Top 10 favorite things this summer

Hello Hellloooo Helloooooo from a very very very warm Erbil (where the sun is shining a little too bright for my liking)

Most Loyal Blog readers in the world – Before you become all Kurdish on me and do your glayee* of why I haven’t been too much of a loyal blogger recently I will apologize.

Okay, so lets get to it. Whatever website I go on there is “My Favorite Things” list so why not have my 2013 Favorites for loyal Mandalawi.blogpost readers?

Lets do this Loyal Readers!

Oh wait. Before I begin there are always some things that you can’t add into a competition, it just wouldn’t be right. So before I begin let me just remind you how much I love Maam Khalil’s teashop when it’s empty and there aren’t many people there. Just for the record it isn’t in the competition! Because his chai and his friendly company is beyond any competition, it is zoooor zor zoooor ayba^ for me to even include it.

Chai at Maam Khalil’s teashop in Erbil’s Qaysari Bazaar.

10. Let’s start the ranking from number 10. One thing I am loving about Erbil is that life begins after sunset. You would think once the clock strikes 6 pm everyone would walk into their houses and that’s it. But it fact that’s not the case, the cafes and outdoor restaurants are definitely one of my favorites. I have recently enjoyed my visits every now and then to Barista in Dream City, what’s so great is that inside no one is allowed to smoke or have a hookah. Just perfect for me. There is also wireless internet better than Reber Slow. A good place to spend your evenings.

Barista, Erbil

9.  Okay, I have probably blogged about this before, but I have this big love for falooda (I don’t know why do many people don’t agree) and I could not resist placing it in my favorite things in Erbil. While there are a few places who call themselves Falooda Professionals, I only enjoy the one in Masif located just off the main road.

Falooda from Masif

8. Now, this one is by far a GREAT favorite of my entire family, Maasti Marrrrr, to be honest I don’t know how healthy this is, but it is this magical yoghurt that doesn’t even taste like yoghurt. This with bread and sweet tea (in a pyala of course) is the best thing you can eat in the world. Now listen (sorry, I mean read) you don’t buy maasti marr in a fancy package with some great colors and a sparkly name, you know all that marketing thing companies do to sell their products. With maasti marr, it already sells so no need for all that advertisement. You just buy it in a big pot or smaller little bucket-like things!

Maasti Marr, Kurdish yoghurt!
wait for it….
After Sazan and her friends visit the shop
And there you go! This is how you buy masti marrrrrrrrrr!

7. Shaqlawa is not too far from Erbil, but the temperature there is always five or so degrees less (trust me five degrees makes a huge difference when you’re melting away in the city), while the rest of the world seems to enjoy the afternoon walk in the main Shaqlawa road with all the shops eating ice cream and having cold drinks — walking up and down the same street over and over again — I prefer sitting on the hilltop with a view of Shaqlawa below. In the evening just after sunset this is differently one of my favorite things this summer.

Shaqlawa (Picture by Shakawan #TwitterKurds)

6. This isn’t really a summer favorites, but it is definitely a 2013 favorite of  mine. Wait for it, my new love and obsession… Naana tiri. This is like dried bread, which is reallllllllllly thin, before you eat it just sprinkle a little but of water on it and it becomes the most delicious, soft bread you have ever had. Magic. I swear it’s magic. Enjoy it with some maasti marr and chay in a pyala^^.

Kurdish Bread, Naani-tiri or Naana-tiri
5. My dearest blog follower, aaaaaakh how I would love you to witness my bowling skills! I am so good that I hit the pins (that is what it’s called- right?) in the next lane next to mine and even there not a single pin gets knocked over (Just ask SK!!!). Why is it shameful to ask for the rails to be put up? Any howwww, so now you know my great bowling skills, where oh where do I bowl? My favorite place is the blowing in Royal Mall on Shorsh street, opposite the Jalil Khayat Mosque. Very clean, elegant and a friendly atmosphere! I prefer it over the other alternatives available in Erbil.
Royal Mall – I did actually take pictures of the bowling area but can’t find it.**
4. Summer evenings in Park Martyr Sami Abdul Rahman is definitely one of my favorites. Take a badminton set, some food and enjoy an evening meal while playing games. You will love it, I promise.
Martyr Sami Abdul Rahman park.
3. Summer nights can be long and dreary and this may surprise you since I don’t really enjoy movies but the new cinema in Family Mall is definitely on the hot places list this summer in Erbil, and by far if not my favorite place definitely the favorite of some of my loved ones.
Empire Cinema in Family Mall Erbil.

2. Rwandz (or Rawandouz) is my new favorite place in Kurdistan. Enojoy the view, evening walks and make sure you stay a night at Pank Resort (though I still believe that place can be turned into a paradise in Kurdistan with a little bit of attention and better services). There you can fly– yes, I mean it. I actually flew down a mountain (and shook that mountain with my screaming). I won’t tell you more you would have to wait for the next post.

Yup! That’s me in Rwandz
That’s the Bekhal waterfall, an iPad camera doesn’t do justice
My Mountains! My Kurdistan!
1. Summer is hot. Very hot. Too hot. But my favorite thing above everything else is to put a big, juicy, watery, red, sweet watermelon (make sure you buy it ba sharti chaqo^) in a cold water in one of the tourist places like the water near Bekhal and Gali, having that cold watermelon by the waterfalls with a mountain view is by far MY NUMBER ONE FAVORITE THING THIS SUMMER! Now you were not expecting that as a number one were you? Simple things people. Simple things! 

* Glayee- Verb. Comes from the Greek word (just kidding!). It is basically a word that us Kurds seem to know and do very well. Basically it referrers to the ongoing complaining about people who haven’tt been calling, visiting or asking about you! At least in this context that’s what it means. 

^ Another word us Kurds know a little too well, it means shameful. 

^^ if you don’t know what a pyala of chay is then I’m sorry you’re not a Loyal Blog Follower.

** I promise this time when I get strikes the entire way through I will get pictures of the bowling area for you, my dearest Loyal Blog Reader! 

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