Lydia Phillips


In Uncategorized on June 16, 2010 at 11:03 am


There are a lot of things about Iraq that are very similar to the States. Cars, music, clothes, food (yeah…kind of), people; everything’s just been Eastern-ized. Or maybe we Western-ized it, not sure.

But there are the subtle differences.
For instance.
There are two different kinds of electricity here, “national” and “community”. They both have their scheduled hours of operation and for all but 2 hours a day we have electricity! National power is stronger and can handle the AC-units we’re so blessed to use, as well as the washer and treadmill (not all at the same time, mind you).
National power cuts out for about 7 hours a day and we switch over to Community. Community power is run by a switchboard and a little man somewhere on our block.
During community hours we conserve as much electricity as possible. Community becomes less stable as it gets hotter outside. This week the temperature has hovered around and above 110 degrees. Therefore, we’ve been very careful about our electricity! Its completely normal for the power/internet/lights to cut out and come back on a dozen times in an afternoon.

We all sit quietly in the office while we wait for whatever we were doing to come back. It used to be frustrating. I think at this point it would be more unusual to have the internet consistently for hours on end.

Sometimes if we’re doing something extremely internet-dependent we choose to go to local cafes in hopes their power is stronger than ours, but its not at all unusual for them to be waiting to turn on their internet until their community power changes (electricity is very localized here in Kurdistan). The power regularly cuts out in restaurants, churches, schools, coffee houses, etc. Basically, with electricity the only thing you can really count on is that you can’t count on it.
But its fine! The whole country manages to shuffle the electricity schedules and make it work. Its pretty remarkable.

(Neither of those pictures mean anything spectacular, just a couple of random shots from out and around the city!)

Water. We usually have water, and I don’t really understand why and when we don’t. But somedays we don’t do the dishes and we can’t take showers because there isn’t any water running.
Also the toilets don’t always flush, sometimes you just pour a bucket of water in the toilet and its like flushing.
We still don’t have a shower head, but that still doesn’t seem like such a big deal.

Mom, Dad. I shower at least twice a week. Promise!

Alright I feel like I’m complaining an awful lot and there are far too few pictures to make this worthwhile! I promise all of my complaints are in jest and its fun to have life be a bit more challenging on this side of the globe.
  1. >has the dry shampoo come in handy yet?

  2. >Sound good, Lydia. Keep those showers going! 🙂 Just think how different it will be when you come back home. You might have to have someone occassionally turn out the lights at random times.

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