N - O - P - Q

Sheep in Soran
April 3, 2011

N - O - P - Q

Somehow I have bypassed the logically intermediary countries of Irao and Irap and crossed directly from Iran into Iraq.

I've been in the country for only a day, but have already noticed differences at so many levels. Roads in Iraq are really rough compared to those in Iran. Men wear some article of clothing that looks like a jumpsuit with a sash wound round. Kurdish is dominant as both the spoken and written language. The script used to write Kurdish in northern Iraq is the Arabic script modified in a really strange way. It resembles written Uyghur somewhat in the way that both drop redundant consonants and stick additional diacritics and vowels in the middle of words.

Mahdi, David, and Kate
I'm spending my first two nights couchsurfing in Soran (a.k.a., Diyana). My host is a delightfully energetic English teacher from the U.K., Esther. This is my first time in Iraq so am quite happy to connect with people who can orient me. Last night we went out to dinner with another English teacher at the same university, fellow American, Kate. One of their local Kurdish students, Mahdi, joined us as well.

I'm already disappointed that the visas they grant at the border allow a stay of only 10 days.

Next stop: Sulamaniyah.