All About a Bar that is chinese & Gorgeous, Gorgeous In Iraq

All About a Bar that is chinese & Gorgeous, Gorgeous In Iraq

Upon arrival within the southern Kurdistan town of Sulamainiyah, Anil and I also immediately discovered ourselves giddy with joy upon discovering two Chinese restaurants within the vicinity of our resort. Most likely, up to the period, truly the only food we’d eaten were chicken and falafel sandwiches, maybe not due to an unusual love for such food, but for the reason that it ended up being all we’re able to get in other areas associated with the area.

In order quickly as night approached and our hunger expanded, we eagerly wandered up to the more expensive associated with the two Chinese restaurants we’d seen and prepared ourselves for a essential feast of yummy Asian food.

Needless to say, had we taken a few momemts to correctly think this plan of action through, we would have paused before making a decision to enter this floor restaurant that is second. Truthfully, the sign out front side prohibiting us from going into the establishment with any weapons or knives needs to have acted as an indication that is clear this is perhaps perhaps perhaps not your typical “lo mein-fortune cookie-free green tea” sort of Chinese eatery.

And I’m perhaps not certain regarding the friendly community Chinese restaurants, however the ones we frequented once I ended up being more youthful and residing in america, would not need us become completely frisked by a big, leather-based man that is jacket-clad walking through the doorway. Fortunately, Anil and I also had both determined during the minute that is last keep our AK-47s and machetes inside our college accommodation so we both passed the safety check, after which it we wandered up to a dining dining table close to the windows.

And once we sat down, first thing we noticed, just as if 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 had been we the only real clients, however it had been inside that is eerily dark with just blinking fairy lights regarding the walls, which created an environment that more closely resembled a brothel into the backstreets of Mumbai (from just what I’ve observed in movies needless to say).

Aside from our findings, we had been prepared to place this sketchiness apart and pay attention to satisfying some Chinese food to our hunger.

However when the waitress, a young Chinese girl, approached our dining dining table, we had been quite astonished to locate ourselves in the middle of a discussion that went something such as this:

Waitress: She states one thing in Kurdish Us: We stare blankly at her

Waitress: “Kurdish? ” Us: “English? ”

Waitress: “You reside right right here? ” Us: “No. We travel right right here. ”

Waitress: “What would you like? ” Us: “Food. Can a menu is seen by us? ”

Waitress: “Food? ” ( with a look that is incredulous her face) Us: “Yes, food. ”

Waitress: “Chinese meals? ” Us: “Um…yes, Chinese food. ”

Waitress: “Kurdish meals? ” Us: “Chinese meals? ”

Waitress: “Chinese meals? ” Us: “Yes, Chinese food. ”

She then stepped away and returned with a menu, although provided her response above additionally the dusty state regarding the menu, it absolutely was quite clear that this Chinese restaurant had not been precisely familiar with serving food that is chinese. In reality, we would well have already been the people that are first ever request a menu.

So when we did examine the menu, the costly costs detailed close to each product finally forced us to improve our minds about sampling your local cuisine that is chinese.

But, only at that true point, we had been quite interested in our environments and wished to find out more about that which was taking place in this joint and thus we handed the menu returning to the waitress and ordered products rather. We figured one beverage could be reasonable before using down once more searching for some meals.

Minimal did we understand that the alcohol Anil ordered will be for the “abnormally big can” variety nor that after I inquired for a “whiskey”, I became buying a actual bottle (albeit a tiny one) of this stuff and not soleley one glass. Because of this, one drink that is quick into a 2.5 hour session once we sat here into the Great Shang Hai viewing the spot fill up along with other guys whom additionally ordered nothing but products. And also the whole time, Anil and I also debated forward and backward even as we attempted to sound right of the thing that was actually occurring in this place that is peculiar.

It might have quite well simply been a club, but after viewing a few of the patrons slip wads of Iraqi Dinars in to the fingers of 1 of the waitresses then check out beg the bartender to permit the waitress to stay at their dining table using them (such demands were constantly refused), We started initially to think otherwise.

Here’s a quick movie to offer you an improved concept of the fascinating restaurant this is the Great Shang Hai:

Significantly reluctantly, after completing our products (yes, we completed the bottle of whiskey and Anil finished down two large beers), we made a decision 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 low priced, maybe an illustration that this isn’t a brothel or underworld hangout in the end. Frequently at such places (again, so heard that is i’ve, you can’t take in the amount we did for a simple 10,000 Iraqi Dinars ($8.50 USD).


10 minutes after leaving the truly amazing Shang Hai, we stumbled in to a restaurant called “Pizza Plus”, which we had been perhaps perhaps not amazed to uncover really specialized in sandwiches. Although, my eyes did nearly bulge from their sockets and drool did commence to drip from my lips upon observing an assortment of fresh salads aswell.

But obviously, because this had been Iraq, not really an easy dinner of sandwiches and salad might take spot without one thing interesting occurring. This time around it absolutely was the guy behind the countertop whom served us the meals, a young kurdish other who informed us which he now lives in Norway. And upon hearing that this chap that is young in Norway, we then asked him why he had been back Kurdistan.

His solution ended up being fast and also to the point, although somewhat confusing: “I get back to Kurdistan for the money and sexy, sexy! ”

Adequate stated. We sat down at our dining dining table and shoveled our meals into our mouths in silence.


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 into the corner. And eventually, there we sat, using turns smoke that is blowing into the atmosphere even as we shook our minds in disbelief during the day’s events. (a single day started with the US Marine to our encounter who was simply surprised by our presence in the area. )

Within the final end, we sat in this cafe for over three hours, way too content to maneuver.

Whenever we finally strolled back once again to the resort prior to midnight, both Anil and I also had been in contract that this very day rated quite full of terms of unforgettable travel days we’d each skilled. And maybe that is hard to think, when I don’t understand, possibly it seems 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,

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