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Friday, April 20, 2007

Saddam at the mosque

April 13

Friday the 13th….think ill stay in. Sounds forboding out there anyway. I swear Saddam Hussein has just grabbed the microphone at the local mosque and is trying (miserably) to incite the south Asians to rise up, throw off the yoke of Gulfie rentier economics, and drive the oppressors into the creek. Either that or a Tikriti cousin who washed up in Peshawar a few decades ago…… Spent the day at the computer. Then headed out to I wasn’t quite sure where before I found an Azerbaijani place that does good dolmas (warra ainab), served up with yoghurt and excellent salad. These guys need tipping though, as I discovered when even a Turkish thank you didn’t raise much reaction. Fascinating little place. First part of the evening spent watch Aliyev giving a speech before the Azeris clearly couldn’t take any more and put on the football news instead. Me being me I find all of this interesting of course. Am exhausted but nearly have finished the presentation. Felt psychologically so much better today than for a while however, being possessed of a document, the work visa, that looks quite a lot like my doctorate but which may well be worth a lot more, unless I ever have to show the doctorate to anybody that is. Yesterday was one of the most difficult days, spent wondering the streets in high temperatures, past an eternity of furniture stores and very few places to sit down out of the heat and just drink tea or anything, to kill the hours of waiting. I wasn’t at the ministry, the guy from the former information ministry was at the immigration ministry on my behalf, and it took him all day to get to the front of the queue. We both felt very good as he drove me to the bus station for the drive to Dubai. Ive discovered buses now, for these long hauls, no slower that hired cars, far far cheaper, how pleased my company will be with me, and not necessarily more uncomfortable, if you get a coach rather than a mini bus type thing…the coaches go all over the emirates, but with any luck I will have a car before too long..My Afghan mate is a car salesmen (Japanese only, shipped to Sharjah, and from there to Iraq and elsewhere), so maybe we can do a deal….

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