Upon arrival into the southern Kurdistan city of Sulamainiyah, Anil and I also immediately discovered ourselves giddy with joy upon discovering two Chinese restaurants into the vicinity of y our resort. Most likely, up to the period, the only real food we’d eaten were chicken and falafel sandwiches, perhaps not due to an irregular love for such meals, but because that ended up being all we’re able to get in other areas for the area.
In order quickly as night approached and our hunger expanded, we eagerly wandered up to the bigger associated with the 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 properly think this plan of action through, we may have paused before making a decision to enter this 2nd flooring restaurant. Truthfully, the indication out front side prohibiting us from going into the establishment with any firearms or knives must have acted as being an indication that is clear it was perhaps perhaps not your typical “lo mein-fortune cookie-free green tea” sort of Chinese eatery.
And I’m perhaps perhaps perhaps not yes regarding the friendly community Chinese restaurants, nevertheless the people I frequented once I ended up being more youthful and surviving in the usa, would not need me personally become thoroughly frisked by a sizable, leather-based jacket-clad man upon walking through the entranceway. Fortunately, Anil and I also had both determined during the eleventh hour to keep our AK-47s and machetes within our college accommodation and thus we both passed the safety check, and after that we wandered up to a dining dining table close to the windows.
And even as we sat down, the very first thing we noticed, as though this wouldn’t have taken place to us before, ended up being that the fantastic Shang Hai Chinese Restaurant had been one seedy establishment. Not merely were we truly the only clients, nonetheless it had been eerily dark inside, with just blinking fairy lights from the walls, which created an environment that more closely resembled a brothel when you look at the backstreets of Mumbai (from exactly just what I’ve observed in movies needless to say).
Aside from our findings, we had been ready to put this sketchiness apart and focus on satisfying some Chinese food to our hunger.
Nevertheless when the waitress, a new Chinese woman, approached our table, we had been quite amazed to locate ourselves in the middle of a conversation 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 here? ” Us: “No. We travel here. ”
Waitress: “What would you like? ” Us: “Food. Can a menu is seen by us? ”
Waitress: “Food? ” ( with an incredulous appearance on her face) Us: “Yes, food. ”
Waitress: “Chinese meals? ” Us: “Um…yes, Chinese food. ”
Waitress: “Kurdish meals? ” Us: “Chinese food? ”
Waitress: “Chinese meals? ” Us: “Yes, Chinese food. ”
She then wandered away and came back having a menu, although provided her response above in addition to dusty state of this menu, it had been quite clear that this Chinese restaurant had not been precisely familiar with serving food that is chinese. In reality, we would perfectly have already been the very first individuals to ever request a menu.
When we did go through the menu, the expensive costs detailed close to each product finally forced us to improve our minds about sampling the neighborhood Chinese food.
Nonetheless, only at that point, we had been quite fascinated by our environments and desired to find out more about that which was happening in this joint and thus we handed the menu back into the waitress and ordered drinks alternatively. We figured one beverage will be reasonable before you take off once more looking for some meals.
Minimal did we all know that the alcohol Anil ordered will be associated with “abnormally big can” variety nor that whenever I asked for the “whiskey”, I happened to be buying a real bottle (albeit a tiny one) of this material and not soleley one cup. As a result, one fast beverage switched in to a 2.5 hour session once we sat here into the Great Shang Hai watching the spot fill up along with other guys whom additionally ordered absolutely absolutely absolutely nothing but beverages. As well as the whole time, Anil and I also debated backwards and forwards even as we attempted to sound right of that which was actually occurring in this place that is peculiar.
It may 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 the waitresses then go to beg the bartender to permit the waitress to stay at their dining dining table I began to think otherwise with them(such requests were always refused.
Here’s a brief video clip to present a much better notion of the fascinating restaurant this is the Great Shang Hai:
Notably reluctantly, after completing our beverages (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 had been remarkably cheap, possibly an illustration that it wasn’t an underworld or brothel hangout most likely. Frequently at such places (again, therefore I’ve heard), you can’t drink 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 fantastic Shang Hai, we stumbled into a restaurant called “Pizza Plus”, which we had been perhaps maybe not astonished to find out really specialized in sandwiches. Although, my eyes did almost bulge from their sockets and drool did commence to drip from my lips upon noticing an assortment of fresh salads as well.
But obviously, because this had been Iraq, not really an easy dinner of sandwiches and salad could just take spot without one thing interesting occurring. This time around it absolutely was the person behind the countertop whom served us the foodstuff, A kurdish that is young fellow informed us he now lives in Norway. And upon hearing that this young chap life in Norway, we then asked him why he had been back Kurdistan.
Their solution ended up being fast also to the point, although notably confusing: “I get back to Kurdistan for cash and sexy, sexy! ”
Adequate stated. We sat down at our dining dining table and shoveled our food into our mouths in silence.
THE LAST AVOID OF 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 big, comfortable seats within the part. And eventually, there we sat, using turns smoke that is blowing into the atmosphere even as we shook our minds in disbelief at the day’s events. (a single day started with our encounter because of the United States aquatic who was simply surprised by our existence in your community. )
When you look at the end, we sat in this cafe for more than three hours, way 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. As well as perhaps that’s hard to think, when I don’t understand, possibly it feels like an unexciting and even 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,