Visiting My Daughter in Iraq (part 3)
Over the next few days we met the rest of the team and shared several meals with them. We got to meet many of the students and saw her interaction with them, their questions about everything.
We got to go shopping, both at the markets in the city, and at the bazaar to see firsthand how shopping is a different and much more personal experience there. I am from a small town, so the size and bustle of the city was also a shock to me.
Watching the driving was almost terrifying. To avoid the difficulty of parking near the bazaar, we took a taxi there (pretty sure that is the only taxi I have ever ridden in). As she had developed a business relationship (he gave her a volume discount) with one of the scarf vendors, so we visited him to buy gifts. He was very surprised to find out that I could not speak Kurdish.
We met my daughter’s Kurdish teacher and were invited to dinner at her house. They had both a Kurdish living room (beautiful rugs on the floor and a TV) and a western one with a couch, chairs and coffee table. We had tea in traditional tea cups (narrow, tall, glass cups filled to the brim) in the western dining room first, then moved to the Kurdish room for a dinner of yaprax, and sat on the floor. They were very gracious.
I do remember being a little disconcerted by the armed guard at the school as well as the armed guards evident at many homes. In the end, how safe is it? I was probably most frightened by the traffic.