On Friday, some of us got together, drunk Araq, and listened to a friend play the oud. Good times. However, rather bad times had happened else where in the country that day, with the ‘big men’ admitting to 19 dead. We all, European, Kurds and Arabs, regarded the governments response as marking a kind of watershed. The Dutch embassy agrees.
Their line is that there is no need to avoid the country, but that expats and tourists should be prepared. Stocking up on water, food and candles might be a good idea. Equally withdrawing lots of money could prove to be smart. We should be aware of the situation and the capacity for cutting communications. Lastly, we should prepare for boredom. We should stock up on puzzles, books and games!