Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Distractions in Arbil are limited. In fact, they’re non-existent. No cinemas to speak of, no decent restaurants, certainly no bars except for the shitty one at the hotel – and there your evening’s likely to be wrecked by the caterwauling of the live Kurdish band. I find myself fantasising about a pint and a decent meal.

Like a cell full of prison inmates, we’re forced to make our own entertainment. Yesterday, we been down to the bazaar and bought a DVD player for $60 – a bargain. Amazingly, it works – although for how long remains to be seen. Dragan came back with a box full of buttons. I thought maybe he’d taken a sudden interest in sewing but no – he intends to use them as gambling chips for poker games over at the other hotel. I suspect that by the time we’re done some of the team will owe more money than they’ve earned.

For my part, I came back from the bazaar with a nargila. The thick plumes of smoke from the apple tobacco is already drawing complaints from the other occupants of the 8th floor but it’ll keep the mosquitoes away when the malaria season starts.

Oh, and by popular demand, here’s another picture of the Big Man taking a piss.


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