Thursday, May 13, 2010

If only...

If only I had money and a sharp business acumen, I would...

..see about becoming an authorized Mac reseller in Erbil. Imagine Hawleris (and others based in Kurdistan/Iraq) not having to go to an outside country to have their iPods, iPhones (they exist here) or MacBook Pros serviced. Imagine buying an item complete with the 1-year international warranty! Wouldn't there be some people who would make the choice to become Mac-users? One of our students turned up in the library with a Mac Air laptop yesterday. It seems she had a relative in Germany buy it for her and bring it back.
Photo below is of a new location in Beirut near where I traded in mine.

...start the flagship Iraqi branch of a coffee shop franchise near a university. Of course it would prohibit shisha and only allow the smoking of cigarettes at the outside tables, would have free wireless internet and a rack with magazines and newspapers in various languages. And if anyone even so much as thought of engaging in inappropriate behaviour (ex. taking photos of female customers without their prior consent), they would be publically humiliated and asked to leave and not return.
Below photo is of Columbiano Coffee Shop in Achrefieh, Beirut - near to ABC shopping center and Kinko's copy shop. It is where I comfortably spent most evenings this last trip to Beirut.
... open a steak house (who doesn't occasionally like a good steak tender enough to eat rare should they so desire?). Of course it would come complete with tacky decor (fake cowhides, cowboy hats, wooden fencing, string ties for the staff...) and frosted beer glasses. This could be located on Gulan Street en route to Ankawa.
This photo is actually one I took (not stolen from the internet). It is of Buffalo Steak House in Beirut... It had soggy overcooked veggies, but good potatoes and fantastic steak.

... or, and most impractically, open a sushi bar. This will have to happen once there is cheaper and more frequent air transport into Erbil so that I can have daily fresh fish. Also not sure where I will find a Japanese sushi chef willing to work in Erbil. But wouldn't it be fantastic to be able to enjoy fresh fish and a little tempura every now and then?
Below is Le Sushi Bar in Achrefieh, Beirut. My first stop after my hotel on this trip recently past.

If only all these things were in place, there would be no need to travel outside Kurdistan... frequently.


Aram said...

They will all be there soon, remember we have been enjoying the freedom and a free sanction country since 2003.

I came back home two years ago and had my book one me, i wasn't able to connect to internet. I don't know if that has been taken care of or not!

Anonymous said...

Well... I agree with you in those things that we would like to see here in Erbil...
There is a Coffee shop ready to open very soon, Premium Colombia Cafe, 100% colombian coffee!! it will have coffee drinks & other drinks but also coffee bags (beans or ground) to prepare at home.
See you there!!!

Molly said...

hi i am going to be working at UKH starting sept 1, but will be working in the registry department (I am getting my tefl/tosel certification towards the end of the summer so I applied for any open position they had). I am from Michigan.
I have a few questions for you, if you don't mind me asking:
1. Are there many night schools for teaching English? I would love to get use out of my certification, and also make any extra money I can.
2. Are there any open positions in the School of Access? Or, do you all anticipate there will be next fall? I'd love to help where I can so that I can get experience so that I can get hired as an TOESL teacher! (did you have experience before you applied there?)
3. What are some good things to do in Hawler? I am 24 years old so I have a lot of energy!

Zanmei said...

Hi Molly,
To answer your questions in brief:
1. Yes... but not as ubiquitous as you might think. However, finding venues to "practice" might not be too difficult.
2. I can't really answer this question, but if you email me at I can put you in touch with someone who can.
3. It really depends on what you like to do. If you are a little adventurous, it is nice to travel on the weekends. There are places to hike, picnic, see ruins, explore caves, etc.... or perhaps you find some volunteer work to do in the city. But if you are talking about cultural and social events, that is another matter. If you are a little more specific about your interests in your email, I can try to give you more useful information.

Anonymous said...

I know a great Lebanese Sushi Chef who is willing to work in Erbil

Siver said...

Yeah, Wow I'd love to have Sushi!, & there is a new coffee shop called Costa that a lot of people have been talking about, I haven't checked it out though, in fact, I might just do so tonight! but in terms of steak, I don't know, I don't think that would really go off here, it would take some time at least..., no sushi, no matter, I'm having fish and chips in Sydney next month! Woohoo,:-D, I'm currently in the process of opening a special youth activity center so theres another venue to check out in the future!, Oh and Molly, I work at an English Teaching Center and luckily we are seeking a teacher, but!, it seems you might have arrived already or not at all!, this post is a little late, my sister works at another Center! anyway, let me know your ideas and I'll give you the dish on any places to hang, unfortunately, even though I'd love for it to be, there is no sky diving to exhaust your energy levels :-/ lol,, Ciao!

& Zanmei, if you're still here, great work on the blog!

Thomas Bartlett said...

Hi Zanmei, I've recently moved to Ankawa and have since heard that there's a Korean restaurant called 'Kobang' somewhere in Erbil. I haven't been able to find out anything more specific than that but was directed here in the hope that you might be able to help me find some kimchi!