The Erbil Diary: Friday 2 – Saturday 3 November 2012

10:30 am: drinking my favourite coffee at Second Cup before going to spend the day at work, to prepare for tomorrow – the start of the first course of the diploma program! A bit nervous about that, especially since I’ve had no time at all to prepare until now – but I’m sure ill be ok once it starts.

Yesterday I took the day off and did household stuff. In the morning I went shopping at Carrefour, got supplies for about 2 weeks and most importantly, a pressure cooker! I used it as soon as I got home and cooked, in less than 1 hour, a lamb, pear, potatoes and vegetables stew that left my Irish house mate liking the plate…. This also gave me 4 ready meals for next week, which I froze in plastic containers. After the late lunch I crashed for a few hours, then did laundry and finally went out for a couple of hours.

I went back to the Noble Hotel, in Ainkawa, and checked out the Mamounia Sky Bar , on its 7th and last floor. The large, well-aired, clean, modern bar had both a patio and outside terrace giving a splendid views of the lights of Erbil by night. The prices are reasonable: a double Scotch is $10, a chicken dinner $20, a steak 25-30, a desert $10. I had a drink, sat for about an hour on the terrace observing the mostly expat-crowd sitting at the tables around me or at the bar, then went back home. We had dinner around 11 – a delicious chicken, home fries and beans serving, then read a bit and crashed.  I needed a good night sleep: it had been a long 10 days, and I planned to spend the entire next day at the office.