Monday, June 28, 2010

From Beirut

Od and I arrived in Beirut a few days ago and will be leaving back to Baghdad tomorrow. We've met up with some old friends and have had the best time we possibly could here. Right now, I'm sitting in the lobby waiting for the guys to come down for the hotel room so that we get ourselves on our way to spend a night in town. We've been going out to drink and eat, we've gone jet-skiing a few times times. It's been a great holiday. Here they are... I'm dreading going back to Baghdad.

[the latter was added on the 3rd of July from Baghdad]

Later that night, we went to a rooftop restaurant/bar above the Hard Rock Cafe. I keep forgetting the name. C-Lounge perhaps. Remy (who sometimes shows up in the comments sections) came and I was so glad to see to him that on the other end of the table, people were laughing at how they hadn't seen me so lively during the past few days as when I was talking to Remy. We had been friends in our days in AUB and we both dropped out from there. We've kept in touch on and off. It might have been nine years since we've seen each other. We reminisced about our days in AUB. Going through our morning routine which involved him being dropped early to university by his dad and handing me a manousheh through the little window by my bed to wake me up and open the door and then he'd open the drawer and start rolling up a joint and never making it to that first class.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Where To Go?

I spent last night in Falluja with Od at the hospital he's been working in this year. Falluja's not such a bad looking place as compared to other cities I've seen. At least they have famous kebab restaurants one of which I insisted we go to and where because some sheikh recognized one of Od's doctor friends, we had a free meal.

A few days after arriving in Baghdad, I'm finally spending a night at home. I had to stay at Od's because the electricity from the neighbourhood generator supplier wasn't working my little air-conditioner. It's been ages since I've had enough peace of mind to sit down to type. I've been high most of the time.

In England, I discovered that I could probably pull off a career as an accountant. I didn't apply for any jobs, not even temping. It didn't make sense to knowing that I was planning to come back here. Over there I decided that I've been missing out on too much and that life here in Iraq is a lot worse than I had realised.

Also, it turns out that one of my brother's son is somewhat autistic. One of my sister's sons is also autistic but in a bad way. Discussing it with my brother and his wife, it might be the case that my brother and I are a bit on the autistic spectrum too. It does help make sense of some things if it were true.

I still haven't quite figured out what I'm going to do as soon as I sell my car here. I do want to go back to England but the truth is that my brother's a bad influence on me, he smokes more than I do and when we're together it's all gets too much. Which for him is fine since he's content on tugging along doing the minimum in his life.

A couple days after I arrived here I got sent an application form through the Iraqi government's scholarship program office for a scholarship to do a master's degree in agri-economics or something like that paid for by the US government. I need to e-mail them about the conditions after completion of the degree.

A scholarship is a great opportunity to travel to America and get a master's degree, but why does it feel like fate keeps trying to drag me back to Shamiya or to Iraq. What am I to do with a degree in agri-economics. It might be expected that I become some kind of powerless government expert later down the line or maybe perhaps I'd get to work for a multi-national in which case that would be great.

If all works out I'm off to Lebanon with Od in a week to meet up with people from school. Finger's crossed on that. Od and I still haven't bought tickets. Power cut!