This is the next guest post in a series by Kevin Post. If you want to guest post on Go Backpacking, please read more here.
I ran out of money and hadn’t eaten regularly the past few days, and when I did eat, it was very little in 24 hour intervals.
Due to the excitement of traveling to a very foreign destination, I didn’t feel hungry, but I did feel that my body lacked proteins, sugars, carbohydrates, and electrolytes, and it goes without saying that I didn’t have a lot of energy or relief from occasional headaches.
Sometimes when I get excited I completely forget about ‘what-ifs’. In Southeastern Turkey I was having such a phenomenal experience and spent very little money; therefore it didn’t occur to me that I should have withdrawn money before crossing the boarder into Iraq.
I was in the house alone with a Turkish engineer while I used the computer to send some e-mails to my friends back in Turkey. According to the Turkish engineer, it was too dangerous for me to leave the house so I spent the entire day in the house hungry and uneventfully wasting time on Couchsurfing and sending e-mails.
The following morning I was incredibly hungry and decided that Iraq wasn’t a safe place for me to be.
I gave the Turk my Colombian poncho as a gift though I’m not sure why, and excused myself to take a shower. I took my time in the shower because there is noting better than a nice cold shower in a hot, arid climate.
When I got out of the shower I was greeted by several of the Turk’s co-workers, all of whom were Kurds.
They seemed happy to meet me and excited to see an American visiting their homeland. A Kurd that I particularly got along with was Ahmed, who I later found out was the owner of the engineering firm.
I asked them if there was an ATM nearby, and they looked at me as if I were crazy for asking such a question.
Ahmed was nice enough to have his chauffeur take me to the nearest ATM.
None of the ATMs worked, but I enjoyed seeing the majority of the city with my own private driver. I was in Iraq with no money, at a very frightening time with full-on war just kilometers away.
I had to somehow get to the Turkish boarder without a single penny in my pocket.
TO BE CONTINUED…
Series: The Road to Halabja
- Part I – Border Crossing
- Part II – No Turning Back
- Part III – Arbil Awaits
- Part IV – A Bad Time to Arrive
- Part V – Penniless in Iraq
- Part VI – Should I Stay or Should I Go
- Part VII – A True Muslim
- Part VIII – Iraqi Road Trip
- Part IX – Iraqi Hitchhikers & A Life of Prayers
- Part X – Kurdish Farewell
- Part XI – Smuggler's & Turkey's Loving Embrace
About the Author: Kevin Post currently lives, works and studies in his hometown of Orlando, Florida while working on cultural & linguistic projects on the side, ready to go back on the road again. In his free time, Kevin is dedicated to spending time with his wife Tomasa, learning languages, exploring the places in between, rock climbing and getting outside while finding quality in life along the way. For more information regarding Kevin Post check out his website A Man of No Nation and follow him on Twitter @amanofnonation.
Planning a trip? Go Backpacking recommends:
- G Adventures for small group tours.
- World Nomads for travel insurance.
- Hostelworld for booking hostels.
- Rail Europe for train passes.