyslexic. I spell this city wrong all the time.
It is the one closest to the Turkey / Iraq border.
The locals first want to know. What country I am from? Then they want to know the state?
After the country they say,
"Bush" (That is one of the few English words or names they know.)
After the state of Indiana, they say,
"Indiana Jones or Indianapolis Pacers."
The ones that speak English pretty well talk the rhetoric of the newspapers and television. The taxi drivers, and the normal working class normally give a thumbs up or a nod of the head.
When I say they talk the rhetoric of the newspaper, I mean they repeat the ideas proported by the media. Mostly negative about Bush. Saying,
"The world does not like Bush." Something you would hear on television. But not necessarily true.
A lot of times they talk about President Clinton. I thought President Clinton did a good job, but I can not really say what happened in his office of importance. Maybe NAFTA. But I am positive he went out in the world and tried to get all the people to like him.
I personally believe that a good leader of a business, country or a coach of a basketball team will be both hated and loved.
Bobby Knight the basketball coach of Indiana, University is a good example of this concept.