A TOUR THROUGH THE BUSH BAGHDAD
White Knuckle Tours : Ten days in Iraq, almost all-inclusive
Yes, the newly-formed Iraq Bureau of Tourism is working with White Knuckle for the upcoming season in Iraq. Executives from White Knuckle Tours have spent hours going over this offer with the Director of Tourism, whose name, I believe, is Chalabi or something similar, in order to make your tour as exciting and comfortable as possible.
The tour includes a one-way flight from New York to Baghdad on Iraqi Airlines, whose motto is “Fly the Friendly Firestorm of Iraqi Air”! Your return ticket, which you may or may not need, can be located at the ticket office in Baghdad. If, for some reason, the ticket office is no longer functioning, or even standing…the Red Cross might help, if you can contact them.
You can select one of our four star, luxurious, first class hotels, which, by the way, are located in Saudi Arabia, a short jaunt from Iraq, or you can stay Economy Class in an Iraqi Hotel. We recommend the Kaboom Motor Inn, which used to be located on the main street of Baghdad, but somehow shifted to a side street after the mortar exploded. It now leans a bit and the roof sags, but there is a lovely open air view of the beautiful downtown area. Get your reservation in early, as the rooms are limited to the few that remain usable.
Upon arriving at the airport in Baghdad, you will find a limousine awaiting to take you to your hotel. The driver will be one of Baghdad’s bravest daredevils, willing to risk his life to travel to and from the airport. You will be stopped at checkpoints, where friendly soldiers will chat with you. Your driver will explain the background of this historic country in Arabic. Either that, or he is cursing. Who knows? As you ride along this modern passageway, you will enjoy the beauty of the desert countryside, with its gleaming display of bombed out vehicles.
You will find dining in Baghdad an exhilarating experience in fine cuisine, if the electricity is on. If not, cheese and crackers will be provided. One of our favorites is Mohammed’s on main street, close to the Green Zone. Too close to the Green Zone! Mohammed’s not only serves the finest of meals, but there is entertainment after 9 p.m., with music and dancing by the Boyz to Insurgents Street Singers. Liquor is available, but one must keep an eye out for the Shiite Decency Police, who may chastise you with swift kicks to the posterior. Also, if the ground starts to shake and rumble and the roof comes crashing down, it might be best to vacate the premises, if you can still walk.
Women tourists can enjoy the sights of Baghdad, as long as they cover their hair. This is not a necessity, but those Shiites….well, what can we say? And, during your days in lovely Baghdad, there are several tours available for those who like to explore the countryside. One popular tour is the Abu Ghraib Trail. This tour consists of a trip through the famous prison, with a presentation of Interrogation Techniques by the guards.
Others, however, prefer more rustic outings. For the adventurous, we suggest the Fallujah Tour. A pass is necessary for entrance into Fallujah and, if you are fortunate, you can exit the town before sundown. A wonderful day will be spent exploring the alleyways, subterranean tunnels and various buildings, most of them flattened, but still architecturally interesting. Pay no attention to occasional explosions. Everything that can be blown up has been blown up. Not to worry.
You may have heard of the frequent kidnappings of both Iraqi and foreigners. This is not included in the tour, however, and any ransom that must be paid is extra. Some visitors prefer to stay in their hotel rooms during their stay in Baghdad. This can be great for honeymooners, but excruciatingly torturous for old married couples. If this is how you choose to spend the duration of your tour, we advise packing a plentiful supply of good books and liquor. Ice is not available, and the water is not safe to drink, so just drink from the bottle,
Provided you are available to return home, you may want to take a side trip to Afghanistan. The poppy fields are gloriously in bloom at this time of year, and the warlords are quaint and colorful characters, great for photographs.
We look forward to including you in our White Knuckle family, and wish you a great vacation.