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

Exactly 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 in the vicinity of our resort. The only food we’d eaten were chicken and falafel sandwiches, not because of an abnormal love for such food, but because that was all we could find in other parts of the region after all, up until that point.

So as quickly as night approached and our hunger expanded, we eagerly wandered up to the more expensive regarding the two Chinese restaurants we’d seen and prepared ourselves for a necessary feast of yummy cuisine that is asian.

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

And I’m perhaps perhaps not yes regarding your friendly community Chinese restaurants, however the people we frequented once I had been more youthful and residing in the usa, failed to need me personally become completely frisked by a big, fabric man that is jacket-clad walking through the doorway. Fortunately, Anil and I also had both determined during the last second to keep our AK-47s and machetes inside our college accommodation and thus we both passed the security check, and after that we wandered up to a dining table near the windows.

And once we sat down, first thing we noticed, as though this wouldn’t have taken place to us before, ended up being that the fantastic Shang Hai Chinese Restaurant was one seedy establishment. Not just were we truly the only customers, nonetheless it ended up being eerily dark inside, with just flashing fairy lights from the walls, which created an environment that more closely resembled a brothel when you look at the backstreets of Mumbai (from exactly just exactly 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 new Chinese woman, approached our dining table, we had been quite astonished to locate ourselves in the middle of a discussion that went something similar to this:

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

Waitress: “Kurdish? ” Us: “English? ”

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

Waitress: “What would you like? ” Us: “Food. Can we come across a menu? ”

Waitress: “Food? ” ( having an incredulous appearance on her face) Us: “Yes, food. ”

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

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

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

She then strolled away and came back having a menu, although offered her effect above plus the dusty state for the menu, it absolutely was quite clear that this Chinese restaurant had not been precisely familiar with serving Chinese meals. In reality, we would well were the very first individuals to ever request a menu.

So when we did examine the menu, the costly prices detailed close to each item finally forced us to improve our minds about sampling the area cuisine that is chinese.

Nevertheless, as of this true point, we had been quite fascinated with our environments and wished to find out more about that which was taking place in this joint and so we handed the menu back once again to the waitress and ordered products alternatively. We figured one drink will be reasonable prior to taking down yet again looking for some meals.

Minimal did we understand that the alcohol Anil ordered will be associated with “abnormally large can” variety nor that after I asked for a “whiskey”, I became purchasing a real container (albeit a tiny one) of this material and not one cup. Because of this, one fast beverage switched in to a 2.5 hour session even as we sat there when you look at the Great Shang Hai viewing the area fill up along with other guys whom additionally ordered nothing but beverages. Plus the whole time, Anil and I also debated backwards and forwards once we attempted to seem sensible of the thing that was actually taking place in this peculiar spot.

It might have quite well simply been a club, but after viewing a few of the patrons slip wads of Iraqi Dinars to the fingers of just one associated with the waitresses and then check out beg the bartender allowing the waitress to stay at their dining dining table together with them (such needs had been constantly refused), We begun to think otherwise.

Here’s a quick movie to offer you a significantly better concept of the fascinating restaurant that's the Great Shang Hai:

Significantly reluctantly, after completing our beverages (yes, we finished the bottle of whiskey and Anil finished down two beers that are large, we chose to keep because of the fact that individuals had been now beyond hungry at this time.

When our bill arrived, it had been remarkably inexpensive, possibly a sign that it wasn’t a brothel or underworld hangout in the end. Often at such places (again, therefore I’ve heard), you can’t take in the total amount we did for the mere 10,000 Iraqi Dinars ($8.50 USD).


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

But obviously, since this had been Iraq, not really an easy dinner of sandwiches and salad might take destination without one thing interesting happening. This time around it absolutely was the person behind the countertop whom served us the meals, A kurdish that is young fellow informed us 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.

Their response ended up being fast and to the true red tub girl point, although notably confusing: “I return to Kurdistan for cash and sexy, sexy! ”

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


With bellies complete, additionally the night nevertheless young, Anil and I also chose to go to see exactly what appeared as if typically the most popular evening hangout in most of Sulaimainiyah – the Shawany Maliek Cafeteria.

We stumbled inside this crowded, two-level shisha cafe and grabbed two big, comfortable seats within the part. And eventually, there we sat, using turns smoke that is blowing into the air once we shook our minds in disbelief during the day’s events. (the afternoon started with the US Marine to our encounter who was simply surprised by our existence in your community. )

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

Once we finally strolled back into the resort right before midnight, both Anil and I also had been in contract that this very day rated quite full of terms of unforgettable travel times we’d each skilled. And maybe that is hard to think, when I don’t understand, possibly it seems like an unexciting and even stupid tale when look over here.

So if it’s the outcome, then i assume the next occasion you’ll just need to join me personally and experience it on your own, which you’ll have a way to do when we declare, over the following couple of weeks, this new task I’m taking care of ??