Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Wardrobe Malfunction- Middle East style

So while I was in Istanbul, I picked up a Turkish flag t-shirt.  In some places the shirt is golden.  In others, like the Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem, it just gets me into trouble and is the equivalent of wearing a swastika t-shirt into a kosher deli (another story for another time).  Well, I was out of laundry today so I dug in deep into my bag and pulled out the Turkish t-shirt.  I knew it would get me into issues, but I hoped for the best.

It just so happened that I had to go to the department of the interior to get my visa extended.  I stood at the counter smiling big with my arms wrapped tightly around my chest.  The real fun came when the interior official asked me my religion.  I feigned not to hear, so he asked again.  Religion?  Are you Muslim, Christian, Jewish.  I smiled and said "Jewish," and he looked up with a funny glance and questioningly said "Yehudi?".  He smiled and said, "We used to have many Jews in Duhok.  But they left and went to Israel.  Welcome."

But the t-shirt travails continued back at the academy.  Tons of students kept looking at the shirt, saying "Turkey?"  I laughed, and said no, it is Tunisia.  Turkey? TUNISIA!  Tomorrow, I will wear an Israeli flag t-shirt.  Actually, that would probably go over better here in Kurdistan. They are probably the most pro-Israel people in the Middle East, and would get me in less trouble than my Turk T.

Ah, the Coastal Kurds who forgot their language.  Not my joke, but I will expropriate it.

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