Saturday, August 02, 2008

Went To Karbala

I've been postponing my return to Baghdad for the past two days. What's strange is that I don't mind.I actually feel myself settling in here at the plantation. All I'm missing is a car really, that way I wouldn't have to rely on others to get out of the house.

Yesterday evening, I went to Karbala with my two distant cousins. That place is something else. There was some kind of pilgrimage going on there and there were loads of people trying to get into the city. To get into the city everyone needs to be searched the city entrance and as you approach the big mosque inside the city you have to get frisked a few times again.

Two things surprised me about the place. There seems to be quite some wealth there, there are plenty of shops there and some of them actually look quite nice and clean. After touring the outlying area of the mosque we went to a new fast food restaurant flashier than anything in Baghdad today. It was a tad weird to see someone roll out a prayer mat and to begin praying in the middle of the restaurant though.

The other thing that I noticed there, is the surprising amount of women there. About three quarters of the people on the street were women. All wearing that black gown from their head to the ground but without covering their faces. Some girls don't do their eyebrows at all and that always startles when I look at one. One of my cousins tells me there are hot chicks there, and somehow he actually checks them out even though they're wearing black from head to toe. He must have some well-trained eye to do that.

Tomorrow, I'm finally going to go home back to Baghdad after spending over a whole week here. When I get there, I'll go buy some soda water and give the Iskanjabeel drink thing I bought from Karbala a try.