Posted in Travel

Holidays in Iraq: the accidental tourist

Here’s a delightful story about an Italian tourist who decides he’s going to see the treasures of Iraq, wandering around the streets of Baghdad, taking a public bus to Falluja, all the while having a good time (excerpt from the NY Times):

“I am a tourist,” were his first words. The telephone line from Falluja was bad, but there could be no mistake. Falluja’s first Western leisure visitor was in town. Not for long, though. An Iraqi checkpoint guard spotted the traveler, Luca Marchio, among Iraqi passengers in a public minibus heading from Baghdad to the once notorious — and still tense — city and alerted his superiors. Soon, Mr. Marchio, 33, a native of Como, Italy, found himself in the Falluja police headquarters surrounded by bewildered Iraqi officers trying to figure out why a Westerner would wander around this city without a translator or guards. Mr. Marchio may have worried the police, but his main concern was saving money. In two telephone interviews he brushed away all concerns for his safety and offers of help. “I am a tourist. I want to see the most important cities in the country. That is the reason why I am here now,” he said in heavily accented English. “I want to see and understand the reality because I have never been here before, and I think every country in the world must be seen.”

Read the rest of the story in the NY Times.

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Author:

Author of "The Secret of Angat", a novel set in the Philippines during World War II. Founder, MuniWireless.com; Founder (Mapplr.com - travel) and Shopplr.com (beauty, style).

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